As you know well, literacy and reading skills are important predictors of children’s later achievement and, naturally, are critical to kindergarten readiness. You also know that literacy skills require practice, practice, practice!
You help children develop phonological-awareness skills and letter-sound knowledge throughout the school year through explicit explanation, games, songs, and other activities that involve engagement with letters and sounds. But, how can you ensure children are continuing this learning at home?
Share the following activity with families to help them nurture their children’s emergent literacy skills.
Home Literacy Activity: Beginning Sound Bag
Recognizing beginning sounds in words—and being able to say other words that start with that same sound—are important building blocks for phonics and reading. Play this fun game with your child to help develop literacy skills.
Gather materials. Find a medium-sized bag that you can’t see through, such as one made of paper or cloth or a colored plastic bag.
Fill ’em up! Place several, small household objects and toys in the bag, without letting your child see the objects.
Make a selection. Ask your child to pull out an object, say its name, and tell you the beginning sound. Example: ball. Ball starts with b-b-b, ball. Be sure to say the sound of the first letter, not the letter name.
Ask for another example. Ask your child to say another word that starts with that same sound. For ball, examples could be bed, bath, book, banana.
Combine the words. Once your child says another word that starts with the same sound, say, “Let’s say both words together. Ball and bed. They both start with b-b-b.” If your child says a word that doesn’t start with the same sound, give a word that does start with the same sound, emphasizing the beginning sound again.
Repeat. Continue with several more objects, providing help when needed.