Today I’m sharing a set of free alphabet action cards – in two different versions!
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A few months ago, I finished teaching my Three the alphabet through our simple letter of the week activities.
She loved it, and is busy writing letters wherever she goes – as you can see in the above story about a “cweepy monster.” 🙂
One thing she hasn’t picked up on is letter sounds; she knows just a few of them. Her older siblings learned these relatively easily as we did our alphabet activities, so I realized that I needed to try something new.
The trick is that it needs to be something that feels like playing, because I am not going to drill my three-year-old on letter sounds.
(Not that it would work anyway.)
As I was studying my book Phonics They Use, by Pat Cunningham, she suggested creating a set of alphabet exercise cards. When you use them enough, children start associating particular letters with an action and eventually learn each letter’s sound.
So … I gave it a try!
There are two versions of cards. When you print this set front to back, you get the lowercase letter on the front …
And you get the action on the back of the card.
G is for go!
R is for read.
X is sort for for mix. (That tricky letter x!)
A is for apple.
I know, I know. Apple isn’t an action word. The only one I could come up with was act, and that wasn’t something my Three was going to understand. I had to get creative with some of the short vowels, but they do have an action associated with them.
A … eat an apple
O… get on something
U… get under something
We had fun using the cards outdoors on a beautiful summer day, but they’re simple enough that you can do them inside, too. This is the other set of cards. They’re single-sided.
You can even “go” in a messy playroom.
Here’s our letter o card. Another one of those tricky letters whose key word isn’t exactly an action. Blame the alphabet.
Getting “on” a box lid.
E is for exercise. That’s a fun one!
So are they working?
Well, we’re having fun. And my Three is getting more practice recognizing lower case letters. I can’t say that it’s helped her learn her letter sounds yet. One thing I do is emphasize the letter sound each time we use a card. “M! /m/, /m/, March!”
We’ll get there. All in good time!
Here are some other ways to use the cards:
- Laminate the cards, hole punch the upper left corner, and put them on a ring. Then go through the cards one by one just for fun.
- Let your child be the teacher. He/she can name each letter, and you do the action. (My Three loves this.)
- After you’ve been doing the cards a while, see if your child can remember the action word before turning the two-sided card over.
- If you really want to use these cards to teach letter sounds, it’s wise to do just a few at a time. Make a big deal about each new key word. Act it out with props. Get silly!
- Lay the cards in alphabetical order on the floor.
- Just let your little one have fun playing!
So how will you use these cards? Let us know in the comments!
P.S. Yes, they come in both color and black and white.
Have you seen our best-selling letter of the week curriculum?
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