Here’s a simple word family game I set up for R (4). Learning word families is an important step for children learning to read as it helps them to recognise patterns within words. When they see a word that they’re not familiar with, they can deconstruct it by first seeing the word family and then adding the sound of the remaining letter/s. R has also been really interested in rhyming words for a while now so he loves word family games.
For this quick and easy word family game you will need:
- A set of letters. You can use foam letters like we did, or a set of magnetic letters, or even alphabet play dough cutters.
- A small bag
That’s it! Just two items.
How to play:
I set out three word families “at”, “ad” and “un”. I tried to make each pair of letters the same colour to help with the recognition of each word family, but it just wasn’t possible with our set of letters. If you can manage to make each pair the same colour with the alphabet set that you are using, then all the better.
I added some letters to our “mystery bag”. Some of the letters could be matched with all three word families (such as S – sat, sad, sun). To make it a little more challenging I also included letters that could only be matched with one or two of the word families (for example the letter M) Before selecting any letters from the bag, we practised reading just the word families on their own. R has been learning letter recognition phonetically using Montessori style activities, so rather than me just telling him how each word family sounds, I showed him how to take the individual letter sounds and then combine them so that he could work it out for himself. After working on “at” together, he was able to read “ad’ and “un” on his own.
R then began selecting letters from our mystery bag and matching them to the word family pairs.
I really like working with these foam letters rather than just cards with the letters printed on them. These foam letters are our thrifty version of a Montessori moveable alphabet. They are so tactile – R can feel the shape of each letter as he handles them. Montessori teaching is very sensorial, even when it comes to literacy and Math, and R is a very sensorial learner so these letters are perfect for his learning style. One day I’ll make an accurate Montessori moveable alphabet in the correct colours but until then, this suits us very well.
R had great fun combing the letter sounds to decipher the words and swapping letters around to find rhyming words. This took just minutes to prepare and was such a fun and simple way for R to begin learning some basic reading skills.
I’d like to make a word family game like the one shared over at The Snail’s Trail. I love anything made from paint chips! The same post also has a HUGE list of phonograms (word families) and word combinations. It’s a seriously brilliant post. Check it out.
If this is your first time visiting One Perfect Day – welcome! If you like what you have found, please join us on our Facebook page. We are always sharing new ideas to play, learn, create and explore.Pin It