Does The Word Fit ? Simple Word Puzzles For Kids

While doing a purge of toys in our playroom I found 3 cheap puzzles I bought years ago that have never once been played with. I popped two into the donate box but kept one to make these  easy word puzzles for my son. The unique thing about these word puzzles is that the shape of pieces help give the players clues to the correct word choice. This goes along with the question that we often ask new readers as they work on reading new words ” Does the word fit?” and this game helps work on those new reader skills.

  1. Gather your materials. Both of these games require almost nothing. Puzzle pieces, markers and paper.

Rhyming Game

  1. Write out a few pages with something along the lines of ” These words rhyme with ____.” Make sure to use words that your child can read for the main word on the paper. For the matching words you write on the puzzle pieces add one or two words that may challenge them a little. Trace the puzzle pieces on the paper for an added clue.
  2. After writing out a few pages and corresponding pieces with rhyming words add a few puzzle pieces that do not rhyme to add into the mix.
  3. Play. I set both games up and presented them to him at the same time – scroll down for the 2nd game instructions.
  4. Hmm does the word fit ? Yes! My son enjoyed this and understood that he could sound the words out to match the rhymes as well as check if he was correct with the shapes matching as well.

Simple stories

This activity was a huge hit. My son was in stitches and learning at the same time.

  1. Write out simple sentences that appeal to your child with some words missing. Leave large spaces.  The ones I wrote for my son included sentences like  ” I forgot to put the milk in the fridge and now it smells so gross.” and ” The enemy place dropped a bomb on the base but no one was injured.” Write what will interest your child, it will make all the difference. Make figuring out the sentence fun and worth it.
  2. Write the missing words on puzzle pieces and trace them on the paper.
  3. Make sure to add words on other puzzle pieces that don’t make sense but are in the same shape as the ones that do. This is what makes it funny. Funny is good, laughing while learning is a fantastic thing.
  4. Play. Start by reading it.
  5. Now find the right missing words.
  6. Read the whole thing when the puzzle is done.
  7. With the next sheet he was laughing so hard I was worried he was going to wake his sleeping sister. It would have been worth it.

 

Window Washer Word Wall

word wall gamesThis was originally supposed to be part of our Alphabet For Starters series with alphabet letters on the windows and a rag for my daughter to erase them. But someone got visibly upset when it was suggested she could erase the letters and didn’t want anything to do with that part of the activity. So after we settled her my son and I adapted this for him. I wrote out summer themed words and unlike his sister he loved it.

  1. Gather your materials. We used window markers, baby wipes and a bucket for yucky wipes. Now feel free to use anything to wipe the windows I am using baby wipes because my son has sensitive skin and anything but sensitive fragrance free wipes pose an issue for him. After the activity I took window cleaner and cleaned it properly. word games for kids
  2. Write out words on the windows. Like I mentioned we did summer / beach house words since we are gearing up for a mini beach vacation and  getting really excited. Use any words your child can handle and will be fun for them. If words are too much try letters or shapes.
  3. Next get your bucket and wipes ready …. and watch your child wipe everything in 3 seconds flat.word games for kids I umm forgot to explain the game to him I was so excited. So after I wrote the words out again and explained the game I called out the words and he wiped them once he found them. If you have more than one reader you could even write out the words twice and have a race. 
  4. I popped out to the porch for a different view. I should have taken the screen off but really I never plan these activities that far in advance and this was very much a spur of the moment one . Make sure to have some challenging words in the mix, most of these were easy for my son to find but a few were a good challenge too.

Books About The Beach

picture books about the beachGreat round up of the beach themed picture books  pictured above.

A Chance To Win With NOOK

chance to win with NOOKThis week is Children’s Book Week and these days books we celebrate aren’t just the paper kind. We’ve  have teamed up with NOOK by Barnes & Noble to promote great books, apps and newsstand titles for kids.  If you pop over to the NOOK Facebook page you’ll see my personal NOOK picks for kids. Of course my little ones helped me choose. I could have chosen 25 more in each category but was limited to two , it was tough . Since downloading them all to our NOOK tablet they have been well loved by the whole family.

 

Don’t go see what I chose quite yet , because I get to give you the chance to win one of 2 $100 NOOK Gift Cards to fill your NOOK with fantastic titles, apps and newsstand reads in any genre not just kids. Don’t forget to check out mine here !

To Enter :

Please leave a comment below with the answer to this question -  What was the last great book you read?  .

 

Please note comments may take some time to appear on the blog.

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This sweepstakes is open to American residents 18 years or older. To be eligible for the sweepstakes you must leave a comment on this post answering the question “What was the last great book you read?” 2 winning commenter will be drawn at random, using Random.org, after the sweepstakes closes on Tuesday May 15th at 8:00pm PST. The winners will receive one NOOK gift card valued at  $100 each. After the winner is notified he or she has 48 hours to respond with their mailing address for NOOK to ship their gift cards to,or another winner will be chosen at random. No purchase necessary.The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Any information gathered through the sweepstakes including email and postal addresses will not be used in anyway other than contacting winners and shipment of winnings. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
Disclosure : I was provided with a NOOK tablet and compensated for this campaign. My book, app and newsstand choices are completely my own ( with input from my kids) and as always I only work with companies professionally that I would use and suggest to friends personally.

Word Family Game

how to teach your child to read

Reading isn’t the only way you can work on reading skills ( although please do read as much and as often as you can ! ) you can also play games to build skills and confidence. This game is designed to work on word family knowledge. Word families are groups of words that share common combination of letters and similar sound.  When new readers play with word families they become more confident as they see the common ending and can quickly read the new word. This game was great as my son read words without surrounding context successfully because of the other words in the family acting as a scaffold.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some magazines or family photos you can cut up, construction paper, double stick tape , painter’s tape, scissors and a marker. teach your child to read
  2. Start by making your frames. Simply fold the construction paper in half and cut the middle out.
  3. Next cut moms, dads, babies and kids out.  Tape them to construction paper making sure you leave room on the bottom to write the words under the people.
  4. Cut out and write the words. The best list of word families I have ever found was here . I tried to do some words I knew he’d find “easy” and others that would be more of a challenge, his reading ability is changing so quickly I was honestly unsure of exactly what would be sweet spot for his learning. Do not be afraid to try something , you can change it as you go if need be. reading game
  5. I taped the frames to the table using painter’s tape. Then I wrote out the family name but when we do this again I will be leaving these off and instead placing one word /family member in the frame to start. These titles really confused my son . After he matched up a person into the family he was golden. I’d suggest skipping the names and just taping the frames.
  6. Play.reading game
  7. He was unsure at first .
  8. But he did it ! The confidence grew quickly.
  9. Soon he was being his old goofy self saying ” Here is your Mama baby !”
  10. The ail family was the tricky one for him and when he completed the family he exclaimed ” I did it!” which is music to any parent or teacher’s ears.

To make this simpler try having 2-3 family members already in the frames and only fill in the blank with a missing family member instead of having to create the whole family.

To make it more challenging provide the frames and family members with no family names ( an, ack, ail…) at the start. Let your child sort and group with no starting point.

Books About Families

Sometimes It’s Grandmas and Grandpas: Not Mommies and Daddies by Gayle Byrne is a wonderful book about grandparents who are raising their grand daughter.  There is no long drawn out explanation about where her parents are, or what led to her grandparents having custody and I don’t think there needs to be. They are her parents, love her, snuggle her, read with her and love her just like any parents.  She does wonder about her parents and shows signs of feeling different but the security and love her grandparents provide overcome those insecurities. The author’s note at the back of the book explains that she herself is raising her grandchild and offers more resources for grandparents who are primary caregivers as well.

Daddy and I… by Eloise Greenfield is a great little board book about the every day things that a toddler son may help his dad with.  From painting, to shopping to stopping for some hugs this book is great for toddlers to see all the things that make up being a dad and caring for your family. It also has a great lesson about children pitching in to help keep a family going too.

Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers and Marla Frazee . The concept is simple but the results are wonderful. The book celebrates all sorts of babies and all the every day things babies do.  My daughter ( who is 14 months) points out all the babies on each page as I read the rhyming text . So maybe you are thinking ” What’s so great about babies and text that rhymes?” nothing, that isn’t what makes this book so awesome. I love this book because of it’s diversity, inclusion, and acceptance of all babies and families.  The illustrations are full of depictions of all sorts of families showering their smallest most precious member with love . What I adore about the diversity of the illustrations is that readers are left to put whatever assumption we wish on the families in the book. What I assumed were two mommies my husband thought was a husband and wife, I thought a lady was a grandma and my son said it was just a older mom. This is why I love this book, my 14 month old doesn’t see why this message is outstanding, what she does see is all sorts of happy babies in all sorts of  families being the norm and this is the world we want her to know.

Listen & Find Word Search

Many moons ago ( OK 2003) I was student teaching the 6th grade ( yes most were taller than me) and I was teaching a unit on the book  Holes by Louis Sachar. I was reading the book to my students and losing their attention . To keep it I created a bingo game of words in each chapter. I’d hand out the sheets, they’d listen for the words and mark ones they heard. It was exactly what they needed to stay engaged and our discussions at the end of the chapters went from 2 kids to most of the class. Today I am sharing how I modified this for my son who is 5 and just starting to read independently.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some paper, a marker, a book and a dot paint marker .
  2. Before calling your child to play flip through the book and choose some words. I only chose each word once, and did one for every two pages so I could read it out loud to him at a normal speed without him having to stop too often to bam the paper. With one kid I just had a sheet to fill, not a bingo format. sight word games
  3. Start reading.
  4. It was a hit from the start . I will be doing this with many other books in the future.
  5. Bam!
  6. When he missed a word I invited him to look for it in the book.
  7. Got it!

Making reading a game has been a big part of my son’s ease into reading. Still even now that he is reading well he doesn’t always want to read books to my husband or I opting to read to his sister or alone. Building confidence is tricky. Instead of forcing them to read aloud  when they don’t want to , play some games and let the fun build the confidence. After their confidence builds they will be much more apt to read aloud .