Hidden Object- A Hands On Learning Reading Game

My secret to teaching reading is through hands on learning activities and games.


I NEVER use workbooks or worksheets.


When I say "hands on learning," I mean any kind of learning where your child is actively participating in creating new knowledge or solving a problem. This is also called learning by doing.


From your own childhood, did you ever really learn something from a worksheet? I remember the projects, the games, the activities that got me and my classmates up and moving, creating, and solving problems.


Hidden Object is a hands on learning game that combines reading skills with a fun, element of surprise.


How to Play Hidden Object- A hands on learning game:


What you'll need-

  • 5 opaque containers, like cups or bowls.

  • Post-Its

  • Marker

  • 1 small, special object of your choosing


Version 1, Letters and Letter Sounds:

On the Post-its, write the letters your child is learning. If you're child is just starting to recognize letters, I recommend starting with the letters of their name.


In this version, children will either say the letter name or the letter sounds as they lift each bowl on the hunt for the hidden object.

Hands on learning letter recognition game

Version 2, Reading Words:

If your child has moved into reading, try sight words or CVC words in a particular word family (cat, rat, bat, sat, etc).


Another idea would be to include words that have a new sound they've just learning like digraphs: sh, wh, th, and ch.

CVC Words Hands on Learning Game


Invite your child to play:

  1. Say, "I've hidden a special object under one of these containers. Before you check under the container you must read the letter or word on that container's note."

  2. Remind your child to read the letter or word before they can look under the container for the hidden object.

  3. Once they find the hidden object, have them close their eyes and start again!

Hands on Learning at all levels of literacy:

This simple hands on game can be used for so many different skills: letter sounds, letter identification, sight words, CVC words, digraphs, etc.


In this instance, Big Sis was practicing reading CVC words (consonant vowel consonant words) that had different vowels in the middle. If I notice her struggling with a specific vowel or letter sound, I would put more words with those sounds on the Post its.


Reading CVC Words Activity

Hands-On Learning Games + Reading Comprehension:

Whenever I discuss early literacy skills like reading CVC words and sight words, I want to reinforce that all the games and wonderful activities are only part of the reading puzzle. The biggest thing you can do for your child to have success with reading from an early age is read to them everyday.


Guiding questions as you read aloud with your child:

  • What kind of letters do you see

  • What words?

  • Who is in the story?

  • What's the problem in the story?

  • Take a look through a book before reading and see if the pictures give you clues as to what might happen.

  • Make predictions as you go along.

  • Retell or sequence events in the story

Like teaching your child through hands on learning games? Want to teach you 4-5 year old to read using hands on learning? Check out The Fun Club!



Hi, I'm Ashley!

I'm a teacher Mama on a quest to make learning fun and simple. I want to empower BUSY parents, like you, to teach and connect with their children through play based learning and hands-on activities. 

Follow me as I try way too hard at becoming

 a Pinterest mom.

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