Borrow a page from language programs


I have recently been learning another language through an app, and it has given me a few ideas on new early-reading games to play with kids.  If you try this or any of the other games or tips I mention, please let me know how it worked or how you modified it for your kiddo!

Search and Label

Have a dollhouse with furniture?  Some old magazines you can cut up?

Collect 10 (or so) items that start with different letters, for example: bed, sofa, rug, television, lamp, window, door, floor, wall, kitchen.

Write on slips of paper or sticky notes the words that correspond to the pictures or dollhouse furniture that you have chosen.

Have your child place the label with the item.

What does this teach your child? Even if they cannot yet read these complicated words, you should be able to help them think through which beginning sound corresponds to which picture.  They will start to realize that even if they don’t know a word, there may be clues that can help them figure it out.  Of course, sounding it out is always a great place to start, but context is also important, and this little game can help them realize that.


Choose one beginning sound and see how many items you can find in your house, on a walk, in pictures in a favorite book.

Use ending sounds instead of beginning sounds.

Remove the pictures/furniture, and see if they can find the item corresponding to the word somewhere in the house.


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