Young children are notorious for asking parents to read a favorite book over and over and over again! To you, it might seem like a broken record but this repetitive behavior actually helps reinforce their memory skills, reading comprehension, and develop better listening skills! With this activity, you'll use your child's favorite book to play a game that requires him to remember details about the story.
Prepare by making the spinner. Draw a circle on a piece of cardstock and divide it into four sections. Label one section, "Who?", another "What?", another "When?", and the last one "Where?"
Unfold the paper clip and poke it through the center of the cardstock. Bend the end that's sticking out of the bottom so it doesn't fall out.
Then invite your child to select his favorite book of the moment, and read the story together. Ask him questions such as, Who are the characters in the story? Where did the story take place? What happened in the story? Then select a different book and read it together.
Now break out the spinner and explain the rules. He takes a spin and whichever section it lands on, he answers a question about it.
Invite him to spin it, and ask away! See how well he pays attention and for each correct answer, give him a point or a sticker. When he's received a certain amount of points, give him a special prize like a new set of markers or a trip to the movies.
To make this activity a little more challenging, use the spinner as a story-writing tool. Let him spin the spinner and write, illustrate, or dictate to you a detail for his story. He'll get to decide the who, what, when and where and will surely come up with some crazy ideas!
Latrenda Knighten has spent 19 years teaching in a variety of elementary school classrooms, from kindergarten through fifth grade. For nine of those years, she taught kindergarten. She also served as an elementary school math and science specialist. She lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.