Chatterboxes (or fortune tellers or cootie catchers) are one of those classic toys that epitomise childhood…I remember lots of laughter playing with them with my cousins on summer holidays. This beginning reader game is a bit of a twist on the traditional chatterbox, perfect for sneaking in a little revision of high frequency sight words and early reading strategies, whilst also having a giggle.
Silly Sentence Chatterboxes
- You will need a square of paper. Ours was the width of an A4 page – 21 centimetres.
- Fold your chatterbox according to the instructions found here (or you could google up a Youtube video).
- The next step is to form your silly sentences using high frequency sight words, words that are simple to sound out phonetically and interest based words that your child is already familiar with (like ‘fairy’ for my fairy obsessed one).
- On the outside (top layer) of your chatterbox, write the beginning of your sentence (see photo above). To give Immy lots of practice reading and spelling sight words such as does, my, the and will, our sentences starts with combinations such as, ‘Does the,’ ‘Will my’ and ‘Can a.’ You can simplify this even further using just one word as the sentence starter – for example: the, a, my.
- On the first inside layer add a choice of subjects to your sentence. These can be one word subjects – such as dog or cat, or you can add one or two descriptive words to each sentence as we have done (sneak in as much reading as you can, I say!). Also number both sides of each flap (see the outer triangles on the picture above).
- On the very inside layer, write the verb or silly ‘doing’ part of your sentence. Again, stick to simple words but try to make them a little fun too! (And yes, these sentences should really end in question marks!)
1. Ask your child to read and choose a sentence starter from the outside of the chatterbox. Spell out the word/s as you open and close the chatterbox.
2. Ask your child to read and choose a subject from the choices on the inside of the chatterbox that are open on the last letter spelt (you should only be able to see four choices). Spell out the chosen word/s as you open and close the chatterbox.
3. Ask your child to choose a number from the choices on the inside of the chatterbox that are open on the last letter spelt. Open the flap corresponding flap and read the end of the silly sentence together.
4. Swap over and have fun letting your child be in charge this time…you might just have a hard time getting it back off them though!
Do you know an early reader who would have fun with a silly sentence chatterbox?