Reading Games for Kids

Looking for reading games for kids? Children learn best when having fun so if you are teaching kids to read then through play is best. Check out this list of phonics games for kids that are sure to get them having fun while learning to basic reading skills.

Teach Kids to Read Using Phonics

Using phonics is one of the most popular ways to teach kids English. Phonics is a form of teaching using sounds with letters or groups of letters in alphabet writing.

In order to read correctly we need to be able to pronounce the phonics correctly. If we know and understand letter sounds, then reading will come a lot easier.

When children see a word, if they already know the alphabet sounds, they will be able to sound the word out aloud and, in their head, to put the word together.

13 English Phonics Games for Kids to Practice Reading

Here is a list of 10 phonics games for kids that will help children practice their reading. Each reading game can be made at home and most of them can be played catered to reading level.

You can make these games into different categories. One day you can play using silent words, another can be sight words or new words learned in school that week. There are many options to playing these phonics games and helping children learn to read English in a fun way.

1. Connect

Connect is a great phonics game for kids to help them recognize words and begin to pronounce them. You can easily make this game using flashcards.

Select 10 words (this can be new words the child is learning or some from a book) write them two different times on index cards. Place all the index cards face down on the floor or table. Children will then flip over two at a time and say each word, if the words match the children gets to keep the cards.

You can also purchase these word memory cards that work just as well too.

1. Story Ball

This game involved reading words and memory. With a beach ball, write words all over it. Have the children throw the ball to each other and whatever word their finger lands on they have to use decide if it can be used in the current sentence the children are making.

For example, if the story ball already says, “we are going” and the next child lands on the word “school” the child will then have to decide if that word can be used after “we are going” if the answer is no then they can pick a word from the ball that does go with the sentence. Children can make sentences as long or as short as they would like. It is a hard game to remember all the words used in the sentence! 

2. Little Treasure Matching Letter Game

Learning word recognition and spelling never felt so fun with Little Treasure Matching Game! This phonics game for kids can be played with 2 or more players, great for family fun as children will advance in their strategy skills while learning to read. A card will pop up, children will have to find the letters to try and spell the word out, once they think they have the word correct they can pop the word card out to see if they got it right!

3. Junior Learning 6 Blend Game

Wat we love about Junior Learning 6 Blend is there is 6 in one pack! Junior Learning 6 Blend Game is the best assortment for children to learn constantans and vowel sounds as well as blending letters to form more than one letter sound together.

Children will love having a variety of games to choose from whether it is a board game, puzzles, rhyming cards and more. After mastering these 6 games, children will gain knowledge in their reading and letter recognition skills.

4. Go Fish

This is another fun reading game for kids that can be made by DIY or you can buy a fun version online, depending on the level your child is at in their English language skills.

Create 24 index cards of words, the same word twice. Each player gets to have 4 cards in their hand. The children will take turns asking each other of they have one of the words they are holding. If the player does not have the card the other player asked for, they say “go fish”. If the player does have the card in their hands, they give it to the other player. Players with the most matching cards wins.

This Alphabet Go Fish will help children learn animal names by memorization, played the same way as DIY models, this version of Go Fish has colorful cards that will engage your child in letter recognition and reading new words to sound out each animal card once they find a match.

5. Bingo

Bingo is always a great game for children to play when learning a variety of different subjects. To make it a phonics game for kids, bingo boards can be made with different word sets (sight words, rhyming words, new words, conversation words ect). You can do this yourself, or take a look at this version that you can buy. The teacher or parent will call out words, the first child with 5 in a row wins.

6. Marble Cup Game

In this phonics game for kids the teacher or parent will have 6 cups, each labeled with one vowel letter. The child will close his or her eyes and the teacher or parent will hide the marble under one of the cups, the child will then have to say the letter and vowel sound of the cup they think it is under.

To make this reading game more difficult, you can use vowel words, sight words or new words.

7. Magnetic Tower

Anything involving magnates with children is fun! This is a great phonics activity to use on your fridge. If you do not have the resources to make your own word cards, they do sell these magnates online.

To make this game cut pieces of magnates and write words on them. Children can rearrange the words to make sentence, they can do this individually, together or play it as a racing game. After they make their sentences, they should be reading them aloud. This game can easily be played without magnates and can be substituted for index cards.

8. Word Search

There are plenty of printable you can find online to have your child practice finding words inside a bunch of letters. This is also an activity that can easily be made at home. Use letters from the alphabet and scramble them up, pick 10 words to make inside the scrambled letters. Children will have to find the words inside the scrambled letters and circle them.

9. Sentence Jenga

Jenga is another game that can easily be made into helping children read. Take the Jenga blocks and write words or sentences on them depending on your child’s English level.

When the child pulls out the block they will have to read or word or read the question and answer it. The object of the game is to not knock over all the blocks!

10. Scrabble

Scrabble fun and educational board game can be played with 2 or more people. With a variety of different ways to play the object is to build words off the spaces and other players words. To gain the most points, children will have to spell longer words. Each letter is worth a certain amount of points and some of the board squares can be double or triple letter. You can ind Scrabble here online.

11. Sight Word Swat Game

Kids love this fun reading game! Sight Word Swat game is perfect for children learning to read, spell and better understand sounds of letters. With color coated flies for different levels of English, children race against each other to swat the correct words. This reading game can be played with up to 4 players.

12. Goodie Game ABC Cookies

With 4 different game options, ABC Cookies is a fun activity where children keep reaching into the cookie jar and pulling out letters to learn letter sounds, vocabulary as well as letter recognition.

They will use the spinner and grab their cookies to go against the other players for the most delicious tasting words they can come up with! With double sided cards, children will create words to enhance their reading language skills.

13. Learning Resource Pop For Blends

This reading game for kids is perfect for car rides or quick on the go entertainment. With 2-4 players at a time Pop for Blends helps children practice their letter blending sounds to better understand the spelling and reading of words.

Children spin the spinner, reach into the popcorn box and pull out blending letter sounds to race against each other to win them all! The best part about this game is they have different variations, so if your child is learning sight words, the alphabet or other related English skills, Learning Resource Pop has many games to cater to your child’s needs!

This game can also be played as a board game! With 2-4 players and fun for the entire family, children work their way around the board drawing pictures and guessing what their opponent is drawing. Using memory skills and letter sounds, players will have to think by forming sentences. To make the game more learning friendly, children can write the word of what the picture is that they are guessing.

Challenges using Phonics in English

Phonics can have difficult aspects to it. For example, a lot of words in the English language are the same when you say it but are spelled differently because they have different meanings. (Board/Bored. Plain/Plane. There/Their/They’re) The list goes on.

Remembering correct spellings, meanings and pronunciation is going to be very important when learning English down the line.

Some letters are silent in words. This is going to be a hard part for kids to wrap their heads around but it is important to start when they are young so they can learn early about silent letters and how they work in the English language. 

For example (ph/f – phone uses ph but when said sounds like the letter f) Letters can sound different or they can be completely silent, (silent B – dumb, climb, bomb/ silent T – listen, castle, often ect.)

Know other English Phonics Games for Kids?

We are always looking for new English phonics games for kids to learn English. Let us know if you have any other activities you recommend, or any reading games for kids that you love!

English Phonics games for kids to read