Hey everyone! I had a few inquiries lately on what parents can do to help their prereader learn his/her letters, so I thought I’d do a quick post with some websites/activities/products that I used and recommend. I love being able to use my experience and teaching background to help parents! If you ever have a question, please let me know. I’m always looking for new topics I can write about for my parent friends!
Before I begin, allow me explain the three stages of prereading:
1. letter recognition
2. phonemic awareness – Phonemes are the most basic, individual sounds in the English language. Phonemic awareness is learning those sounds and the different ways they are used and manipulated in a word.
3. phonics – Phonics is the spelling of those sounds according to the rules of the English language
The first two are CRITICAL to learning to read, and the more you can do at home to encourage progression in these areas, the better. To gain a better understanding of phonemic awareness, read THIS POST written by Kara over at The Chuppies (and she gives a wonderful book list for beginning readers as well!)
Today I’m mainly focusing on the first two stages, which also happen to be the bedrock of reading. Hopefully this will give you a little insight to what you can be doing at home to help your budding reader!
First, I want to recommend a few websites that can help. There are TONS out there, but these are a few of my favorites. For a list of great apps on phonemic awareness click HERE.
This one you actually pay for, but I’m telling you…it’s AwEsOmE. Kids love it. Parents love it. Teachers love it. It is so worth the money, and it covers every subject, not just reading. They do have free videos and a free video of the week app as well, which should definitely be on your download list. I used regular Brain Pop multiple times a week (sometimes a day) in my classroom. Can’t say enough about it.
Shaving Cream It!
Paint Bag It!
Paint Dot It!
Photo courtesy of Wordsofhisheart
Photo courtesy of Contemporary Momma Reviews
You could also make a quick game of hop-scotch using letters!
On the Road
If you are on a trip or just in the car for a little bit, make a game of letter recognition! Choose a letter and then see who can find that letter the most in signs/billboards/license plates.
I LOVE the I Spy game! Whenever we are waiting in line or anywhere just waiting on something, we play I spy. But we take it to another level. “I spy something with the letter B on it!” You can do letters, numbers, letter sounds, shapes…great game to play with your little one.
Leap Frog Scribble and Write
This thing is wonderful for helping kids to learn to write their letters! My kid toted his around EVERYWHERE. Click on the pic for more info.
Leap Frog Magnetic Alphabet
The ‘b’ and ‘d’ Mix-up
Easter Egg Match Up
Sound Recognition and Phonemic Awareness
Rhyming is a wonderful activity to help your child gain phonetic awareness! Playing a simple game in the car of rhyming words is a great activity! Or a ‘which doesn’t belong’ game.
This or That
Leap Frog Fridge Phonics Magnetic Alphabet Set
Sight Word Parking Lot
I love this idea from Juggling With Kids. Such a great, versatile activity! Although her version uses sight words, you can use this for learning alphabet sounds as well AND letter recognition! You could put the alphabet in the ‘spots’ instead or you could put pictures in each spot that begin with each letter and ask your child to ‘park’ his/her car in the spot with the picture that starts with the __ sound.
Clap the Syllables
I have done this with my son since he was about two. It’s such an easy activity. You could create a sort using a sheet of paper to categorize words according to their syllables. Find pictures of simple words and have your child place it under the correct category.
There are so many activities out there just waiting to be discovered! Pintrest is a WONDERFUL tool for this. I think teachers rule Pintrest. Every teacher I know is on there pinning every day. Hope this list can help you out in some form or fashion!