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.

 

3D Word Search

When children are learning to read playing games with their developing skills is a great way to practice while playing. This giant 3D word search can be used so many ways. For my almost 5 year old I put in simple words he could recognize or easily sound out.  I also helped him by making all the words a consistent color and horizontal only. With younger children it can still be a fun game simply looking for specific colors or letters. With older ones you can make words multi colored, going every which way. The learning isn’t just in the searching either, using the dry erase marker to carefully circle the letters or words is fantastic writing practice and the foam letters are a sensory experience too.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a sturdy backing like a inexpensive canvas or even some cardboard, contact paper ( which will make it wipe off) foam letter stickers ( two packs) and scissors. Also a dry erase marker to play with.
  2. Start by covering your canvas or card board with clear contact paper. This makes the surface friendly for dry erase . I found that a baby wipe worded the best to get the marker off after we played.
  3. Start making a column of letters.
  4. Decide on some words to pop in. Like I said in the preamble you can customize this to your child’s specific stage of learning.
  5. Add the words mixed with some random letters.
  6. Invite your child to play. I meant to make a list of the words I included but forgot and it turned out we didn’t need them. You may want one though.
  7. Oops he circled the o but it was no biggie because it’s dry erase!

I was fascinated by which words he knew by sight and which he sounded out. He loved this and I can see myself making a few more over the next few months for sure.