Are you teaching phonics to kids? This milk cap letter activity is a great word building exercise!
Last week I shared a tutorial for how to make your own milk or bottle cap letters. Today I’ll show you how to use my printables for some hands-on phonics and spelling practice with the short a word families.
My kids attend our church’s parochial school, but I don’t think their teachers should get to have all the fun! So I work at teaching my kids to read when they show readiness signs – usually around age 4.
Currently I’m working with my Four (soon to be five). He can do some basic sounding out with word families, but it’s not automatic yet. We use very few worksheets — while they can be useful, I think that hands-on learning is best. And with my busy boy, it’s definitely preferred.
I created a series of milk cap printables because I was inspired by the bottle cap sets made by This Reading Mama. What a great hands-on way to practice word building, reading, and spelling! No drills or worksheets – that’s my kind of phonics.
Each page has two mats – you’ll have to print and cut apart.
If you print the pages front to back, this is what you will find on the back of each sheet. Your child can do the beginner side first (matching the letters), and then flip over and spell without the letters. Or do all the beginner mats first, and then do all the advanced ones.
Another way to play? Start with the advanced side. Then slide the letters off the mat and have your child flip it over to see if his spelling was correct!
When I sat down to do these with my Four, I gave him just the “at” family mats (a set of eight). First, he did all the beginner cards — matching the letters. He sounded out each word as he worked.
Next, he flipped over all the cards and did all the advanced cards. He stretched out each word as he placed the letters. (b…aaaaa….t) Sometimes he wanted to place the letters out of order – but I encouraged him to put them down in the order that he heard the sounds.
Here’s a bonus challenge: Each word family set includes at least two words that begin with a digraph (ch, sh, th) or blend (fl, tr, sw, etc.). If those are too tough for your learner, leave them out for now.
I’ve made a lot of short a word family printables — and so far my Four seems to enjoy these the most. I can’t wait to try them again!
Get your printables below. Color isn’t necessary (but it’s sure pretty! :)). Remember to print front to back!
Get all of our milk cap spelling mats!
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You’ll love our word family mats and games!
Short Vowel Word Family Mats & Games
This is a set of 35 printable short vowel word family picture mats with corresponding word cards. The mats come in three different versions – full color with a border, color without a border, and black and white. Each mat also comes with a worksheet and two games.