Help your child master beginning consonant sounds with these colorful sorting mats!
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As part of our All About Me theme pack, I created these fun sorting mats. Today I’m sharing them for free!
Each mat has a little girl holding a featured letter. Your child needs to find the pictures that start with that consonant and place them on the board.
Lately the theme for my printables has been “simple and low prep.” While this activity is pretty simple, it isn’t low prep. It took my eight-year-old and I an hour or two to prepare the materials. But considering how much use we’ve already gotten out of these, I call it worth it!
How to prepare the activity
You’ll need to print the consonant sound mats (there are two per page) plus the consonant sound pictures at the end of the download. I always print on this cardstock for durability.
The next step is optional, but I recommend it: Attach clear Velcro dots to the back of each picture card and to the gray squares on each mat. Kids love attaching the pictures with the Velcro, but I have a practical reason for you too. It makes storage very easy. Just slide each consonant mat (with pictures attached) into one gallon sized storage bag. Seal the top, and you’ve got a tidy little package easy to put away and pull out again! This saves you the trouble of storing all the cards individually in ziploc bags or just loose in a box.
The first few times we played this, I experimented with keeping the picture cards connected. This way I could have punched them with a three hole punch and stored them in a binder. Later I chose to cut the cards apart because I wanted my son to compare different consonants.
How to play
- Choose two mats (or a single page if you haven’t cut them in half).
- Have your child rip off the pictures and mix them up.
- He should say each picture’s name and beginning sound and stick it to the correct mat.
How to make it simpler or more challenging
You can make this game easier by choosing consonants whose sounds are very different. If they are made in a different part of the mouth, they are easier to distinguish. For example, /v/ is made with the top teeth on the bottom lip. The /w/ sound is made with open lips. This would be an easy contrast.
You can make the game harder by choosing consonants whose sounds are made with the same part of the mouth. The sounds /p/ and /b/ are both made with the lips, making this contrast more difficult.
We hope you enjoy this free learning activity!
P.S. No, I will not be adding vowels to this set of consonant sorting mats. If you’re looking for some great short vowel activities, check out This Reading Mama’s short vowel pack. It’s amazing!
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