My active eight year old challenges me to find constructive and academic ways to have fun and learn on snow days that might go on for three days or more – especially when school is canceled and there is no snow!
One academic, fun solution to snowless snow days is to make your very own board game for your own child or children. For your beginner, it might be my “Letter or Sound” game. For your more advanced reader, my child and students will recommend my “Read or Spell” game to your child.
Here is a simple version of these games. On the board, the R stands for read and the S stands for spell. A different version called the “Letter or Sound” game may interest your emergent reader. This version of the game replaces the R and S with L and S. The L stands for letter and the S stands for sound.
You can make either game as elaborate as your child wants. For example, if your child loves trains, make the path into railroad tracks. If your child loves fairies, make the finish line a beautiful fairy house. She can use stickers to decorate. He might want to put original drawings around the empty spaces. The key is to allow your child to make it their own.
To play the game you will need a die – I use a larger die to make it easier for my kiddos to roll. You will also need player pieces. These can be anything your child likes, from action figures to toy cars or trains. Here are some of the player pieces that I use with my students.
To play the “Read or Spell” game, have your child roll the die and move the number of spaces shown on the die. If your child lands on an R, give her a word to read. You can use words written on note cards or a dry erase board. If she lands on an S, give her a word to spell. For a child still learning to write, your child can arrange letter tiles to spell the word. Letter tiles are available from a school supply store.
If you are playing the “Letter or Sound” game, give your child a letter to name if he lands on an L or ask him to say the sound of the letter if he lands on S. Use letter tiles or letters written on a dry erase board. You can mix it up by adding extra turn spaces to the board, or spaces that direct your child to “go back” or “forward” spaces.
Having your child personalize the game can be a fun snowy or rainy day activity. The real fun will begin when your child gives the game a go, and starts to read and spell. Watch as your child asks you to play again and again.
What are some reading and spelling games your child likes to play?