Searching for letter sounds and beginning sounds worksheets? You won't find those here. Transform your learning from home from pulling teeth to learning through play. My goal in creating Forward with Fun is all about using play to create hands on learning experiences. Kids are more likely to engage and remember new skills when they are actively participating in experience, especially if it's a game!
Learning letter sounds is essential to learning to read, and the most natural place to start is with beginning sounds. Worksheets are fine for busy work, but to make new knowledge really stick, you need to make it fun.
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How to Play: Letter Sounds STOMP
What you'll need:
10 small items that begin with different letter sounds
Prepare to play "Letter Sounds Stomp" in 5 minutes or less:
Write the first letter of each item on the index cards. Make sure you pick items that have first letters that match the most common sound of that letter. Things like “phone” or “ice cream” will confuse them!
Make sizable balls with the Play doh, one for each index card and place them beside the index card.
Put all the small items in the bag.
Invite your child to play:
I'm sure the set-up laid out before your child is sure to inspire and delight them. To invite them to play share your Bag of Letter Sounds. As you pull items out, one at a time, invite your child to search for the sound they hear at the beginning of the word, then find the matching letter on the ground. Once they find the letter that makes the correct letter sound they can jump, hop, or STOMP the Play-doh ball next to it!
Here is an example from our letter sounds play.
Me: What's this? A hammer. What sound do you hear at the beginning of the word hammer?
Big Sis: /h/ /h/ Hammer.
Me: What letter makes the /h/ sound?
Big Sis: The H!
Me: Alright, let's stomp the H!
If your child doesn't know a letter sound, remind them. No big deal. We love to sing this song we heard from a Leap Frog toy, "The B says /b/. The B says /b/. Every letter makes a sound. The B says /b/." If they don't know any letters, start with 2-3 objects. You can always simplify a game so they can still get important practice in with beginning sounds without knowing many letters!
For more fabulous hands on letter learning you'll definitely love The Hidden Object Game
and for a clever letter writing activity, check out Toy Rescue by familyedventures.com
When should my child know all their letter sounds?
I don't rush in to teach letters and sounds to kids before they're 4 years old, and even then, I go SLOWLY. Some show interest much earlier, and I've even heard of 2 year olds naming all their letters and sounds, but that's NOT the goal.
My goal as a teacher is to create a learning environment where kids LOVE learning from a young age. I seek to provide learning though play and hands on learning activities that make kids active agents in their education. Like I said, you wouldn't get an beginning sound worksheets here!
At 4 years old I would introduce letters, first ones in your child's name. Pick out 5 new letters to learn at one time, because visual overwhelm staring at 26 new abstract symbols on a page is NOT going to help your child learn.
In the Montessori philosophy, letter sounds are taught before letter names! I teach the letter names first, but I have always admired the Montessori way as it makes sense for learning to read, especially when some letters have names that don't correspond to their sound: C, H, W, Y.
As you work on your target letters, you can also teach the corresponding letter sounds. I find this is easier than waiting till your child knows ALL the letter names. At the end of Pre-K, kids should be able to write their names and name some letters and sounds.
If they're going into Transitional Kindergarten, that is more than enough. From my personal experience, going into Kindergarten, kids should know at least 10 letters and sounds to be on par with curriculum.
Mastery of all the letters and letters sounds should happen by the end of kindergarten! Did you think it was earlier? Later? Though we see many posts about people who have 3 year olds reading, that doesn't necessarily mean those kids will end up more advanced or better off?
It's also hard not to compare our own kids to those shiny moments on social media. But let this guide you, if you're making learning FUN and it's a time where you're really present to connect with your child, you're on the way to helping creating a LIFELONG learner.
The kids who do better in school are not the ones who could read by 3; they're the ones who LOVE learning.
Hands-on Learning: Ensure kids LOVE learning
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn."
Xunzi, Chinese Philosopher
In The Fun Club all our activities are Hands-on learning experiences and games. Every Sunday, Fun Club Members get their weekly activities packet via email. Inside are 5 incredibly fun, learning activities crafted just for 4-5 year olds by a TK and Kindergarten teacher.
The activities are:
Under 5 minutes prep
Bursting with learning
Easy to differentiate for different levels
Based in foundational skills: literacy, math, social emotional skills
Can be done in 20 minutes or less, perfect for their attention spans!
Each month has a mini supply list of things you'll probably already have: blue tape, Post-its, things like that and our members have a support community where they have access to a teacher, all the time! Don't hesitate to ask things like, "Is this normal?" "My 5 year old writes their letters backwards, should I correct that?" "What do I do when they can't sit still?" Yup, I'm here for all of it.
If you're someone who wants to connect with your child by doing awesome activities that will make them think you always have something new and fun up your sleeve, The Fun Club is the place for you.
Have questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.