This DIY reading game is a great resource for beginning or struggling readers. In fact, my 5 year old early reader has been having lots of fun with our set since I made it a few weeks ago. It has been great for developing her recognition of high frequency words, decoding skills and reading fluency. Using the blocks from a Jenga game means it is simple to make and I have included a copy of the list of high frequency, CVC, CVCC, CCVC words (with a couple of high interest word too) I used below. Be sure to read through the instructions for some handy tips and hints for making and playing.
DIY Silly Sentences Reading Game
You will need;
- A wooden Jenga game (I grabbed a cheap $5 set from our local Kmart)
- White craft glue
- Paint brush
- Sharpie markers in red, orange, green, blue, violet
- A copy of the Silly Sentences Word List (grab a copy below)
- Create a 50:50 mix of white craft glue and water and paint onto one side of the blocks to seal them (otherwise the marker pen will run). Let dry, flip the blocks and repeat.
- Use the word list to label each block (we used the two wider, flatter sides as our blocks weren’t square) with a Sharpie marker. I added words to the two flatter sides. A few tips;
- I organised the words into a rainbow sequence to make it easier for me to guide my Miss 5 as she creates sentences. Sometimes she will get stuck and say, “I can’t find ‘plays’.” As I know ‘plays’ is in the blue blocks collection, I can direct her to look in the blue blocks or to turn the blue blocks over to see if they are on the reverse side.
- The red words are high frequency words to use as sentence starters and extenders (once children start combining words into longer sentences) and I created multiple blocks with each of these as my Miss 5 loves making longer sentences now she is confident with the game.
- The orange words are simple-to-sound-out colour and descriptive words.
- The green words are simple-to-sound-out nouns or naming words.
- The blue words are simple-to-sound-out verbs or doing/action words.
- The violet blocks short contain sentence endings that tell where the action took place.
- Generally, for simple sentences the words will be used in rainbow order but as children become more confident to create longer sentences they may be combined in other ways – you can see examples in the video below.
- Start with just a few word choices from each colour group until children are familiar with how to play, too many choices at first can be overwhelming.
- Present the words in colour groups, in rainbow order – red, orange, green, blue, violet.
- Start off by working together to create a few silly sentences and then let your child have a go at creating their own.
- Miss 5 also likes it when I make sentences for her to read or I call out the words of a sentence for her to make.
- Simply flip the blocks over when you are ready for a new set of words to work with!
The video below includes some examples of the blocks in action.
Printable word list: Download our printable word list here. Download or save the PDF to your own computer. Open the PDF and print. When printing, select “Fit to printable area” (or similar) to ensure the page fits with your printer type and local paper size (these have been created at A4 size).
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