Help your child master beginning consonant sounds with these colorful sorting mats!
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.
After printing, laminate. I love our laminator because I don’t have to cut apart the cards before we begin. I laminated each full sheet of picture cards and cut them apart after laminating.
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!
Get your free beginning sound sorting mats!
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Omg I don’t know how to thank you that you provide this printables free, most of the ones that i found you have to pay for them and sometimes i just can’t affort them. I got inlove with your work the moment i saw them cause everything is pictures and these really help because my two babies are autistic they are more visual i just cant thank you enough.
I am very thankful for these freebies. Thanks for sharing.
You’re welcome, Nancy!
Love this activity! Do you have these or the sound cover mats for ending sounds as well?
I do not, Amy, but I’ll think about creating them!
I truely look forward to using these mats for speech development.
For children that struggle with c and t, m and n etc.
Thank you again!
You’re very welcome, Shana!
Thank you for sharing! Your activities and games are very useful.
You’re very welcome, Oksana!
thank you for the beautiful set!
You’re very welcome!
I love these!! My students love these too!! They grab these as soon as they get to teacher table, while they are waiting on me, and start sorting. We also use the little pictures for syllable sorting – super resource! Thank you for sharing!
I’m so glad you can use these, Amy!
Thank you so much for your generosity!
You’re very welcome, Ro!
LOVE your website! Thank you!!!
Thank you so much, Cathy!
I downloaded these last year and used them during small group reading time for independent activities. My students LOVED them and returned to them several times. Thanks!
It makes me so happy to hear that, Virginia – thank you! 🙂
Thank you for being such a great sharer! So many of your free downloads have been FANTASTIC teaching tools for my ESL students. You are so insightful and creative. Thank you very very much for your efforts and your generous soul!
I’m thrilled to hear that these are working for your students! Thanks so much for letting me know.
What a delightful website!
Your printables are so colorful and appealing. I am going to start a small centre for children on the autism spectrum and those with reading issues. I am a mom of a 14 year old , almost recovered bright ASD child.
I just wanted to point out some omissions in this download.
in the key for “n” net is mentioned twice , one should be neck.
In the key for “v” vest is missing.
God bless you for your willingness to share with all! I am going to buy your products and tell more and more parents about your almost one stop shop website. Love you!
Thank you for the edits, Seema! I’ll file this away and get to it later this summer. 🙂
I love theses cards:) The pictures are very cute. Is there any way you could make some short vowel sound sorting cards?
Those are not on my to do list, yet, Kristen, but I’ll keep it in mind. Have you browsed my Phonics Activities page? You’ll find a lot of things there that will help kids with short vowel sounds.
Thank you so much for the freebies, my students love them and you have made planning and organising lessons that much easier, I’m so grateful!
(Ps. Please ignore the time my comment was posted – it’s 8.07pm in Australia, not 5.07am!)
You’re very welcome, Sarah! So glad you can use these!
i’m a big fan of your work….all over your website, In the key…you didn’t include “neck” (N) and “vest” (V)
Thanks! I’ll file this in my list of “things to edit” and get to it eventually. 🙂
Thank you so much for this freebie! I spent today getting it ready for working with some children who are struggling with learning letter names/sounds. Perfect for working with them in a small group!
I’m so glad you can use it, Jan!
This is so nice for the kids. Is there not anything like what you have here for Afrikaans kids?
I downloaded most of these for my little girl but would like some in afrikaans too please.
I’m sorry, Yulandi, but I’m only able to provide English materials.
You have so many wonderful activities on your website! I have purchased some as well as taken advantage of some of the freebies. They are terrific and my students have enjoyed them as well. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful activities and ideas! I truly appreciate your hard work and willingness to share.
You’re very welcome, Sue – and thank you so much for the thoughtful comment!
I Printed this activate out and it’s great.
But i don’t get why there are missing letter?
and is it possible where can i get the missing letters from?
These just include consonants because they begin words much more often than vowels. I didn’t include “x” because it usually appears at the end of words in English. If you’d like to see more beginning sounds activities that include all the letters, you can visit this page: https://www.themeasuredmom.com/beginning-sounds-activities/
I learned a lot through your website. Yours and reading mama’s website gave me so much hope to teach my son.You have so much knowledge and a big heart to share so many resources. My son has autism and he is 5 year old. I am using your bear patterns, number recognition materials to teach him.He still doesn’t know his letters.Recently started using your “find the letter” worksheets with him. Is it still okay to start with the consonant sorting mat? Please advise.
Hello, Saru! I’m sorry for the delay in answering your question. I think it’s worth a try to start with the sorting mats. Some people believe in teaching letter sounds before words, so that logic would say that using the mats early on could work. Just remember to have him do two easy mats at a time … an easy contrast would be where two sounds are very different, such as the sounds of c and m, but NOT the sounds of p and b. I hope this activity goes well for him!
Thank you very much for sharing this beautiful activity.
I printed it out a few days ago as soon as I saw it, laminated it, cut, well, thank you again, from a homeschooling mom of PK and 1st grade in Texas.
I’m so glad you can use it, Norma! We are getting a lot of use out of it at our house. 🙂
Thanks Anna.I’ve just download one of your precious and fantastic work.
You’re very welcome, Syikin!
What is the peanut shaped thing? Lol is it a peanut? I’m trying to attach all of my pictures and I’ve got some that don’t fit with the letters. PS Love it!!!
Pretty sure there’s a peanut in there. 🙂 When you look at the download you’ll see that all the pictures for the same letter are grouped together, so that should help. You can just go back and check the file after you’ve cut them apart. Guess I should have included a key!
I am a pre-k and kdg sub and this will be perfect for me to grab and go. Thank you for sharing your creativity!
So glad you can use these, Maureen!
You must have been reading my mind! I was literally looking for an activity like this for my struggling Kinders during MTSS time. Thank you!
Yay! So happy to hear that, Amanda!
I love your creations! I am so grateful for the free downloads. Thank you. These are another gem!!!
Thank you so much, Holly!