Thursday, January 17, 2013

Driving Over Hearts {A Simple Rhyming and Reading Game}

My son will be turning five next month and is starting kindergarten in the Fall. Each night before he goes to bed we have special reading and learning time together. This week we've been talking about rhyming words and have been sounding out simple words like hat, cat, ram, jam, etc. 

We decided to take the words we've been learning and create a simple game using some matchbox cars and paper hearts. 

Our Driving Over Hearts game is a fun way to search for rhyming or word family words and practice reading them! This game could easily be adapted for younger kids by using alphabet letters, shapes, or colors instead.

Supplies Needed: scissors, colored paper, marker, tape, and a matchbox car (or two or three)

How to set up the game:

Cut out several hearts from colored paper.

Write word family words or just rhyming words on each heart. Make sure you have several sets of rhyming words.

Tape the hearts down on the table. We taped ours onto drawing paper so that we can hang them up on the wall later.

How to play the game:

Choose a heart and read the word aloud.

Take your car and start on the word you read aloud and drive the car around the game board until you find a word that rhymes or is a word family word. 

Drive only on top of the hearts that go to together and try and avoid touching any of the other hearts.

Keep track of how many sets of word hearts (ex. sat, hat, rat, mat would all be one set) you are able to identify and drive over without touching the other words!

Play again and again until you get bored. 

Use the game set up as a springboard for more learning depending on your child's interests. My son wanted to create more and more rhyming hearts by writing them out himself, so we kept adding to our collection of hearts and then driving over them and then writing more and driving more. I loved how we managed to embed reading and writing into this activity.  

How to Adapt for Younger Kids:

Create hearts with numbers, letters, shapes, colors or a variety of everything. Have your child try and drive over all of the letters or all of the colors and avoid any of the other categories. If you just use letter hearts, have your child try and drive the car sequentially through the alphabet while singing the ABC song. Even younger kids could drive over all of the hearts that are one particular color and practice saying the color names while they are driving their cars.

Do you have any other fun ways that you like to practice reading and writing with your child?


  1. I love how this reading game has a Valentine's twist!

  2. Wow, great idea. I have a toy car crazy little boy who would really enjoy this idea! I like the fact that we can adapt it to practice anything, letters, numbers, words, shapes, etc.

  3. I like how versatile this game can be to practice letters, numbers, shapes, etc. My little toy car nut is going to love this one!

  4. Such a great idea~ I see adapting it for math too :-)

  5. Love this! My son is obsessed with all things with wheels -- I'm not sure if he's ready for words yet, but numbers or letters is definitely a possibility!

  6. Wanted to let you know I linked to this post in my post today... My son LOVED this activity!


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