Unraveling reading: the importance of games in teaching reading and writing (2023)

By Daniela Silva

Read in advance:

  • Teach writing and reading skills through play.
  • Movement as a pedagogical strategy for teaching and motivation
  • 10 Simple Ways to Raise Children Who Love to Read


It is vital to help your child develop new and lasting skills through specific learning exercises. Homeschooling moms are guiltlessly allowed to incorporate playtime into their educational program.

In the brain, learning takes place in the central nervous system through the exchange of synaptic connections. These connections change with each new information captured by the brain. And the formation of different synaptic connections results in new knowledge and skills.

What helps this process of developing new skills? The key is the quality of the stimuli. One of the best ways for a child to develop new cognitive skills is through play.

Unraveling reading: the importance of games in teaching reading and writing (1)

Play is essential to a child's overall development: the primary vehicle for play ismovement. It is through movement that children come to know and perceive the world around them, using their senses to communicate and establish relationships with the environment and with those around them.

The activity of playing stimulates the child's sensorimotor skills, activates a reward system in the brain, and exercises the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for planning and decision-making skills.

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The game promotes the development of various areas of the brain:

  • The Broca and Wernicke Centersthey are responsible for speech mobility and verbal comprehension. Singing songs and interacting with peers during playtime stimulates and promotes language development in children.
  • Academic skills are greatly improved through play.This includes teamwork, respecting the rules and space of others, listening and speaking skills, concentration and attention skills, and the development of strategic and creative thinking.
  • Play improves cognitive and emotional health.Playing helps activate a group of neurons that release the neurotransmitter dopamine. This chemical has multiple functions in the brain, including behavior, motor activity, motivation, reward, mood, anxiety, attention, and learning.
  • Playful activities exercise memory.The act of playing increases thinking, attention and concentration skills. In addition, the child develops reasoning and information processing speed, essential skills not only for school, but also for life.
  • Executive functions of the brain.Executive functions involve cognitive abilities such as focus, concentration, and coordination. In the classroom, they are essential in activities that require planning, reasoning, and strategic thinking skills.

Teach writing and reading skills through playful activities.

Before encouraging the child to practice reading, it is necessary to arouse motivation and curiosity through the literature that interests him.

Invite your child to go with you to a bookstore or library and offer him the opportunity to choose books that you can read together. Through this exercise, it is extremely important to remember to practice playful activities that develop reading and writing skills.

Unraveling reading: the importance of games in teaching reading and writing (2)

Here is a practical example. In a class of 5-year-olds, to teach the class to write their names and the names of their classmates, a teacher might use a "name hangman game." In this game, each child must say a different letter to form her name in the blank spaces on the flipchart. In case of error, the executioner is drawn by the master. Additionally, a “movable alphabet” is used so students can write their names by moving movable letters. This pedagogical practice positively contributes to learning and improving reading and writing skills.

Another way to encourage children's writing is to diversify activities in which each student can write and describe personal characteristics of people in their family, such as parents, uncles and grandparents. Children can use a photo they brought and write on it: where the photo was taken, who was there that day, or why this photo was chosen.

The purpose of this method is to awaken in your child the motivation for writing. You can suggest activities on topics that interest the student, such as writing assignments about their favorite books or movies, writing letters, or sending invitations or emails to selected recipients.

Movement as a pedagogical strategy for teaching and motivation

Educational Kinesiology is a pedagogical approach that uses movement as a teaching strategy. The movements used are grouped under the heading of Brain Gym, which are body movements that the student uses to develop and improve focus, concentration and attention to improve academic activities.

Kinesiology enhances learning in a playful and dynamic way, fostering new skills, ways of thinking and improvements in the writing and reading processes. Body movement promotes the development of new brain connections and helps students deal with difficulties related to laterality, sequencing, organization, and concentration.

When we play using our whole body, our brain releases neurotransmitters linked to the reward and pleasure system. In this way, we can see that positive emotions play a crucial role in our ability to learn with interest and motivation. Providing emotions favorable to learning is only possible if the process is motivating for the student. Without motivation or interest, there is no learning.

To develop effective learning, it is necessary to build and modulate new brain memories that are only connected to our brain if they present value and meaning for the student. Thus, negative emotions during the learning process can generate negative responses, such as stress or fear, which affect the student's attention and concentration. Therefore, learning through play and dynamic activities will make a difference in a student's academic abilities.

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This is an example ofhappy educationwhat is my bookunraveling the readingfocuses on helping homeschooling families and students with education and literacy. The book presents strategies and alternatives to develop reading and writing in children, youth and adults in a practical and dynamic way. Through various educational classes, the activities address three different learning styles, considering how the brain learns and processes information visually, auditorily, and kinesthetically.

unraveling the readingIt also includes sample activities to improve reading and writing skills through movement using the Brain Gym technique created by Dr. Pablo Dennison. The Brain Gym is made up of 26 movements that children, youth and adults can perform, with the aim of providing improvements in brain function (including improvements in the reading and writing process).

The practice of physical exercise contributes positively to the capacities of concentration, attention, attention and memory strengthening. Exercise increases blood flow, which is essential for increasing alertness and mental focus.unraveling the readingIt can serve as a learning guide for parents, students, and educators, advancing in the academic field and helping students overcome difficulties related to learning to read and write.


Daniela Silva is a Brazilian freelance writer and educator. She has a degree in Pedagogy from the Universidade Santa Cecília, Brazil, with an emphasis in School Management and Business Education; MBA in People Management from the Centro Universitário Monte Serrat, Brazil; and a postgraduate degree in Neuroeducation from the Estácio de Sá University, Brazil. Working with social projects in the field of e-learning and people development since 2009, Ms. Silva is a regular contributor to various educational websites, writing about classroom teaching practices; emotions and learning; school evaluation and planning; learning disorders; homeschooling, child brain development, parenting, Montessori education, andragogy, and people building. In addition, she develops training manuals for teachers and students and contributes as a mentor on an online platform, answering questions about career plans, college decisions, personal development, and professional skills. Working in collaboration withO New Heights Educational Group, Inc., published Unraveling Reading, a book about literacy and learning difficulties in reading and writing.

10 Simple Ways to Raise Children Who Love to Read

By Lisa A. Beach
New research from sources like the "National Endowment for the Arts Annual Core Survey" points to a downward trend in recreational reading, particularly among teens and young adults. The survey also points to an alarming decline in reading among college graduates.

One method to curb this disturbing trend is to instill a love of reading in your children from an early age, creating an intrinsic motivation to read.

Clinical psychologist Erica Reischer in the article "Can Reading Logs Ruin Reading for Kids?" at TheAtlantic.com she claims that required reading can destroy a child's love of reading.

“When the motivation to perform an activity comes from outside, through rewards or commands, it tends to undermine people's interest in doing that activity for its own sake,” Reischer writes. “This decreased motivation ultimately affects enjoyment, creativity, and even performance.”

Fortunately, there are many things you can do to foster a love of reading in your home. Let these ideas fuel your own family's love story with books as you raise children who love to read!

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1. Be a model reader.

Make sure your kids see you reading often, whether it's the morning paper, a magazine while dinner is cooking, or your favorite bedtime novel. Take books with you wherever you go, from a small paperback you keep in your bag, to some magazines you keep in your car, and a Kindle full of books for your next family vacation. First make books a habit in your own life.

2. Read to your children every day - it's like a daily vitamin for their brain!

If you need some ideas for good age-appropriate books, check out Notable Book Lists fromChildren's Library Services Association,common sense media,time magazine,good reads, miNew York Public Library.

3. Make friends with your local public library and visit it regularly.

In addition to allowing you to borrow books for free, many libraries offer many programs geared towards children. As you educate your children to love reading, consider taking them to:

  • story time
  • puppet shows
  • magic shows
  • craft workshops
  • chess clubs
  • summer reading programs
  • book clubs
  • teen tips

This will help your children see the library as a place to have fun and learn.

Download 44 Free Reading Lesson Plans for Grades 1-6 atClarendonLearning.org. It's also a great resource for free lesson plans on other topics!

4. Fill your house with books.

Yes, fill your house with books! Place reading material in baskets and shelves throughout the house: in the living room, family room, bathroom, etc.

5. Continue reading together as soon as your children can read on their own.

Of course, you want to applaud individual milestones and encourage individual reading. However, the many benefits of being read to will continue to accrue even when children are old enough to read on their own.

To read more about this interesting idea, read theNew York Times article, "Study finds that reading to children of all ages prepares them to read more on their own." Plus, reading together creates valuable bonding time for you and your kids!

6. Create a comfortable reading corner.

Maybe you have a cozy window seat with lots of natural light pouring in. Or maybe you have an ottoman that you can place next to a basket of books. Even just a comfortable chair will do.

Add fluffy pillows, a snuggle blanket, and good lighting for the perfect reading retreat to help cultivate a love of reading in your children.

7. Get kids hooked on a series.

For younger readers:

  • “Magic Tree House”
  • "Judy Moody"
  • "Brown Encyclopedia"
  • "Children of the Wagon"

For high school students:

  • “Gran Nate”
  • "The 39 clues"
  • "Chronicles of Narnia"

For older teens:

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  • "Lord of the Rings"
  • "The Tough Boys"
  • "Nancy Drew"

8. Don't throw away comics and cartoons.

Without the visual appeal of high-resolution graphics, it's sometimes hard to engage kids with a page full of words. Good comics and graphic novels can be the gateway to good literature if children equate reading with having fun.

I can trace some of my favorite childhood memories back to reading comics and collecting comics.

Drawn band:

  • Archie en Riverdale High
  • "flowerpot"
  • "Wendy the Good Witch"
  • “Small lotta”
  • "Casper the Friendly Ghost"

Comic Collections:

  • "Calvin y Hobbes"
  • "misery"
  • “Family Circus”

These days you can even find Christian manga onlibrocristiano.com, manga the Shakespeare andMangaShakespeare.comand classics like “Les Miserables” and “The Scarlet Letter” inMangaClassics.com.

9. Borrow, rent or buy audiobooks.

Listening to a great audiobook without worrying about vocabulary or correct pronunciation offers a convenient and easy way to lose yourself in a story. My kids' favorites were many classic titles like "King Arthur," "Arabian Nights," and "Rip Van Winkle," read by award-winning storyteller Jim Weiss.

Many public libraries offer free CDs to borrow, as well as audio MP3s to download or stream. While you can buy many iTunes audiobooks and join paid subscription services like Audible, you can also take advantage of free audiobooks from services that include some children's titles, but mostly classics for older kids and adults. These websites include:

10. Finish a favorite book with special treats and activities.

You can encourage your children to read by linking special foods and activities with those found in good books.

try ideas:

  • Blueberry Pie ("Blueberries for Salt")
  • Orange slices ("Very Hungry Caterpillar")
  • Peach Pie ("James and the Giant Peach")

Activity ideas:

  • Clue Finding Mission ("Nancy Drew" or "Hardy Boys")
  • Visit to a farm (“Charlotte’s Web”)
  • DIY magic show ("Half Magic")
  • Salt Mass Maps (“Troubled States of America”)

Overall, use these ideas to fuel your family's love story with books, and you'll increase your chances of engaging your children in a lifelong reading habit.

Have you been successful with a plan to raise children who love to read? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. I would love to hear about your experience!


Lisa Beach is a freelance journalist, copywriter, and recovering mom who lived to write about it. Visit her writer's website atLisaBeachWrites.com.

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What is the importance of reading games? ›

By using educational games in the classroom or homeschool, learning speed reading concepts is kept fresh and enticing. This allows students to get the repetition they need to learn increasingly abstract comprehension concepts as they explore new topics and learn techniques help them understand difficult texts.

What is the importance of teaching reading and writing? ›

Improved Communication Skills

The more you read and write, the more you broaden your vocabulary and are able to articulate concepts accurately and more effectively to others. Increasing your ability to communicate also helps make you a better worker or student.

What are the benefits of teaching games for understanding? ›

This approach allows students to first develop an overall sense of the sport, then, take a problem-solving approach to mastering skills. When they understand why each skill is important, students can apply the skills effectively during game play” (p.

What is the best way to teach reading and writing? ›

Here are a few strategies you can employ to implement this approach in your classroom:
  1. Emphasize connections between reading and writing. Many educators teach reading and writing separately. ...
  2. Use cognitive-strategy sentence starters to help students understand what an author is doing. ...
  3. Use mentor texts.

What is the most important between reading and writing? ›

Reading is a must if you want to write. But if you want improve yourselves, understand topics in a better way or express yourselves better I can guarantee that writing is more important.

What is the main purpose of teaching reading? ›

A child's reading skills are important to their success in school as they will allow them to access the breadth of the curriculum and improve their communication and language skills. In addition, reading can be a fun and imaginative time for children, which opens doors to all kinds of new worlds for them.

How games play an important part in the learning process of a child? ›

Learning through play is important and can help young children be ready for school, encourage their imagination and help them with literacy and numeracy skills. Role play games can help your child make sense of the world, aid in their emotional and physical development.

What is learning through games? ›

Using games as a medium for learning is called games based learning. Often times these games are created from the ground up to be used for teaching and learning. These are usually simulations or serious games. However, games can also be adapted for educational purposes. These are called learning games.

What different purposes do games serve for students? ›

5 Reasons Video Games Should Be More Widely Used In School
  • A long history. The use of video games in the classroom is nothing new. ...
  • Video games can help students stay in STEM. ...
  • They provide experiential learning. ...
  • Players learn from failure. ...
  • Students stay engaged in content. ...
  • Games make complex knowledge fun.
Sep 6, 2021

Do games affect students learning? ›

However, despite the multiple benefits of gaming and esports when played in moderation (see below), video game overuse has been shown to be a high-risk activity that can negatively impact academic success and 48% of student gamers agree that gaming keeps them from studying 4.

How can children improve their reading and writing skills? ›

Luckily, there are a few things you can do at home to help encourage your child's writing skills.
  1. Keep writing supplies on hand. ...
  2. Encourage journal writing. ...
  3. Use a chalkboard or family message board. ...
  4. Write letters. ...
  5. Provide writing prompts. ...
  6. Create a story board. ...
  7. Read before writing. ...
  8. Create your own storybook.
May 8, 2015

How can I improve my reading and writing skills in the classroom? ›

6 Strategies and activities for teaching reading comprehension and writing skills
  1. Build a foundation with phonemic awareness. ...
  2. Expand phonics skills. ...
  3. Becoming fluent readers. ...
  4. Develop and improve vocabulary. ...
  5. Dive deep into reading comprehension. ...
  6. Make grammar interactive.
Nov 22, 2022

What are the activities used to enhance reading and writing skills? ›

Activities like talking, singing, reading, storytelling, drawing and writing help to develop your child's literacy. For babies and younger children, try nursery rhymes, sound games, 'I spy', and books with rhyme, rhythm and repetition. For school children, look for words in billboards, signs and supermarket items.

Why reading is the most important skill? ›

The skill of reading is one of the most important we teach our children. It is a life skill that enables them to extend their concepts, gain information as the basis for other learning and to gain access to the magical world of fantasy.

What is the most important part of reading? ›

Reading fluency is a critical factor necessary for reading comprehension. If children read out loud with speed, accuracy, and proper expression, they are more likely to comprehend and remember the material than if they read with difficulty and in an inefficient way.

What is relationship between reading and writing? ›

“Writing and reading are related.” Research has shown that when students receive writing instruction, their reading fluency and comprehension improve. NCTE provides many resources that emphasize the reading and writing connection.

What are the 3 main importance of reading? ›

Why is reading good for you? Reading is good for you because it improves your focus, memory, empathy, and communication skills.

What are 3 reasons why reading is important? ›

Top 5 Reasons to Read Books Daily
  • Reading Improves Brain Function. A person who reads everyday gets better at it over time. ...
  • Reading Reduces Stress. Modern life is stressful – period. ...
  • Reading Can Improve Your State of Mind. ...
  • Reading Improves Overall Wellness. ...
  • Reading Aloud to Children Has a Lasting Impact.
Sep 28, 2018

What is the most important aspect of teaching reading? ›

The undisputed purpose of learning to read is to comprehend. Although children are initially limited in what they can read independently, comprehension instruction can occur as soon as they enter school. Comprehension depends, firstly, on a large, working vocabulary and substantial background knowledge.

What is Teaching Games for Understanding in coaching? ›

The idea of TGfU is for coaches to develop purposeful games so athletes can enhance performance through intrinsically motivating activities that involve decision-making and tactics. Coaches design practice sessions that are real to the competition itself, so athletes learn in a competition context.

What are the positives of the TGfU model? ›

Furthermore, TGfU has the potential to help students increase the amount of active participation, promote enjoyment, mental and physical engagement while they develop their motor skills (Griffin & Butler 2005).

What is the games for understanding model? ›

The Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU) Model:

The Teaching Games for Understanding model incorporates 6 key stages which include: (1) Game-Focus, (2) Game Appreciation, (3) Tactical Awareness, (4) Decision Making, (5) Skill Execution and (6) Performance (Thorpe & Bunker, 1986).


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