As a former teacher and private tutor, I want to introduce you to a favorite beginning reading game – Where’s the Sound? My mom tutored also, and this was a game she taught me. Trying to get your kids to recognize sounds and where they go in a word is very important as they are learning to read. Phonetical awareness is important. Yes, a more whole language approach can be beneficial, but I feel like it is most effective when mixed with phonics. For more fun reading games, check out my reading activities tab found if you hover over my kids tab.
My youngest child is attending school for the first time. He will be in kindergarten. This is a huge milestone in our family – all three kids in school! Wow! I can’t even imagine. In preparation for school, I have always wanted to have my kids enter kindergarten knowing their letters. If they seem ready and excited about learning, I have also wanted to have them ready with some beginning reading skills. This has really set my kids up for success as they progress in learning.
That said, you can unintentionally stunt your child’s development if you push them when they aren’t ready. Playing games when learning letter recognition, sounds and beginning reading is a great way to gauge and create interest. Children learn through play. This can be found in open, creative play or more directed, intentional play like the “Where’s the Sound?” reading game I’m sharing today. This game is appropriate for kids who know their letter and sounds and are just starting to put together simple words. That said, there is an adaptation for older kids working on spelling or more complex reading words.
Materials Needed to Play this Beginning Reading Game – Where’s the Sound?
- Snack Item – My kids love Cinnamon Grahams from Horizon Organic. Do you have a snack you buy for your kids that you can’t stop snacking on too? That’s Cinnamon Grahams for me.
- 3 Disposable Cups
- White Board or Piece of Paper
- Dry Erase Marker or Pencil
How to Play this Beginning Reading Game – Where’s the Sound?
- Write the following words on three separate cups using a sharpie: beginning, middle and end. If you want to use regular cups, simply make little signs to tape on the edge.
- Provide your child with a bowl of snacks.
- Have your child identify the placement of a letter in a given C-V-C word (consonant-vowel-consonant). For example, you could say, “Where is the “T” in the word BAT?”
- The child would take a snack item and place it in the cup where they think it belongs – in the beginning, middle or end cup. In this example, they would want to place the cinnamon snack graham in the end cup.
- To help them see if they are correct, write the word on a piece of paper or white board. Sound out the word as you go so they can really learn how letters work together to form words. “B-A-T – You’re right! The T goes at the end. Great job.”
- If the child is correct they can eat the cracker.
- Continue with other words. Where is the “O” in MOP? Where is the “T” in HIT? Where is the “G” in MUG?
- For older kids, you can do longer words or spelling words. You can even present words that might have two answers like SNAKES where there would be an “S” at the beginning and at the end. I tried to trick my older, more experienced readers who wanted to play along with problems like find the “P” in PHONE, “Z” in CZAR or “K” in KNEAD.
I made a quick YouTube video so you can see what this game looks like with kids.
There you have it. You’ve bee introduced to a favorite beginning reading game – Where’s the Sound? and a favorite snack – Horizon Cinnamon Snack Grahams. I hope you spend a little bit of time doing some back-to-school educational preparation. If not, no worries. You can play the game throughout the school year with your beginning reader.
For more fun back-to-school ideas with Horizon Organic, please follow their social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or sign up for their newsletter. This is a company I can get behind because I love their outlook on food and kids:
Kids are our gold standard.
At Horizon, we believe better food matters because kids matter, so we make our food with simple, recognizable ingredients that make both kids and grownups happy. We want to be a trusted filter for parents so everything that comes from us – food, content, experiences – are up to this standard. Nothing fake, processed or complicated.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Horizon Organic. The opinions and text are all mine.