By Jan May
Historically, kindergarten was a “children’s garden,” a place to learn basic skills through play. As home educators, we
have the distinct advantage of creating
that “children’s garden” with a plethora
of sensory activities that enrich the preschool child and enable him to be successful in the academics he faces ahead.
According to Traci Geiser, Early Childhood Education Specialist, “Research indicates that a child’s success as a reader
is largely dependent upon his ability to
identify and manipulate sounds before
he begins to read.”
1 Developing phonemic awareness: listening to and playing
around with sounds in language, will
help guarantee your preschool child’s
success in reading.
By preparing simple interactive opportunities, phonics can be the most enjoyable part of the day. Each opportunity
will give your child not only training in
language but also in focus, small and
large motor skills, and growing in the
ability to sit still.
Below is a funtastic list that will help
your child build the phonetic bridge between sounds and letters.
Chalk Zoo: Children draw a chalk zoo,
starting with animals that begin with the
A sound, then B, etc. Have the child draw
the letter in multiples around the animal,
forming a cage. Have the other family
was a “children’s garden,”
a place to learn basic
skills through play.
Alphabet Choo Choo: The child
makes the chug, chug, chug sound as he
traces slowly over letters with his finger.
When he completes the letter, he sounds
the whistle: “Toot! Toot!”
Make Phonics Flashcards: Cut 8. 5 x
11 colored card stock in half. Write one
letter of the ABC’s or phonograms on
each one. Preschoolers cut and paste
from a magazine pictures of objects with
the correlating sound.
Scavenger Hunt: Write the letters of
the alphabet and place them in a paper
bag. Let the child draw out a letter and
then walk around the room placing the
card next to an object that starts with that
sound. For a more advanced activity, let
the child try to beat a timer.
Calendar Phonics: Buy or make a
poster-size calendar. Designate a letter
or phonetic sound to study each week.
Mark the days on which you will do
special phonetic activities. Child puts
a sticker on that day after he completes
Felt Board Fun: Write the alphabet on
colorful felt squares (about 2 x 3 inches).
Children make felt pictures by cutting
out magazine pictures, such as pictures
of an apple, ball, etc. and gluing a felt
square on the back to create felt images.
Put up a letter and let them find the picture that matches.
Lego Bricks: Give your child a picture
of the letter you want him to learn and
let him build a big model of that letter
Racecar Speedway: Draw a word in
puffy letters on a piece of poster board,
adding a line with dashes in the middle
like a roadway. Preschoolers can drive
their mini cars around the word, sounding it out as they go.
Cook Your Way through the Alphabet: Cook a special snack or meal that
little hands can help with, using the alphabet as a guide.
A—Mini Apple Pies: Form A’s with
chunks of apple. Use pie crust and line a
cupcake tin. Fill with apples, sugar, and
cinnamon, and then bake.