Word Train Game

This game is a fantastic way to practise reading and spelling words. It’s also a great way to reinforce phoneme-grapheme recognition.

Set up

  • Print Train and Carriage Template
  • Photocopy one engine per child and five carriages per child
  • Cut out individually and laminate
  • Use a whiteboard marker to write one target grapheme on each carriage
  • Have the children sit in small groups with a hula-hoop in the centre of each group
  • You will need around 20 tokens per group
  • N.B. make sure you have more vowels than consonants

How to play

  • The dealer gives an engine and three carriages to each child. The remaining carriages are placed face down inside the hula-hoop.
  • The player to the dealer’s left starts. Have the child make a word with his or her carriages. If the child cannot make a word, turn a carriage over in the centre of the hoop to reveal a grapheme.
  • Ask the child again if a word can be made by swapping one of his or her carriages for the revealed grapheme carriage.
  • If the child chooses to swap a carriage to make a word, they must place the unwanted carriage face down in the hula-hoop.
  • He/she earns one token for making a word, and the child to the left takes a turn, following the same steps.
  • If the child cannot make a word with their new carriage grapheme, it is turned back over and no token is earned.
  • The player who has the most tokens wins.

To make the game harder, write a camera word on the long carriage, and have children make captions to earn a token, or add an extra carriage allowing them to make longer words.

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