Do Try This at Home ... some quick and simple ideas that you might want to try at home to support your child with phonics at home.
I felt a change of direction was needed this week and felt that we were perhaps focusing too heavily on letter recognition at the determent of other essential activities to improve phonic awareness. The activities we did this week were also beneficial for my one year old daughter too and she was able to join in with them fully, helping her phonic awareness as well as allowing to join in the fun which more formal letter recognition activities did not.
Using and making musical instruments
We started off getting all the musical instruments that had been put out of reach in the toy cupboard out and both children enjoyed banging, shaking and rattling the instruments. We talked about how we played them. I then extended this to make our own musical instruments. We used some empty fruit shoot bottles and I let the children choose what they added – marbles, rice, pasta. We then experimented with playing them and talked about which made the loudest sound – the marbles, unbearably loud much to the delight of my three year old!!! We tried to play each instrument loudly and quietly and just generally had fun with musical instruments. This activity was beneficial in developing an awareness of sounds in this case made by musical instruments which is fundamental to phonic development.
Making Vocal Sounds
It goes without saying that being able to articulate words and sounds clearly is fundamental to phonics. We grabbed the children’s stereo which has two built in microphones and the two of them had a great time (although not sure if the neighbours did!) experimenting with voice sounds by making noises down the microphone. We then extended it further by singing along to nursery rhymes which we played on the CD player. Nursery rhymes aid phonic development as they introduce children to rhyming, alliteration and word play.
Writing for a Purpose
This week in the hope of inspiring writing I added a small writing table alongside the toys. It simply had pens and paper on it but the important aspect was that it was accessible at all times rather than hidden away in a cupboard. The next day while I was making lunch I suggested to my son that he write a menu for what we were going to eat. The concept of writing for a purpose is not lost on young children and it really motivated him as he shouted out the initial sounds of what we were about to eat. Of course, the ‘menu’ didn’t resemble anything but it felt, to me, like we had turned a corner as he was motivated and interested to put pen to paper.