Although Immy has been unofficially learning to read since she was born, this year she started pre-primary (children turning five and six) which sees her taking her first, tentative steps on the more formal path of learning to read. One major component of their learning program involves learning letter-sound relationships or phonics. Following Immy’s interest, we have been playing with letters and letter sounds for almost two years now and so I have been looking for some fresh, playful ideas for reinforcing her learning at home…
1. Twist It! Draw nine circles with chalk onto the pavement, three rows of three circles, spread out like a Twister game board. Add one letter that your child is learning the sound of to each circle. Get your child stretching, moving and twisting with a series of verbal instructions. For example;
“Put your right hand onto the /b/”
“Put your left foot onto the /t/”
“Put your left hand onto the letter that this word begins with – apple.”
2. Alphabet Rocks: This type of resource is great for reinforcing abstract concepts with physical (or kinesthetic) learners who like to touch, feel and handle things. Make one set for a simple game of finding the corresponding letter to a spoken sound or the initial sound of a word that you say or make two sets (either two sets of lower case letters or one set of lower case and one of upper case for an additional challenge) for a game of Concentration.
3. Magazine Hunt: Have fun hunting for letters! Use a marker pen to circle the letter representing the letter sound they are learning in a magazine, newspaper or shop catalogue.
4. Bathtime Bonanza: Add a set of craft foam letters (you’ll need a set that are not self adhesive) to bath time. When wet the letters will cling to the bath tiles or shower screen.
5. Make Your Own Letter-Sound Book or Wall Frieze: Encourage your child to find and photograph a household object representing each letter they have learnt. Print the images out to make into a book or wall frieze, adding your own text by hand or before printing. You’ll find a gorgeous example here (but truly your children will enjoy the process even if it the finished book is not quite so polished).
Do you have any suggestions for playful letter-sound learning?
- Learning Letters Playfully
- 10 Pre-Writing Activities for Under 5s
- 10 Ways to Motivate Your Child to Love Reading
- Check out my Read and Write with Kids board over at Pinterest
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Christie Burnett says