Literacy and reading comprehension are essential to your child’s success, both in school and on exams, such as the SAT. It can be tiring to constantly nag your child to read more or work through vocabulary flashcards. Instead try to incorporate some games that will improve your child’s literacy while you have a little fun together.
In the variety section of the newspaper there are usually crossword puzzles and other word games. Sit down on a Sunday morning with a cup of coffee and work through them with your child. It is a fun way to practice thinking critically, round out knowledge, and enjoy time together.
Board games can be a fun family activity that can also work to build literacy skills. Scrabble is the obvious choice to expand vocabulary. There are also games such as Paperback and Dixit that incorporate language and creative thinking skills. Engaged Family Gaming offers a list of 12 excellent board games that improve language skills for a variety of age levels. The conversation and quality time that can come from a game night will help your student problem solve, think strategically and creatively, and expand their literacy skills.
Improv Word Games
Improv word games can be played anywhere and anytime. These are simple games such as starting a story and letting the next person complete the sentence, taking turns until the wacky story is complete. Another game is “I am going on a trip and I am bringing…..” The ensuing list follows an unspoken set of rules such as all the items end with “s,” or have to do with the beach. Each player tries out a list until they figure out the initial player’s rule.
Mad libs are silly stories that are fun to do, but also stretch your language skills. These stories have numbered blanks throughout them, the numbers indicate different parts of speech, such as an adjective, noun, or verb. You can fill out the numbers without looking at the story. Then go through and fill in the blanks accordingly to make a very ridiculous and fun story. Love to Know is just one site that offers printable mad libs. You can stretch your creativity and literacy skills even more by taking turns making up your own mad lib stories.
Helping your child improve their literacy takes time. You have to invest quality time with your child, but it doesn’t have to be only serious study. You can also have fun. Use creative games to enhance critical thinking skills, as well as creativity, grammar, and literacy.
Mr. Test Prep has been a part of the San Francisco ACT SAT test prep tutoring community for nearly 20 years. His experience working with students—from math wizzes to numberphobes, from novelists-in-training to kids who hate to read—has shown him that improving test results first requires improving a student’s confidence. To directly address this important facet of SAT prep, his tutoring program exposes students to the conditions of the test, while training them in subject-specific skills and teaching them testing strategies that can make the test much easier.