Learning through play – Literacy games

A little while ago I shared with you the maths games for children which we have been playing with Emmy to help build upon her learning, these have been great and of course are fun at the same time meaning she wants to keep on playing so is therefore learning at the same time.

We are now looking at Literacy games which we can all play together which will of course mean she is learning while having fun.

Our current favourites are:

  • Flashcards
  • Scrabble
  • Bananagrams
  • Writing on the mirror using shaving foam

Learning through play - Literacy games


Flashcards are something which we can play with and include Harry too, they are a good way of helping Emmy with her latest spellings which are definitely getting harder now she is in year 2 and we can also use them to create mini stories and sentences with.

Bananagrams is a great one for all the family, a simpler version of scrabble which removes the adding up element and also removes the confines of the grid. Harry is of course too small to play this with us but he likes to help place the letters with us. It is one for all ages above 5 and we have had some great family games with Emmy, Nanny and myself – surprisingly it is usually Emmy who wins these games.

Writing on the mirror is one both Emmy and Harry enjoy, a great way of teaching Harry to write his name and we have been using this technique to practice Emmy’s spellings.  Because it is only shaving foam it also makes it very easy to clean off once they have finished their baths, and of course we can also include shaving foam painting while we are playing too.

Photo Credit: Life with Baby Kicks

Laura who blogs over at Life with Baby Kicks has another game she has been playing with the children which can easily be adapted depending on the child’s age and ability. She creates a car park with parking spaces and numbers them, these can also be lettered. Then using the cars she gets the children to spell out their names or words – I think this would be a great way of encouraging reluctant learners as it is great fun – Harry would definitely love that one.

We have also discovered the great series of blog posts over on Mum in the Madhouse which explores learning with manipulates, one of our favourites is written by Sarah-Jayne (Keep up with the Jones family) which is a very cute phonics games using Tsum Tsums.

Photo Credit: Mum in the Madhouse

Learning through play is the best way to help children to improve as it makes the boring mundane and makes it fun, other ways of helping older children to improve upon their literacy could include a personal tutor, depending on their age and is a good resource for those of exam age.

I have also been researching games for older children so we can play them with cousins who come to play and I have my eye on a few which sound great fun including Upwords – similar to scrabble but which you can cover over the tiles with other letter to make new ones, word building dominos – instead of having numbers or dots these tiles are colour coded and include prefixes, root words and suffixes and players use these together to build words.

The Blurt Game from learning resources sounds great fun – one player reads out the clues and the others have to quickly recall the word it is referring to, the fastest to shout out the answer wins.

And lastly, this is Emmy’s current favourite which was given t her for Christmas – The Yes/No game – you read out questions on a card and the player isn’t allowed to say Yes or No. It’s much harder than it sounds and my default answer has fast become “Are you deaf?” when the question has been repeated a few times.

What games do you play with the children to help improve their literacy skills?

“This is a collaborative post”


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