Word Envelope Game Teaches Reading

.I'm a teacher so I work with little kids all the time and this is my favorite activity to help kids learn to read. You get an envelope and have your child color and decorate it and make it their own. Then you play games with words to help your child learn the "sight" words which are words that are so common that they crop up in everything you read.

Two Hundred Twenty (220) of these words make up about 70% of everything we read. Anytime you help a child get a good grip on these words, then they can read 70% of all texts, that's why I love it! First, you make a list of the sight words. For example, words like "about", "always" and "again".

Find 10 words at a time that the child can not read and make a list of them, cut those words out of magazines, and put them on a piece of cardboard or index cards. Then you play with them by hiding these word cards around the house so your child has to find them. Once he finds them, he has to read them to you.

Another way to play is to spread the cards on the kitchen table and as he turns over each card, he reads them to you. If you play these games every morning for a week, your child is going to learn these words. Once he's learned these, then you can find 10 more words. This is so much fun that the kids don't even know that they're learning.

I tell parents to let this be the "child's" thing…let him be the one to bring the words to you to show you what he can do. Parents are not really directing this, they're just playing along. Teachers usually have lists of the most common words, or you can get a list of these words from the Internet at www.readingpains.com.