My 4 year old preschooler has been learning to read for quite a while now and has about 1/4 of the alphabet down. I’ve found that when children learn to read it’s more fun for them to learn to read a few letters at a time and then learn how to create little words out of those letters (perfect example is “The Cat in the Hat” by Dr. Seuss).
The words my preschooler is working on now are the ” _at” words, and I felt she needed an engaging and fun way to review her words, rather than just flash cards and matching games. She already knows them fairly well, so this really is more of a reading review activity, which makes it fun instead of frustrating!
So here is the fun learning to read activity that we came up with that is great reading practice for little kids, gives them a wonderful sense of accomplishment, and is an easy reading activity to make!
The basic idea is that you have a movable alphabet (we got a great deal of a whole wooden alphabet for $6 at Ross, but there are plenty of DIY alphabet options out there. Check out this great post for lots of ideas of how to make your own movable alphabet!), use a pencil to trace the letters to make the words your child is learning onto construction paper, and outline with black marker. The fun reading activity is that the child gets to match the movable alphabet with the letters and words on the paper, sort of like a matching puzzle!
These are the words we made this time:
at fat hat cat rat pat mat sat bat
Construction paper (or index cards for small words)
I only gave her the letters she needed and demonstrated how each word ended in “at”, and all she needed to do was add the letter at the beginning. She loves rhyming words, so this struck a chord with her!
My daughter made up a game which she thought was totally hilarious: After choosing the right letters, she would close her eyes and try to match the letters correctly without looking! She really got a kick out of it every time she got it right!
She’s played this reading game and done this reading activity several times now. She’s even used the words to create her own stories and I can see she feels a real sense of pride and satisfaction in what she has accomplished, which as we all know, is a great feeling!
I love that we can make our own Montessori materials and I find it quite exciting to be able to piece things together and come up with something wonderful from something so simple and easy!