The Top 6 Types of Repurposed Games: From Precision to Super Silliness
No one knows quite how to breathe new life into something old quite like a teacher. Since Orton-Gillingham students require extensive practice to reach mastery of the concepts being taught, one of the best ways to practice is to incorporate lots of games into your lessons. While card games are easy to make and effective for practice, today I want to introduce you to some other options that you may not have thought of. Repurposing games you have lying around the house or that you find at yard sales or thrift stores can add some variety and humor to your Orton-Gillingham lessons or small group literacy intervention lessons.
These are some of my favorite games to repurpose. You DO NOT have to break the bank and buy them brand new. Here are a few ways to find them.
- “Borrow” (ahem) steal them from your own kids. It’s not really stealing if they aren’t using them anymore. Much like the Halloween candy we “inspect,” don’t let them see you do it.
- Yard Sales: A gold mine of used goods or white elephant galore, you NEVER know when you might scarf up a game to use for a lesson.
- Online: You can score games online for a real steal if you time it right. I actually find them cheaper than the ones I see in the big box toy stores.
- Dollar Stores: Every teacher’s not so dirty secret. You can score a knock off of Jenga pretty easily in a dollar store, and it works just fine. Trust me. Sets of checkers where you stick on circle dots written with words for kids to read or syllabicate. Lots of good games can be found here. You just have to put on your bargain hunter hat.
- Dollar Spot. WHY is the Target Dollar Spot right when you walk into the store? I come in for one thing, Target and bam… hundreds later! Anyway, the dollar spot can be an easy place to find game pieces or sets of small games like dry erase dice, (which was a total score for me by the way, Target) and so much more. So go there, too.
Games You Can Repurpose
1. Jenga By writing words on the Jenga blocks, the game of balance and manual dexterity also becomes a chance to practice reading words of a certain syllable type or spelling pattern. You can use a fine point permanent marker, but if you would like to re-use the game for a variety of concepts, you may want to consider a less permanent option. Using dry erase tape on the side of the blocks and writing on them with wet-erase markers makes a temporary option that isn’t too easily erased accidentally. If you are really lucky, you might even happen to find a giant Jenga game to build a life size tower. To read more about how I just Jenga blocks, GO HERE.
2. Interactive Games Operation, Pop the Pig, Crocodile Dentist, Pop up Pirate, Connect 4 and Don’t Break the Ice are all fun for all ages games that are fairly quick to play and lend themselves to taking a turn for each task completed. Whether it is reading or spelling a word, or even completing a lesson component, taking a turn to feed the pig or put their finger in the crocodile’s mouth will add a little spice to your lessons. You can play for points from completed tasks until the crocodile chomps or the ice breaks and play as many rounds as time allows.
3. Board Games With the use of word cards, almost any board game (Checkers, Sorry, Candyland, Chutes and Ladders) can be turned into a learning game. For every roll of the dice or flick of the spinner, the student reads a word card or completes a spelling task. To incorporate a little movement break, I like to designate certain spots on the game board for doing a silly dance.
Headbandz is a guessing game. Each player wears a plastic headband with a card that everyone but them can see. They ask yes or no questions to try to determine what the object on their card is. Using phoneme cards instead, you can ask questions like whether a card is a vowel or consonant, voiced or unvoiced, a lip sound or tongue sound, whether it has more than one letter and even whether the grapheme has more than one possible sound. This is really great practice for students not only in asking the questions they need to ask in order to successfully guess their own card, but also in correctly answering your questions.
These games are all kid tested and teacher approved. Feel free to let me know if you have any questions. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog today!
If you need holiday gift ideas that could potentially be repurposed, be sure to check out
Enjoy the sale!
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