Step 1 – Learning letters and sounds

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Kids’ attention spans are notoriously short. Or, they are extraordinarily excited about the world around them, and therefore are easily distracted. Either way, my experience has been that my kids would let me know when they were ready for a different approach. When my son was bored with the “Name 5 Letters” game, I started mixing it up.

  • for every letter he got, he would receive a puzzle piece (the kids loves puzzles, so it was a chance for us to do a puzzle together, and also reinforce his letter)
  • we would find the letters he was learning in a book, magazine, or signs
  • instead of showing him a flashcard and having him give me the sound, I would spread the flashcards out and give him a sound or letter name, and he would have to choose the appropriate card. A huge advantage of this approach was that I could keep the ones he had trouble with for later, when there were not as many letters, or if he had trouble with two letters, then one day I would ask them back-to-back and the next day I would ask them far apart.
  • when they get a little more proficient, give an object or say a word and have them find the starting letter from those spread out on the floor
  • when he was working on both lower and uppercase letters, I would spread one set out on the floor (e.g., lowercase) and hand him letters from the other set one at a time (e.g., uppercase) and have him pick up the matching lowercase letter and give it to me or make his own stack
  • I spread a set on the floor and had him pick up the cards in order (A to Z). This also let us sing the ABCs about 200 times whenever he got stuck
  •  when he was bored with the flashcards, we would also mix it up and use magnetic letters either on the fridge or on a small magnetic board. He loved these

I can’t wait to hear what types of games you and yours come up with!

Next Up:

Letter Names

Letter Sounds – Part 1

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