It can be hard for pre-readers to hear the difference between single consonants and blends. Try this free Bingo game to help your early reader master blends and digraphs!
Hearing beginning blends is difficult for pre-readers and even early readers. How do you help your child hear the difference between a word that starts with /s/ and one that starts with /sp/?
The best way is through activities that require your child to really listen to the sounds without seeing the actual spellings.
My Four knows his beginning sounds without any trouble, but hearing the two distinct sounds in a blend is difficult for him. When he worked on our beginning blends clip cards, I could see that we needed to take things back a step.
And that brings us to…
Blends and Digraphs Bingo
It’s a giant set of 27 free bingo boards to help your child hear the sounds of beginning blends (fr, tr, cl, pr, etc.) and digraphs (sh, ch, th, wh, wr).
I played this with my Four, Six, and Seven. Each time I pulled a calling card I had my Four read the beginning blend. At first I had him read the cards the way I teach letter sounds… without a voiced ending. By this I mean that “sn” would be “sssnn” rather than “snuh.”
As we played, though, I began to see that it was easier to hear the blend if it was more pronounced. So “pl” became “pluh” and “sn” became “snuh.” While I don’t recommend doing this with beginning letter sounds (letter m should be “mmm” and not “muh”), it really helped my Four hear the blend in each word.
If you’re playing this game at home rather than the classroom, you’ll only need a few boards. You might be surprised at how much older siblings enjoy this game. My Six and Seven were anxious to play and played a few more rounds after my Four had moved on.
If it’s just you and your early reader, print two boards and play with him.
My favorite thing about this game is that every single blend and digraph on the calling cards is represented on every single board. This way your child can’t give up, saying, “I don’t have that one.” He’ll have to keep hunting, because he knows it’s there somewhere.
I hope you enjoy these!
Looking for more free printables for learning sounds?
- Beginning sound blackout
- Beginning blends clip cards
- Rhyming clip cards
- Rhyming bingo
- Beginning sound clip cards
- Beginning sound coloring pages
- Beginning sound cover worksheets