I'm always trying to find new ways to achieve the same outcome. My children really enjoyed this heart shaped letter matching activity. Very simple to make, very cheap to make and it really engaged the children as well as helping to aid their fine motor skills. Give it a go!
We're Going on a Phonics Hunt
Lovely activity, which is great fun and that children really enjoy. Can help to build vocabulary, creates lots of ideas when solving the clues, but is great for practising those initial sounds. Indoors or outdoors, make it fun!
Although this is labelled a writing post, it could easily be used to increase or improve oracy skills. Speech, language and vocabulary are crucial for younger children to develop and as they grow they will form a solid foundation for writing. Let your little one choose objects for you and vice versa. What incredible stories could you/they create together or independently? For those able to write, encourage creativity, fun and allow imaginations to run wild.
Contractions can be quite tricky for children, here's a way to practice and an activity you can keep coming back to
Early phonics is all about recognising letter shapes and then remembering their sounds. Here's a fun way for children to seek out letters, colour mark them and practice the sound that they are. Challenge if you are able. This can easily be adapted for more challenging sounds and special friends, th, sh, ch, n, nk etc.
My children love to match the pebble shapes and to then sound the letters out. Could easily be chalked onto a desk or floor. Extend to think of something beginning with that sound or perhaps to make cvc words with the pebbles. Enjoy!
Phonic Sorting Plates
Fun ways to practice initial sounds - object sorting or you make it a treasure hunt. You could follow it up with tracing the letters, chalking the letters outside or looking for them in a story. Whatever you do, make it fun!
Read it, make it, write it!
An idea I've used many times. Simply write out your words, use cut up post-its or use magnetic letters for the child to make the words and then bits of paper for the child to practise writing the word. Gauge the words to where your child is with their learning, but add in a challenge. Use the word challenge as children love to know you're making it more tricky for them.
Name Recognition & Writing
Many little ones will be starting school in the next couple of weeks and being able to recognise their name is really helpful. Don't worry about the writing unless your little one wants to have a go, focus on the recognising.
How about giving this a go this week? Can be as easy or a challenging as you decide. Whatever the topic, think about vocabulary together, then let them have a go. For a younger child, perhaps create together, encouraging and using their ideas. If you ask the children to use their names, ask them to think of a positive for each letter about themselves. You could simplify the whole activity by just using one word per letter i. e S - sunshine P - plant R - rainbows I - insects N- nests G - growing
Nice activity to develop language, fine motor and mathematical skills. Ask your little one how they think the buttons should be sorted and then start sorting. Encourage new words and the many different ways to sort. Challenge by adding some counting; which group has the most/least buttons, how many more in one group thsn another etc.
A nice activity for practising letter sounds, reading and thinking about words. You could make it more challenging by using 'special friends' such as sh, ch, th, ng, nk or remove more letters so that they have to form more or perhaps all of the word through sounding out. Make it a game, make it fun, and give lots of praise!
World Book Day
World Book Day 2021 is on the 4th March; just over a week away. Whether you're at home or in school why not celebrate the joy of books and enjoy the day. Here are a few ideas.
Tricky Word Hearts
An idea that was given to me by a friend; tried and tested and it was great. The heart hunt was the first bit of fun, followed by the excitement of who and if they had a 'secret' word. As they scribbled their colour over the top, they enthusiastically tried to read the word. Then they were more than happy to try a sentence and then wanted to hunt some more. Lots of love for tricky words!
Matching Lowercase & Uppercase Letters
A fun way to teach capital and lowercase letter matching. Make it fun and swap roles, with you doing the matcing of letters. Make a few 'accidental' mistakes so that your little one gets the chance to correct you. Add some challenge by adding a timer, how quickly can they match the letter pairs? Extend the activity by writing out the letter pairs. Enjoy!
Phonics and Blending Words
Nice way to practise the blending of words and to recognise letter sounds. You could use pictures from old magazines. This activity could be extended to writing a label or drawing the objects.
Rhymimg Word Post Boxes
Rhyming words can be great fun, but little ones grasping the concept can be tricky. Try to explain what a rhyming word is and relate to a book if possible. I love Julia Donaldson, so I often use her books to help children understand how rhyming words work. Ask your little one to think of words that rhyme for themselves, write them down and then show them the word endings, what do they notice? I've used 3 old shoe boxes, which I've made into post boxes, but you easily list the words. Enjoy!
Tricky Word Twister
Weekend is upon us, so why not indulge in a little family fun. Indoor or outdoors, adapt this entertaining game and practise some 'tricky words.' Lots of fun for everyone!
Make a Time Capsule
As we're in the strangest of times, why not make a capsule with your little one, recording the time. Children could add a newspaper, family picture, a letter to their older self, a handprint and a drawing. Just a few ideas, I'm sure you'll think of lots of others.
Show & Tell
Such a wonderful activity for all ages. It builds confidence, pride and self esteem in a child. It also helps to build relationships. Be patient with this activity, give your little one time to think about their toy/object. Allow them time to speak and then ask open questions so they can elaborate more. Swap over and allow the child to listen and then question. Enjoy!
Great activity for maintaining focus while practicing phonics. You could create alternative xylophones by using saucepans, tins, bottles etc. Be creative!
A fun way for children to blend early words and to practice letter sounds. Make it more challenging by adding in 'special friend' sounds sh, ch, th, ng, nk; ship, chin, thin, ring, pink. Make it fun!
An easy way to keep the phonics going at home. Ask your little one to make the words and then swap over and let them be the teacher. As the 'learner' make a few mistakes so they can correct you. Builds confidence and allows the child to know its OK to make mistakes, it's the trying that counts.
Against the Clock
Make it interesting, make it fun! This activity incorporates maths alongside reading. Great for all ages and abilities and is great to play with siblings as well as mum and dad. Enjoy!
Matching Objects to Initial Sounds
Taking the learning outdoors, makes it discreet. Children often don't know they are even doing it because the learning environment has changed, the four walls have gone. Looking a early phonics today, these are letters which are often written incorrectly and sounds mixed up. Practise doesn't always make perfect, but it always makes better!