Learning letter sounds is a fundamental skill kids need for reading. Some kids pick it up pretty easily while others take longer to get their sounds on board. Archie and I had some fun at home with a super cool, interactive way to practise his letter sounds. We call it letter jump!
As Archie is a physical little fellow (like most boys) injecting some action and competition helps engage him and keep him motivated. When your kids ask to learn their letter sounds you know you’re onto a good thing!
How to get Started
- Grab hold of some large individual alphabet cards which are about the size of an A4 piece of paper. I cut up a laminated Letterland wall chart which worked perfectly. These cards also give the added support of a picture clue but you may choose just to have letters without a picture. They will need to be tough as they will be jumped on!
- Spread the cards all over the floor and let the fun begin. There are stacks of ways you can play letter jump, but the intention here is to get them recognising and saying their letter sounds, so it’s not the name of the letter you are after, but the sound that it makes.
Here’s a few different ways to play it, but feel free to get creative and adapt. Your kids will have great ideas too:
- Game 1 – Call out a letter sound and they have to run and jump on it, say it correctly, and bring it back to you. For each one they get correct they get a point. If they get really good at this you can use a stopwatch which adds to the urgency and sense of competition that boys love.
- Game 2 – Ask them to start on any letter they like and then jump to another letter without touching the floor, saying the letter sounds as they go. The aim of the game is to jump on every letter without touching the floor.
- Game 3 – This time ask them to jump on the letters in alphabetical order while saying the sound of each letter. After they jump on each one they can arrange them into a long line in the correct order. This is a great way to help them learn the alphabet sequence.
- Game 4 – Extend their understanding of letter sounds by blending letters to make simple words. Make sure the words you choose can be easily sounded out ie. cat, rug, big. Say a word and ask them to make the word using the correct letters. As they jump on each letter they can sound it out and blend it to say the word. As they get more confident you can move onto letter blends ie. what two letters make the sound ‘th’ or ‘sh’ or ‘ch’?
The ideas are endless and I’m sure you will discover other cool ways to play with the cards. Have fun!