Hey parents, games aren’t just for fun! Play is a critical component of early childhood education, and it’s how children internalize classroom learning and make sense of the world around them. “There is a huge overlap between learning and play,” says Fay School Kindergarten teacher Anne Canada, “and it’s important to understand the value of play as a learning tool.” Many kindergarten classrooms, including the ones at Fay, regularly incorporate games into their literacy work to help students practice skills that require repetition. If you are looking for a fun way to practice and build literacy skills, check out these games that have been recommended by Fay’s speech and language specialists to promote the acquisition and retention of expressive language.
Apples to Apples Kids 7+
- This version of the popular game is specially designed for beginning readers as kids try to match the adjective phrase on the green apple cards (“shiny” or “silly”) with the noun phrase on the red apple cards (“car” or “clown”) that they think fit together the best. A great game for early reading and vocabulary building.
- In this classic game, kids use their powers of observation and formulate questions to try and eliminate characters and guess who is on the other player’s card.
- This version for kids ages 5 and up invites kids to solve the mystery of the broken toy by asking questions and using strategy to narrow down the list of “suspects.”
Sequence for Kids
- Play a card from your hand by placing a chip on the corresponding character on the board. Supports early reading and logic skills.
- It’s a race with words to see who can blurt out the correct word when given the children’s dictionary definition.
- Kids must formulate yes or no questions to try and figure out the item on their headband before time runs out. Great for critical thinking, speech, and language construction.
- There are several versions of this game that helps kids build language and matching skills including this one that focuses specifically on sight words.