Making Reading Games

Posted on August 29th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart in Teacher Resources

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Making reading games is a fun, inexpensive way to support young learners

Last month I was invited to make a presentation for the parents at a local preschool. Unlike most of my presentations, this was a hands-on workshop. We used rubber stamps, pencil crayons, stickers and foam shapes to make reading games. This sort of workshop becomes very social – the adults get to play with the craft supplies for a change!

Over the years, I have made many, many pre-reading and reading games. Apart from the fact that the games can be customized with respect to theme and difficulty, from a cost perspective, homemade can’t be beat!

Whenever possible, I like to make activities self-correcting. For example, for some matching activities I put small marks on the back of the playing pieces so that the children can double-check their “matches.”

I’ve also tried to ensure that many of the games allow children to be active and move while they play and learn. For one of the games, I used green rubberized, mesh placemats. I cut out lily pads (beige works for elephant footprints) and then painted letters onto each lily pad / footprint. The clingy nature of the placemat material ensures that the lily pads are not slippery when placed in ABC order on the floor. The children love to hop from one lily pag to the next, singing the ABC song.

Gift wrap is another great source for learning games. I’ve made games to used with many, many themes – everything from birthday cupcakes to balloons, pond life, western, sports, emergency vehicles and the circus. From time to time, you can find a licensed gift wrap that matches something you are doing in the classroom. I’ve used Cat in the Hat and Franklin Turtle paper.

My favourite resource for pre-reading craft activities is Kathy Ross. For learners who are a bit older and in need of assistance with reading, Peggy Kaye has great ideas.

Don’t forget to check out our free, printable reading games.

Our printable early literacy resources for making reading games are in PDF format, if you don’t already have Adobe Reader, you will need to download it to access the reading game download.


If you appreciate our printable early literacy resources, please support this site by visiting and purchasing from Amazon.com or Amazon.ca.


image of PDF icon  Match the Ending Consonant Sound

Another way to help children develop phonemic awareness. Matching the ending consonant sound is more difficult than matching the beginning consonant sound.

image of PDF icon  Compound Word Riddles

image of PDF icon  Sight Word Domino Game Part 1

image of PDF icon  Sight Word Domino Game Part 2

image of PDF icon  Sight Word Domino Game Part 3

image of PDF icon  Match Upper and Lower Case Letters Part One

Use with Part Two to create a matching activity

image of PDF icon  Match Upper and Lower Case Letters Part Two

image of PDF icon  Consonant Game Board

Use a die and markers, move along the "star" path from one star to another. When you land on a star, say the letter name or say the letter sound or say a word that starts with the letter.

image of PDF icon  Sight Word Tic Tac Toe

image of PDF icon  Short Vowel Word Match Game

Pictures to match with words.

image of PDF icon  Animal / Alphabet Match

image of PDF icon  Match the Beginning Consonant Sound

Cut the pictures apart and have children match the initial consonant sound - a great way to support the development of phonemic awareness.

Storytime Standouts’ early literacy resources download page

Peggy Kaye’s Games for Reading at Amazon.com

Peggy Kaye’s Games for Reading at Amazon.ca

Kathy Ross Crafts Letter Shapes at Amazon.com

Kathy Ross Crafts Letter Shapes at Amazon.ca


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