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Sometimes, my daughter welcomes a change from narrations, conventional writing assignments, and our curricula. Increasingly schoolteachers, homeschooling parents, and day care providers are using various kinds of educational games (store bought or homemade), file folder activities, and book-making activities with children.

I have always loved educational games (don't let me get a Mindware catalog in my hands - I'm like a kid in a candy shop!) Five years ago, I developed a game titled "Crazy Phrases," for children learning to read. You will find that, free for your use, on this page. I will add some of our other ideas for learning games (as time permits). You will also find some of my favorite links for free downloadable games and ideas for making homemade games.

File folder games are very popular. It is an incredibly versatile kind of activity which can be made with an inexpensive file folder and a few simple craft supplies. Eventually, I will include some of these on this page, as well.

"Lapbooking" seems to be a very popular trend among homeschoolers. I first learned of this concept on another site. At the time, my daughter was 9 and, despite having developed strong organizational and writing skills, was very intimidated at the prospect of writing a paper. I saw the "lapbook" concept as a good way to "jazz up" her writing project (which was on golden retrievers), allow her to use other creative skills (such as drawing, collaging, etc.), and make the project seem more fun and less threatening. We have made several "lapbooks." I am enjoying them so much that I may make them a regular part of our homeschool.

"Crazy Phrases": Free Reading Game & Phonics/Sight Reading Activities

These are in PDF format; you can access them if you have Adobe Reader 4.0 or higher (click here to download Adobe Reader for free).

You are welcome to use these materials for free in any way that is helpful to you and your family, under the following terms:
1. All artwork and game components remain copyright of the author (c 1999 Stephanie Marshall Ward). Please do not put them on-line or reprint them (except for personal use) without permission.
2. Please sign the guestbook, and let me know you found them useful :).

Main Set of Cards (contains word families) - 10 pages
These pages contain 26 groups of rhyming words (there is some variation in phonetic patterns among the words on each of these lists); rhyming words are color coded to match each other (there are several errors - my apologies!)

Second Set of Cards - 3 pages
These pages contain some other words for sentence-building activities, including prepositions, pronouns, helping verbs, and other common words.

Blank Cards for Writing Your Own Words - 1 page
Make as many copies of this page as you need.

Other Game Components - 4 pages
This includes a page of blank cards for writing your own words, animal tokens for the "Phrase Maze" game, and a "Phrase Maze" game board in two parts (the left side is first, then the right; you may want to glue them together on a piece of cardstock or cardboard about 12" x 18").

Game Directions

Dolch Sight Word Cards

These are in PDF format; you can access them if you have Adobe Reader 4.0 or higher (click here to download Adobe Reader for free).

Pre-Primer Level: Page 1, Page 2

Primer Level: Page 1, Page 2

Grade 1 Level: Page 1, Page 2

Helpful Resources:

On-line Resources:

Stephanie Marshall Ward

This page was last updated on 7/30/04. All materials are copyright of the author.

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