On this blog you will find various games to help with reading and spelling. These can be adapted for use in any language and provide a fun way to learn common words, phonic words or particularly tricky words! The blog will be updated with more games as the weeks go by!
a) PAIDHRICHEAN (Pairs) with some of the words from the story, common words, or the phonics words. Cut out small cards or pieces of paper and write each word on 2 different pieces. (An old cereal box is useful for this!). Place the cards upside down on the table and take turns to try and find a pair of words. Read each word as you turn it over. If you don’t find a pair, turn both cards upside down again and the other player can try. You can bring in spelling by asking your child to spell one of the words. If they spell it correctly they can have another go at finding it’s partner!
b) LORG AM FACAL (Spot the word): Write up to 20 sight words on separate pieces of paper. Use words you want your child to learn. Stick the words on a wall. Get a torch and dim the lights. Shine the light on a word. Ask your child to read the word. For variety try reading a word and asking your child find it with the torch. Make the activity even more fun using black paper and a glow-in-the-dark crayon or marker or foil letters.
c) CEUM NAM FACAL (Word walk): You will need blank pieces of paper or card (any number is fine but about 10 works well) and a felt tip pen (anything that can be read clearly). Write a facal cumanta or phonics word on each piece of paper. Create a path all around the house using the pieces of paper. Start at the beginning of the path and ask your child to read each word as they walk to the end of the path. The child can pick up a plate each time they read a word. Then shuffle the pieces of paper and create a new path. Maybe this time you could read the words and your child could tell you if you are correct or not!
d) FACAIL NEO-FHAICSINNEACH (Invisible words): You will need heavy white paper such as poster board or cardboard, a white crayon, watercolor paints, and a paintbrush. Using the white crayon, write sight words in a random pattern on the paper. Next, have your child paint on the paper with watercolor paints. As the words are revealed, ask them to read each word.
e) BINGO: Make a grid of between 6 and 10 boxes (adjust the size depending on how many words you are working on ) and write a facal cumanta or phonics word in each box. Next, give your child some counters (you can also use buttons, pasta pieces or other small objects) and read one of the words out loud. If your child can find the correct word, they can place a counter in the box. When they have completed a row or a column, they have won the game – bingo! This can work well if you are working with more than one child and they have different words to learn!
f) BUAIL AM FACAL (Sight word smash): You will need a few beanbags (rolled up socks work fine if you don’t have any beanbags!), pieces of card (you can cut up an old box / or use old envelopes), and a felt tip pen. Write a sight word on each card. Spread the word cards on the floor. Shout out words and have your child toss beanbags onto them. Next, have your child shout out the word and see if you can hit them with the beanbags.
g) THOIR DHOMH AM FACAL (Bring me the word): Write the words you are learning in large letters on pieces of paper or card and stick them up around the house or in a safe space outside. One person calls out a word and the other person has to run/walk/hop/skip to the word, write it on their whiteboard and bring it back to the person who called it out. If they have written the word correctly, they swap places. If not, they have another go.
h) MIREAN MEASGAICHTE (Jigsaw): Many children love puzzles! Take a 20 to 100-piece puzzle, depending on the size of puzzle your child can handle, and write a sight word on the back of each piece. Have your child pick up a piece and read the word before putting it in the puzzle. If they struggle with the word, read it to them and put the piece aside for them to come back to and try again. You could make a puzzle of your own by cutting an old birthday card into about 10 – 12 pieces and writing one of the words your child is learning on the back of each piece.
i) GLAC AN LITIR (Catch the letter): This works a little bit like the catching game Donkey, but instead of getting a letter every time you drop the ball, you get a letter every time you catch the ball. You need at least 2 people to play. See how quickly you can spell the word between you! Choose a word that you are learning to spell and write it clearly on your whiteboard. Put the whiteboard where everyone playing can see it. Start throwing the ball to each other. Every time somebody catches the ball, you ‘get’ one letter of the word at a time. For example, if your word is ‘chunnaic’, when somebody catches the ball you all shout out C, the next time it is caught you all shout out CH and so on. You could time yourselves and see if you can spell the word faster the next time you play.
j) LEUM AGUS LEUGH (Sight word hopscotch) Draw a hopscotch grid on your pavement or driveway. Instead of marking each square with a number, write a sight word that your child is working on. When your child’s pebble / toy/beanbag lands on that square, have them try to read the word. As you continue to play the game, the words will become more committed to memory.
k) LITRICHEAN MEASGAICHTE: (jumbled-up letters): Write the following letters on little squares of paper or card, depending on which set your child is working on. You can use the letters from a game of Scrabble for this if you have one, but you will need to make special cards for some of the letters such as ò. Say one of the sight words and ask your child to find the letters and put them in the right order to spell the word. To make it easier, give them the letters and ask them to put them in the right order, or let them see the word written down and find the letters to spell that word.
Facail chumanta 1: a, c, d, e, g, h, i, m, n (x2), o, s
Facail chumanta 2: a (x2), b, c (x2), d (x2), e, g, h (x2), i (x2), l, m (x2), n (x2), o, r,
s (x2), t, u, a-, ò, ‘S, ì, a’
Facail chumanta 3: a (x3), b, c (x2), d, e (x2), g, h (x2), i (x2), l, m , n (x2), o, r (x2), s, t, u, à, è,ò, ì, a’, h-, n-
Facail chumanta 4: a (x2), b, c, d, D, e, g, h (x2), i (x2), l, m , n (x2), o, r (x2), s, t (x2), u, à, è, ò, ì, a’, an-, a-, d‘, dh’ , h-, co-, ‘s
You can make this more like a game by sharing out the cards. Each player can then try to make as many different words from the letters they have as possible. For this it is a good idea to have the list of words somewhere handy! You could give a point for each different word each player can make with the letters they get.
l) 3 ann an sreath / 3 in a row (geama airson 2 / a game for 2): Make a grid of 9 boxes like this on a whiteboard. Make sure the boxes are large enough to write words in.
Each player chooses 3 sight words they are learning to spell and writes them on a piece of paper. Turn the piece of paper upside down. Players take turn about to write one of their words in a box on the grid. If they spell it correctly they can leave it in the grid. If it is wrong they have to rub it out and learn the word for next time. The aim is to get 3 words in a row.
Another version of this game can be played by writing one of the sight words that you are learning in each box. Players take it in turn to read or spell one of the words. If they read / spell it correctly they can cover it with a counter of their colour. If they don’t know what it says or gets it wrong, the other player has a turn. The aim is to get 3 counters in a row.