Working on sounds? Check out this sound matching activity!
My son learned the alphabet at an early age. He liked the song, he liked the puzzles, he quickly memorized the symbols (letters) and the names that go with them. That’s one step on the journey to learning to read, and right now, we are working on our next stop: phonemic awareness. That’s what this sound matching activity is all about…. phonemic awareness.
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But what is phonemic awareness?
Phonemic awareness is another stop on the learning to read train. There are a lot of stops on this train. Often, parents think that learning goes from memorizing the alphabet to direct reading instruction, but that’s just not the case.
It’s not how kids learn.
It’s not developmentally appropriate.
And it skips over a lot of steps that kids need as they learn this BIG skill (reading).
Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear sounds in a word. This is way more than just knowing the sounds letters make. This is about hearing those sounds in a spoken word, isolating the sounds in your head, and then being able to identify the letter making the sound.
That’s a lot right?
Phonemic awareness baby! It’s a huge part of the “learning to read journey” and it is NOT one that you want to miss.
How do we teach phonemic awareness?
First, we start with initial sounds – that’s the first sound in a word – an then we build from there.
So that’s what we are doing today with this sound matching activity. We are going to isolate the first sounds in a word and match it to the letter that makes that sound.
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Here’s what you need to do.
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- Small container of rice (this is my 17 qt bin and about 5 lbs of rice that I store in a Ziplock)
- Assortment of toys
- Construction paper
You need to go toy hunting but be strategic!
You don’t want to grab 5 toys that start with Bb – ball, bracelet, block, book, and bird are NOT going to work for this activity.
Be picky about the toys you use, get creative.
I did have a “same letter toys” but only one or two, and it still worked out great for my 5 year old.
I lined up all my toys and wrote the initial letter sound on a piece of construction paper. Make sure to be big – you want everything to fit!
Then I put all the toys in a rice bin…
I put it in a rice bin because…sensory for life!
No matter how old my son gets, he loves a good sensory bin. So I knew that hiding the objects in the rice, adding a bit of hide and seek plus sensory would be the perfect way to kick off this sound matching activity.
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My son LOVED this!
He’d find an object, say the name, and really focus hard on isolating that initial sound.
Once he matched them all up, he dumped the toys back in for two more rounds. He did this activity 3 more times the next days before we finally put the toys back in their rightful bins.
Phonemic awareness is where it’s at!
I know the road to reading is a long one, and we sometimes wish it would go faster. But the truth is, our kids need to make all the stops on this journey so they can fully grasp this complexity of reading. This sound matching activity is perfect for working on those phonemic awareness skills that are so important.
When will you make a sound matching activity bin?