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March 27, 2011

activities for learning to recognise letters and their sounds

3978316556_378a9a8a0e_mPhoto of iPhone alphabet from schnaars

My eldest son, having just started school this year, is at the stage of learning to recognise letters and their sounds.  I’ve had a few conversations lately with parents who have children of a similar age to my son who are having trouble motivating their children to do homework activities on writing letters and learning the sound associated with that letter. 

There are ways to make this sort of homework more fun for your child.  There may be some worksheets that the teacher expects your child to do, but you can also add some playful learning to motivate your child to do the work. 

If you are new to phonics, this page – Phonemic Awareness Explained – will help you to understand the terminology and has a handy chart of the phonemes your child will need to learn.

Here are a few playful ways to help your child recognise letters and their sounds.

  • have a scavenger hunt around your house for items that begin with the letter in question.  For example, hunt for things that start with ‘p’.  You might gather a peg, a pipecleaner, a toy penguin and so on.  Or if you have a child who loves the outdoors, you could take the hunt outdoors. 
  • make up a tongue twister for the letter.  For example, for ‘h’, you could say “Huge hippopotumases held hands and hopped home”.
  • look through magazines and make a collage of things beginning with your letter.  You could collage pictures of things starting with your letter or words starting with the letter or both
  • make the letter with playdough, plasticine, lego, ice cream sticks or whatever else you can find.
  • Practise writing the letter in shaving cream, sand, in chalk. in paint and so on.

As you child learns more of the letters, you might want to try some games like … (say the sound of the letter when playing these games)

  • alphabet bingo (teachmama has printable bingo cards and everything you need to get started). 
  • put cards with the letters written on them around the floor and have your child find the letter you call out and jump on it.
  • play this alphabet dice game from itty bitty love for a bit of practise writing letters

Are there any fun alphabet games your children like to play?

1 comment:

Deb said...

Thanks, these are great ideas.
We have a set of tactile letters (typical teachers, al sorts of weird things floating around our house) and the big girl loves playing with them. She's at that point where she can see that learning letters and words is the door to a whole new world and she's enthusiastic about anything that will let her in there.