Reading Skills: Wrong Word!

Using Silly Words To Develop Comprehension

Using context to “fill in the blanks” when you come to a tricky word is a key reading strategy. It’s also as an important skill for listening comprehension as it is common to mishear words when you are in every-day situations.

In play, you can have fun with this by inserting silly words on purpose so your child can get satisfaction from correcting you.

Set Up

Read a story or sing a song/nursery rhyme and randomly replace a word. Your children have to call out “Wrong Word!”, or they could hit a drum or ring a bell, every time they hear a word that doesn’t make sense. They then need to suggest a better word that you could use. Any word that makes sense in the story is acceptable.

You can use any story book – even their home reader if they have started to bring some home. We have included a couple of classic stories for you to download to start you on your way.


  1. Use a rhyming book and change the word at the end of the line so your child must suggest a word that rhymes with the previous line.
  2. If your child knows a song or story really well, swap roles and get them to change a word as they tell you the story.
  3. For older children, use replacement words that are a little closer to the target word, while of for younger children, make your replacement word completely ridiculous.
  4. This is a great travelling game for the whole family – do it while you are out and about. Play it with grandparents and friends.


Also Works On: Attention & Listening, Understanding Others, Problem Solving, Working Memory, Vocabulary Development, Expressive Language, Playing with Language


Activity Materials


You Will Need...

  • Story book or familiar rhyme