Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Spinning Phonics, worked for me!

You like that title? I don't mean any offense, I just can't say phonics without thinking of that ad.  So, anyway...phonics! Rainy is right in that 'letters and sounds' stage.  She's recognizing letters from environmental print, repeating the beginning sounds of words and generally trying to get herself into the world of phonics.  So, I thought I'd give her a something fun to help her on her way.
It all started with the empty bottle.  I thought... spin it, pick a letter, make the sound, fun! A preschool version of spin the bottle. Totally G rated.  First I picked a handful of letters. (Which went down something like this: letters she knows -plus- sounds she commonly mixes up -times- words I can think of with those letters AND cut out AND have the kids recognize.
I made these game boards using the above method.  The kids were painting while I was cutting and pasting.  As soon as I finished I realized cutting pictures from magazines would have been way easier and given the kids a chance to help. So, do that instead. 
I used the chunky magnets from the Word Whammer (or whatever that thing is called) to form the game board. The raised magnets turned out to be helpful in keeping the bottle within the playing area. You could improvise here, alphabet blocks or even rocks with letters painted on would work great. Beneath the magnets are slips of paper with the corresponding letter written on them.
Here you see Rainy giving us a demo.  Simple and fun! (Seriously, she gets super excited when she figures out that she landed on a letter sound that is on her game board! It's pretty darn cute.)

Directions for play:
1- The first player spins the bottle, when it stops they check to see if the letter it's pointing at makes the beginning sound of any of the pictures on their card. (The pictures are important because when they name the picture, they are hearing the sound and reinforcing which letter makes it.)

2- If you have a match, remove a slip of paper and place it next to the picture on your card that matches that letter sound. If not, we were flexible here sometimes we did spin again, sometimes we let it be the next person's turn.  You decide.

Yeah, that's pretty much it. Spin, make letter sounds, clap with glee if you get a match. Good times. Anyway, I had a feeling Lilac would want something a bit more her speed, so I have an alternative version here for kids who are reading...
This one is even simpler to set up. I just added a few more vowels and got rid of the cards all together.  Players take turns spinning and drawing letters. The first person who is able to spell a word using the letters they've collected wins! 
It turns out with a little help from Lilac, even baby sis can win at this one.
Happy Spinning!
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PS- If you're looking for more letter fun, we have a big list of alphabet books that we know and love. 

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