23 Fun Reading Games for Kids

by Melissa Taylor

Photo credit: Kimberly Sidebotham Lennert, EyeEm/Getty Images

It’s no secret that kids love to play. So a fun way to improve reading skills is by playing reading games. And many of these games are free!

  • Free Reading Games

  • Yes & No Phonics and Word Game (Ages 4+)

    Turn word lists into a “yes” or “no” game with questions such as these:

    • Does the word begin with the letter ____?
    • Does the word end in a vowel?
    • Does the word have a long “a” sound?
  • Say and Stomp (Ages 4+)

    Write letters on the top of styrofoam cups. Say the letter sound and stomp the cup.

  • Memory Match (Ages 5+)

    Make your own game of Memory with pairs of sight words or short phrases written on index cards.

  • Bingo (Ages 5+)

    Bingo games give kids a fun way to practice reading a variety of words, from easy to difficult.

  • Go Fish (Ages 5+)

    Make your own Go Fish game using sight words or vocabulary words. Create pairs or groups of four.

  • Word Search (Ages 5+)

    Use foam letters and make a 3D word search for your beginning readers.

  • Silly Voices Reading (Ages 5+)

    Belinda Kinney shares sixteen reading voice ideas. Her original idea is to use the reading voices for reading words, but I think it would be fun to read entire stories or parts of stories in these silly voices, don’t you?

  • Vowel Sounds Marble Game (Ages 5+)

    Put a marble underneath one of three cups. Each cup should have a single vowel written on it. Take turns hiding the marble and mixing up the cups. The child guesses where the marble is located and says the vowel sound.

  • Fluency Target Time (Ages 6+)

    Correctly read the first sentence or paragraph to advance to the second ring. If you make a mistake, stay on the outer ring.

  • Connect Four Words (Ages 6+)

    Use word stickers on your Connect Four game pieces. Pick one of the word stickers, read the sight word correctly, then put the word piece into the game. Four in a row wins.

  • Word Towers (Ages 6+)

    Add labels with words written on them to Duplo blocks. Build sentences and stories. Then, read what you’ve created.

  • Reading Games to Buy

  • Reading Riddle Maze Game (Ages 4+)

    Read a riddle then move to get the tile with the riddle’s answer. The first player to collect three riddle cards wins.

  • Wordsearch Junior (Ages 4+)

    Preschoolers do the six matching pattern puzzles or six picture hint puzzles and early readers solve the word-only puzzles.

  • Zingo! (Ages 5+)

    Match pictures to the correct words to fill your Zingo (like Bingo) board. The first player with a full card wins.

  • What’s Gnu! (Ages 5+)

    Use the letter tiles to create three letter words.

  • Go 4 It! Word Families (Ages 5+)

    The goal of this Go Fish game is to collect words in word families, such as the “–ake” family of words.

  • 4-In-A-Row CVC Words (Ages 5+)

    Spin the color spinner. Read a word on that color tile and put a chip on it. Connect four words in a row to win.

  • Make-A Word Soft Touch Dice: CVC Words (Ages 5+)

    Soft dice help kids make consonant-vowel-consonant words. Make up your own game and rules.

  • Let’s Go Fishing: First 100 Fry Words (Ages 5+)

    Catch a sight word fish. Read it correctly and you can keep it.

  • uKloo Sight Word Treasure Hunt (Ages 5+)

    Read and solve the riddle clues that contain sight words. Follow the trail to a prize.

  • Pirate Island: Reading for Details (Ages 7+)

    Race around the board by reading short passages and answering the detail questions correctly. The first one to the treasure chest wins.