*Check out Carl's Corner to view tons of alphabet games.*
1. Letter Hunt: Have your child use a permanent marker to hunt for specific letters in the pantry or newspaper. Your child can just circle the letter every time he/she finds it. Before dinner every night, pull out your can for the evening and have your child touch each letter that is circled and say the letter name and sound.
2. Eye Spy in the Car: While driving down the road, play Eye Spy. I spy a letter that makes the /d/ sound, an animal that starts with /k/, the capital letter W, etc.
3. On the Go Alphabetical Order: Keep a magnetic cookie sheet and a tub with magnetic letters in the car. Have your child practice putting the letters in ABC order. Your child could also spell sight words.
4. Pudding Bags: Activity is listed in the sight word section of the web page. Just have your child practice letter writing instead of sight words. Make sure he/she says the letter name as well as the letter sound.
5. Alphabet Font Book: Staple together 28 pages. On the front cover of the book, write the title: Letters A-Z. Write a capital and lowercase letter on the center top of each page. Have your child use magazines, newspapers, etc. to cut out various letters in different fonts. Each letter should be glued onto its page in the book. A glue stick would be helpful to use so that the pages do not stick together.
6. Letter Sort: Dump a bunch of magnet letters in to a pile. Have your child sort the letters into groups. Some sample ways to sort are: curves/no curves, capitals/lowercase, tall/short, above the line/below the line, etc.Most activities that are listed under the sight word section of the web page can be modified to use with letters and sounds.
7. Capital and Lowercase Match: Lay all the cards out, capital and lowercase. Players take turns matching the capital and lowercase letters together. Players must then say the letter name and sound. If correct, that player gets to collect the cards. (Can even do this with the cards turned upside down. That makes it more challenging because then it also becomes a memory game) First player to collect the most wins.
8. Letter/Sound Point: Lay some of the cards out, facing up. Take turns pointing to a card, saying its name and sound. If correct, player gets to collect the card. First player to collect the most wins.
Beginning & Ending Sounds
1. Picture Card Sort: Have your child cut pictures from magazines and newspaper ads. The pictures can be glue onto index cards to allow them to be used over and over again. Lay out all of the picture cards. Sort the pictures by beginning sounds or ending sounds. Make letter cards to place above each sorted pile of cards.
2. Shout It Out: This game can be played while in the car or taking a walk. Say three words. For example… red, rabbit, rope. Your child should shout out the sound at the beginning of the word. You can alter the game by saying three words that end the same. For example, hat, pot, great. If you choose to play the game with ending sounds, making a list of words to use would be a good idea. It takes much more time to come up with words that end the same.
Segmenting & Blending
1. Blending Slap Jack: Using picture cards, lay cards out face up on the table. Say a picture card word very slowly… /c/a/t/. Your child will slap the correct picture… cat. Continue until all cards have been slapped.
2. Head, Hands, Lobster Claws: Show a 3 phoneme picture card. For example… rug or fish. Let’s use fish in our example. Have the child say the word aloud. The child will now tap each individual sound on his/her head. Tap forehead and say /f/. Tap nose and say /i/. Tap chin and say /sh/. Now, sweep hand from the forehead to the chin in one swift motion (blending the sounds together) and say fish. This is the head part of the activity.
Now, segment off the first sound of the word from the remaining sounds (/f/ /ish/). This will be done by your child extending his/her left hand slightly to the left as if about to greet someone and saying /f/. Then, extending his/her right hand in the same manner and saying /ish/. Finally, clap the hands together and say the word in its entirety… fish. This is the hands part of the activity.
Lobster claws is the highlight of this activity for most kiddos. Place your index and middle fingers on your thumb. Do this with both hands. Curl the remaining fingers under. Hold your hands close together with the “claws” (thumb, index, and middle finger) close together facing each other. Say the target word aloud: fish. Now, pretend to pinch the word in your “claws.” Begin to slowly stretch the word out while moving your “claws” further apart. The sounds will not be segmented (very staccato) as in the HEADS part of this activity. The best example I can think of is that of a ghost. The sounds will be really drawn out but still connected. Fffffffiiiiiishhhhhhhhh. This is the lobster claws part of this activity.
The completion of all parts of this activity using one word should take less than a minute. I would think you could complete about 7-10 words in 5 minutes.
Consider having your child record the sounds after each word has been segmented and blended.
*I observed the Head, Hands, Lobster Claws activity while visiting the classroom of Margaret McIntyre.*
1. Odd Ball Out: Say three words. Two of the words need to rhyme. Have your child call out the two words that do not rhyme. For a challenge, have your child say why the words rhyme. For example, cat and bat rhyme because they both have the /at/. Once your child can do this easily, have him/her name the word that does not rhyme.
2. Rhyme Toss: Toss a small ball to your child and say a word. Your child must say a rhyming word and toss the ball back to you. Play continues until one player cannot think of any more rhymes.
Alternative: After your child says a word that rhymes, he/she gives you a word to rhyme with. Then, you would respond as well as say a new word for your child to rhyme.
*Consider taking this game outside. Instead of tossing a small ball, use a large bouncey ball.*
1. Plan enough time (10-15 minutes) to read aloud, to enjoy and discuss the story.
2. Choose stories that respond to your child’s experiences and interests.
3. Preview the book yourself, so that you can anticipate questions or reactions.
4. Introduce the book. Point out the title, cover, author and illustrator.
5. Read with expression that reflects the tone of the story or characters.
6. Allow your child time to discuss pictures and make predictions.
7. Save time at the end to ask questions and discuss the story.
For classroom station ideas, check out Debbie Diller’s book: Literacy Work Stations: Making Centers Work.
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