Have you seen my Read ‘n Stick mats yet? They’ve been a great tool for helping my older preschooler learn to sound out words in word families. His younger brother wants very much to do those himself. In fact he’ll take the cards off the mat and ask me to help him put them in the right places- even though he doesn’t sound out words yet or understand much of the vocabulary.
My Three isn’t ready to learn to sound out words; he needs to work at hearing beginning sounds. So I decided to create him his own stick mats. He loves these and asks to do them. I love that once they’re assembled, it’s easy to take out the binder and let him work at the kitchen table while I’m preparing a meal. And the Velcro dots keep everything in one place.
I hope you can use this beginning sounds activity in your home or classroom!
(This post contains affiliate links.)
I call these Beginning Sound Match Mats. (Sorry for the tongue twister at the end there.) Each mat builds on the previous one – so while the first mat only requires your child to match pictures beginning with f and t, the next mat adds a new letter – and so on. The newest letter always receives the most attention, and as your child has had several mats of practice with a particular letter’s sound, that one gets bumped off to make room for another letter.
What order am I using? Since I use pieces of Reading the Alphabet to teach my boys to read, I’ve decided to use that curriculum’s order of teaching the letter sounds. You could go in whatever order you wanted, but if you want to make this a learning experience that builds on previous mats, start with number 1.
Free beginning sounds activity
How to assemble
1. Print the mat and the cards.
2. Laminate both. (I love my affordable home laminator!)
3. Cut apart the cards.
4. Attach clear Velcro dots to the pictures and cards (you’ll use the fuzzy white part on the back of the cards).
5. Punch holes in the mats and store them in a 3-ring binder if you want to keep them all in one place.
How to use
1. Have your child take off all the cards (no problem there – my Three does not want any help because he loves those Velcro dots!).
2. Guide your child to say each picture name, listen to its beginning sound, and find the letter which makes that sound. Attach to the picture.
3. If your child wants to do it a different way, see if it works for him. My Three likes to take the letter cards and move around the board, saying each picture and finding the one that matches. It seems less efficient to me, but he’s resistant to my way of doing it. He actually gets more practice this way!
4. Take out the mats as often as your child wants to do them.
5. Find lots of other fun ways to practice beginning sounds to supplement this activity. Follow my Alphabet for Kids Pinterest board for ideas – I’m always adding new ones!
A sample mat
Great news! All 25 mats are now complete AND available in one easy download!
Click HERE to get to my post which shares all 25 mats.
(You’ll need to go to the end of the post for the download.)
Get links to the best alphabet activities – organized into a daily curriculum!
© 2013 – 2016, Anna G. All rights reserved.