Print this free letter sounds activity to help your child identify beginning sounds in words.
If those activities are a little tough for your child, you’ll appreciate this activity.
It takes a little step back.
Do you notice how there aren’t any letters on these cards? That’s intentional.
The point of the activity is not to teach which letter makes what sound, but to help children hear and identify beginning sounds. This can be trickier than you might think!
The idea is simple. Clip the picture that starts with the same sound as the main picture above. The download comes with both a green and red set. Each set has one card for each letter.
The red set is slightly harder, and here’s why. Many of the cards have pictures whose beginning sounds start at the same part of the mouth. (The fancy phrase for that is point of articulation, if you want to impress anyone.)
For example: Say the word turtle. Now say duck. See how your tongue is right behind your top set of teeth when you start each word?
Try zipper. Now say snake. See what I mean?
Volcano and frog. Both times, your teeth are on your bottom lip.
How about ant and elephant? Those vowel sounds are tricky.
I figured my Four wouldn’t have any trouble with these cards. The consonants were no problem at all.
But the vowels threw him for a loop. Each time, I had to help him choose the correct picture. This tells me we need more listening activities to help him hear the difference between vowel sounds. Stay tuned for those!
I pulled out the easier set of cards out for my just-turned-Three. Unlike his older siblings, identifying letter sounds in words hasn’t come quickly. He had fun saying the names of the pictures with me, and he loved clipping the answers. But the whole activity went over his head.
“Look at this picture! Elephant! /eh/ /eh/ elephant. What’s this picture?
“I don’t know.”
“Juice. Can you say /j/ /j/ juice?”
“/j/ /j/ juice!”
“Does that sound like /eh/ /eh/ elephant?”
No, listen again. JUICE. Do you hear /eh/ /eh/?
I’m not concerned yet. We just started letter of the week, and we talk a lot about letter sounds. When fall comes around and we’ve been through the whole alphabet, I’ll find a new plan of attack if this is still an issue for him. My suspicion is that he’s just not developmentally ready to identify beginning sounds in words.
Bonus! The set also comes with pictures for these common digraphs: th, ch, and sh.
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