Books & Play: Enhancing Reading Comprehension In a Fun Way.

Welcome to the March Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival: Discovering through Books
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival hosted by The Positive Parenting Connection and Authentic Parenting. This month our participants have investigated what role books have played in their lives. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
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Our book shelves are overflowing these days and there are even more books piled on the floor and stuffed into drawers.  Books and reading are probably one of our most favorite activities on any day. We have even been spotted reading and doing groceries at the same time.

Besides reading, we also love to play with and explore the stories we read about. One of our favorite reading based games is called “Is it in the book?” Aside from being loads of fun, this activity also enhances reading comprehension, vocabulary and attention skills.  This is how we play:

First we read the story. Then we go around the house hunting for objects that “belong” to the story. Next we grab a few objects that definitely “do not belong” in the story and we put them all on the table.  We read through the story again and try to match the objects to the drawings and story line.

Recently we played with “The Very Lonely Firefly” by Eric Carle.

 Here you can see Bella with all the objects we used to play with

Here you can see Bella with the flash light and the book reads “…It was a flashlight shining in the night. “

Here you can see Bella found the cat and the book reads “a cat and…hiss, meow”

 The Dog in the book, our toy dog and a dog collar.

We go on and on for each page, touching the different objects and seeing if we can “find it in the story” or not.

Sometimes we also look for objects that match colors or numbers in the story.  We had for example a blue rhythm egg on the table, there are no eggs in the story, but the egg is blue like the sky in the story.

Then we also make groups, in this case putting all the animals on one side of the table, all things that make light on the other side of the table and so on.

For my boys that are  4 years and almost 6 years old, we also play a variation on this game.  Each child pulls one object out of the bag, tells everyone if it belongs to the story, if so, why and where in the story the object is present.  Using the same book above as an example, if Nicolas pulls out a flashlight from the bag, then he could tell us “There was a guy holding a flash light, when the firefly was looking for light.”

Bringing the stories to life is a lot of fun and a wonderful learning opportunity. The same activity can even be adapted to an older child.  With my soon to be six year old we have even done it with chapter books, focusing on one or two chapters at a time.  Since there were no illustrations, we just picked objects by remembering the text of the story which really flexed our memory and comprehension skills.

Do you and your children play any book based games or activities? Please share your ideas!

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Visit The Positive Parenting Connection and Authentic Parenting to find out how you can participate in the next Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

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Ariadne is a happy and busy mama to three children. She practices peaceful, playful, responsive parenting and is passionate about all things parenting and chocolate. Ariadne has a B.S. in Communication, is a certified Positive Discipline Parenting Educator, and has completed several graduate courses in child development, psychology and family counseling. She lives on top of a beautiful mountain with her family, one cuddly dog and "bluey" the fish.

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19 thoughts on “Books & Play: Enhancing Reading Comprehension In a Fun Way.

  1. Pingback: The Wonderful World of Children’s Books | lovenotesmama

  2. Pingback: The Wonderful World of Children’s Books | lovenotesmama

  3. Pingback: Beyond Reading: How Books Help Us Live and Learn « alivingfamily

  4. This is a great idea! Definitely going to give this a try. Our main reading ‘game’ at the minute is acting out the actions ~ aomeone reads the story out, and everyone else present gets given a role (parents, grandparents, baby, cuddy animals, cups…), and we have to act the story out. She’s from a family of actors, and she’s definitely got the acting gene.

  5. You seem to be missing some of the participants
    I’m always jealous when I read this type of post (silly me). I never get to these elaborate games…

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  6. Pingback: Beyond Reading: How Books Help Us Live and Learn « alivingfamily

  7. Pingback: I love books! And I hope my daughter does, too. | Old New Legacy

  8. Pingback: Reconnecting through Reading « living peacefully with children

  9. That is so cool! What fun ideas for the different age groups. I love how you’ve made reading so tactile.

    We’ve lately been acting out Clip-Clop by Nicola Smee. I’m the horse, of course!

  10. What an awesome idea! I haven’t started to think of games to go along with books. Right now it’s just fun to watch her point out objects in the illustrations or to listen to her ‘read’ the book out loud. Thanks for the inspiration!

  11. Pingback: Sunday Surf: March 25-31 | Old New Legacy

    • Jennifer – yes totally like a scavenger hunt :) I don’t know why the term for it didn’t jump right at me…thank you!

  12. How old is your little one? My lil man is 20 months and has always loved books. I think this activity will work for his age. Sounds fun!

    • Andrea, I think 20 months is a great time to try this! We started games like this around 18 months or so and as mine grow we change it up a bit to keep it interesting. Enjoy!

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