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Learning phonics and understanding the sounds that different letters make is essential for reading and the earlier you start introducing letters to the children the better because as they become more and more familiar with the sounds, so they will find reading all the more easy. It's understandable to want to get children reading early, but in fact, it's better to get them 100% confident with the phonic sounds first, even if they can read whole words already. That way, once they see words, they will be able to easily combine the sounds to read the word.
Here are some easy and fun ideas to get phonics into your daily routine and introduce them to little ones in game format:-
- Pick a different letter each week to focus on. Start by drawing the letter on a big page and colouring it or decorating it. Say the sound together.
- Found a Sound Telescope: Make a telescope to look through to find the sounds. Simply decorate a kitchen roll tube and use it for hunting.
- Say the sound the letter makes and go on a sound hunt. Find things beginning with that sound.
- Sound box. When you find something beginning with the right sound, collect it in a box. Put any things you find that are not actually the right sound into a 'bin' box.
- Give masses of support, guidance and help as its hard to begin with, but once they get it the children will be off on an adventure with no trouble at all!
- When you have a few items, gather them onto a table and look at them and say the sounds and the words together to reinforce that the correct letter and correct item has been found.
Have fun, and expand this sound game with your own ideas too!