It’s said that children of readers become readers themselves. It’s always good for kids to see adults reading for pleasure. I realized on our vacation that there is a similar passing down of word games. I love a good word game, and for my husband and me, having a vacation means having time to play Scrabble. With a board always out, it was only a matter of time before the 4-year-olds discovered it and decided to play a game of their own. After making a grid of made-up words and asking us to read their creative spellings, the kids moved on to searching for the whole alphabet.
I shouldn’t be at all surprised. On a typical weekend morning, you’ll find my husband and I on Facebook on computers across the room playing our turns on Lexulous (the Scrabble-like game that’s far superior to the Facebook Scrabble app) and our daughter runs back and forth between us, helping us put our letters on the virtual boards.
Imitating play on these word games is great for letter recognition practice, and for letter writing practice there’s crossword puzzles. I love a good crossword, and whenever my daughter sees me doing one she runs up, grabs the pencil out of my hand, and starts filling in letters at random. (Yes, it took me a while to relinquish crossword puzzle control in this way.)
Through these word games I really see my daughter experimenting with letters and letter sounds, and she really shows her curiosity about reading. So I say let your kids into the game, and you never know what they might learn.