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Teach Pre-Reading Skills at Home With Popular Board Games

written by: Lisalyn • edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom • updated: 10/17/2014

Playing board games is a fun way for preschoolers to learn. You can use them to prepare your preschooler for kindergarten with popular board games that teach pre-reading skills.

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    What Are Pre-Reading Skills?

    Pre-reading skills are picked up long before actual reading takes place. These basic skills are the foundation for a child's education. Teach Skills at Home Without strong reading skills, all other subjects become more difficult. The time to concentrate on teaching these pre-reading skills is during the preschool years. This is the time when learning comes naturally, through play. A few of the most important skills which can be taught using preschool reading games are:

    • listening
    • memory
    • comprehension
    • rhyming
    • letter recognition
    • effective language and communication
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    Teaching with Popular Board Games

    Classic board games make a great learning tool because the fun involved will hold your child's attention. They'll cover those much needed basic skills in a gentle manner. Below you will find a list of several popular board games and the skills that these games incorporate.

    Memory (The Original Memory Game)

    This game is simple. You have two identical sets of picture cards. You mix them up, place them face down on a hard surface, and then take turns flipping two cards over to find a matched pair. As the name states, this game works on memory and matching skills.

    I Spy

    Another classic, I Spy is actually 5 games in one-matching, listening, rhyming, reading, and memory. This game will enhance nearly all of the necessary pre-reading skills.

    Boggle Jr

    Playing Boggle Jr will teach letter recognition and later, spelling and reading. You can also use the playing pieces to teach letter sounds.


    You probably didn't expect to find Cootie on the list of games for pre-reading. However, games like this promote thinking skills and social communication as you play together.

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    A Word About Pretend Play

    Board games set the stage for social interaction and communication. You have rules to follow and an objective to adhere to. Sometimes it's important to throw out the rule book and allow a time for pretend play. Your preschooler can use board game pieces to create wonderful stories with crazy creatures who come to life in his imagination. Take a break from the rules of the game and let your preschooler pretend-play for a while. Freedom to pretend opens the doors to a whole world of learning.

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    Seal the Deal With Read-Alouds

    Once you've put the preschool reading games away for the day, don't forget to pull out a few good picture books to enjoy. Reading aloud to your preschooler will establish a natural connection between the skills used in the games and actual words and reading. Reading to your preschooler will give you another opportunity to encourage social interaction, language skills, letter recognition, and much more. Strong pre-reading skills are as near as your game shelf and book basket.

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    Access Another Resource

    Looking for more ideas to use at home? Bright Hub Education recommends some additional board games that can be used to teach your child the basic preschool math skills.