It’s me, Mrs. Moore, again, and I am excited to share ideas with you about how to foster and enhance your child’s reading skills! For the month of December, I would like to focus on Phonics/Phonemic Awareness games you can play at home, or while you are on the road. Some games you could play together are:
- Letter Races:This game requires a magnetic board, magnetic letters, and a lot of space! Set up the magnetic board on one side of the room, and place the magnetic letters in a basket or bowl on the other side. Call out a sound, or a word starting or ending in a particular sound. Then ask your child (with a ready, set, go!) to pick out the correct magnetic letters and run over as fast as they can to stick it on the board.
- I Spy the Sound: This is a fun way to build phonics skills and phonemic awareness. In this variation of the classic game, ‘I Spy’, ask your child to spy words that begin with a certain sound, rather than a letter. For example, “I spy with my little eye, something beginning with mmm.”
- Matching Rhymes: Rhymes help children understand that sounds in our language have meaning and follow certain patterns. Find a corkboard or something you can stick pins into. Write down a list of words on one side of a sheet of paper, and on the other side write down words that rhyme with these words, but in a different order. Then stick pins next to each word. Give your child some rubber bands and ask them to match the rhyming words on each side of the page by placing the rubber bands on the pins to connect the rhyming pair.
- Phonics Hopscotch:This game helps children develop their ability to match letters to their sounds. All you need for this fun phonics activity is a piece of chalk and the ground. Simply draw hopscotch markings on the ground (how many squares and in what shape they are arranged is up to you). In each square draw a letter of the alphabet (you may want to draw both the upper and lower case letters in each). There are many ways you can play this game – you can call out a letter or combination of letters and ask your child to jump on those letters, and as they do, for them to sound out each letter. Or you can ask your child to jump on the letters in alphabetical order, sounding them out as they go along. You can also roll dice and ask your child to jump to the square that matches the number rolled, counting the squares as they jump and sounding the letter out at the end.
- Phonic photo scavenger hunt:Have your child create a photo album, either physical or digital, with a photo of an item for every letter sound: “a” for anthill to “z” for zoo. This is an easy way to keep the learning flowing while on vacation or on the go. This can be done again and again to learn new sounds like “ch” or “sh.”
- Mystery bag: In this tactile activity. You’ll place three objects in a bag—like a ball, bug and button for the letter “b”—have your child name each item, and guess the “mystery letter” that unites all of the objects. If you have more than one little one learning phonics, you can have them fill a bag for the others with objects around the house to have the others guess.” (https://www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/education/blog/phonics-activities-for-preschoolers/).
I hope you and your child/children have a wonderful time playing and learning together!
Katy Moore, M.Ed.