FUN LEARNING GAMES
Single Sounds Lower Case
Did you know that in English the letters are largely made up of just four basic elements: ovals, sticks, bumps (or curves) and a few have hooks (or tails).
Look at the following letters to see what I mean.
You can see ovals in a b d g o p q.
You can find sticks in b d f h i j k l m n p q r t u v w x y z
You can find bumps in h m n r u w y (either bumps or upside down bumps (which we could call cups)
And there are hooks (or tails) in f g j q y
Some have part ovals such as c e k r s (in this font k doesn't)
And some letters have slight but common variations: These being a g and k
If you're wanting to help your child learn their sounds here is some best parenting advice to assist you.
It's important to realize that we are first trying to identify the sound a letter makes rather than the name of that letter. For example A cow is called a cow but it says 'Moo' and you can use this explanation with your child so they understand the difference between the name of the letter and the sound it makes.
It's the sound a letter makes that helps your child read. For example saying letter names C (See) A (Ay) T (Tee) does not help a child sound out c a t.
You will notice on each of the sheets I've included two different forms of 'a' and 'g' commonly used in readers as well.
The following large cards are designed to be cut, along the lines, into individual letters for you to use with your child.
You can either screen shot them, copy them on your phone, download and print them or you can contact me for pdfs to be sent to you at your email address. (You can rest assured that your information will not be passed on to any other parties.)
There's no definite order to teach these sounds but I've learnt some ways will bring greater success than others.
I found by introducing sounds that were obviously different to one another at the beginning worked best.
For example m & d: m for mum, d for dad are good choices as they are obviously different to each other
and they mean something important to the child.
I often look for something unusual for the child to remember about each letter
and I encourage them to trace them with their finger.
I strongly suggest ensuring that when you present the letters they're facing the child the right way up
(even when playing games) because children can't tell the difference between b, d & p or M and W or u and n
unless they're the right way up.
How to Make Learning Phonics fun
Initially I begin by laying out just two letters next to each other, (each the correct way up for the child.) I sit on the other side facing my child ready to play The Phonics Game.
I draw attention to the specific shape of each of two letters 'm' and 'd.' I explain 'm' is for mum. The 'm' is at the start of my name. M for mum looks a bit bumpy. It's because mum took a stick with her and came from the mountains. Draw your finger over the shape as you you explain it. First the small stick, then the two bumps. Get your child to trace the 'm' shape noticing the small stick and the two bumps. Ask what the sound says and see if your child can remember it.
Then look at the 'd' sound. I explain 'd' is for dad. The 'd' is at the start of his name. Trace the shape with your finger. You could say something like "But poor daddy ate too much, we're going to give him a big tummy (for the oval or circular shape) and a tall back (for the stick.) If Dad is there get him to ham it up if you can. Let him stick out his tummy so your child can see he has a fat tummy and a tall back.
If your child does not have either a mother or father you might substitute another sound. S is good because it looks like a snake and says 's' so its easy to remember and is relatable.
If your child has neither a mother or father you might try 'p' for pop because we're giving him a walking stick and he's walking backwards, but as he walks his cane makes the sound 'p' 'p' 'p.' Or maybe try 'o' for orange because its the same shape. Or a for apple. You could say "It looks like an apple but the stick fell off and got stuck on the back of it."
The way we remember things can be likened to pouring information through a colander. Sometimes it sticks, sometimes it slips through. It might stay there a while, yet fall through later. But the more you put in that colander, and the more times you put it back in that colander increases its chances of getting stuck in there and being remembered.
Playing Fun Phonics
1. I call out a sound (say m) and both players attempt to snap the sound before the other player.
2. I call out a different sound (say d) and both players attempt to snap the new sound before the other player.
3. Repeat the process using different sounds. (Say m, d, m, d, m, d, etc) getting faster. You might even change the letter positions to make them think.
4. The game continues until you're reasonably sure your child knows the two sounds involved. Add a third sound like 's.' Explain something specific about it like 's' looks like a snake and it says 'sssss.' Repeat the process (Say s, m, d, m, d, s, s, m, d, etc) getting faster. You might again change the letter positions to make them think.
Stop there on your first day.
5. Revise all three sounds by flipping them down in front of them. Play the snap game again.
6. If they remember all sounds easily, introduce another sound (like 'o' or 'a.') Substitute this new sound for the sound they know best. (Say for example: s, a, d, a, a, d, s, s, d, etc.) If they're finding it particularly easy you can introduce a second sound.
7. Over weeks, you can repeat Step 5 and 6 over and over again, ever-increasing the number of known sounds one at a time (two maximum at a time) until they know all 26 single sounds (with the two common variables for a and g at the end.)
Try to keep their success in perspective... Seriously.
Because this is a very effective way of teaching children their sounds, it's easy to get carried away by wanting to keep adding more and more sounds a day before your child is ready. Please don't. Make sure they know each sound well before you remove it from the snap pile to the revision pile. And revise every sound daily by flipping them down on a pile in front of them. It'll take you one or two minutes a day maximum.
Did you know if you link a story to new information you have a greater chance of remembering it.
You will note above I made up a story about each of the sounds. 'M' for mum came from the mountains or 'd' for daddy had a fat tummy and a tall back. These stories are helping create bridges to new learning, in this case sound recognition. They help create a memory jog.
When we link positive emotion to new learning experiences, by playing games, it greatly increases our chances of recalling it. We remember what engages us.
You have the choice of helping your child to learn either Beginning Combinations or Single Sounds Capital letters next, but because the beginning combinations help more with reading, I suggest you learn those sounds first.
For More Fun Learning Games go to the links below:
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The best parenting advice regarding creating engaged learners is to make learning as much fun as possible. That's why games work best to revise new information. Children practise skills over and over in play situations, yet aren't even aware they're doing it. Best parenting advice.com provides many examples of quick and easy games to help develop both early reading and maths skills.
This site provides examples of what worked for me over decades and you are welcome to use these ideas as you see fit but you do so at your own risk. This site does not provide any guarantee that this information will work in every circumstance with every family or every child. It is your responsibility as a user of this site to ensure that you adhere to any recommended safety suggestions either implicit or explicit on this site and supervise your children while playing any games suggested. Best Parenting Advice.com is not affiliated with any other groups, clubs, religious organizations or educational systems.
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