Here is another game to help your child learn to read and strengthen their reading skills!
Game 2: Follow the Light! Ages 4 and up. This game is great for developing the ‘bilateralism’ capabilities of the brain. This is a necessary brain function for reading skills because scientists have shown that reading involves both hemispheres and their lobes. There is not just one side or lobe of the brain for reading alone.
Materials needed: two flashlights; open space to walk in.
Directions: Keep it simple to begin with, especially for younger children. Use one flashlight held in whichever hand they prefer. Ask your child to walk forward and when they do, they are to shine the flashlight beam on the toes of the foot that is in front! Do not switch the hand holding the flashlight during this exercise. It stays in the same hand. As they continue to walk they switch the beam, only, to shine on the toes of the foot which is leading. Each step means they switch the light beam to the leading foot. Go slowly at first and then as they become more adept you can speed their walking pace up.
Now ramp up the challenge. Take both flashlights, one in each hand. When they walk, ask them to shine the beam on the leading foot with the flashlight that is in that foot’s matching hand. In other words, left hand shines beam on left foot when it is leading and right hand shines beam on right foot when it is leading. Now for bilateral development. The ultimate challenge is to now use opposite hand to opposite foot while walking. When the left foot is leading, the right hand shines the flashlight beam on the left toes and when the right foot leads, the left hand shines the flashlight beam on the right toes. Pick up the walking speed as the dexterity increases so eventually your child can walk at their normal pace and stride while focusing the light beam on the opposite leading foot!
Science supports that many who struggle to read can benefit from the use of movement when learning. Here is a great opportunity to incorporate both for your child. While your child walks and flashes the light beam on their toes, have them recite the alphabet. One letter to each step. Or have your child recite the letters that spell a ‘sight word’, again saying one letter to each step and light beam focus. You can even use this method for number counting, addition, multiplication…Shine On!