Looking for a simple activity that will teach kids to sound out words? Try these free word slider cards!
You can introduce “sounding it out” in different ways.
1. One way is to take out some letter tiles – H, A, and T for example. Lay out the tiles in order with large spaces in between. Show your child how to say each sound separately. Gradually squeeze the letter tiles together as you say the sounds closer together.
2. Another option is to write the letters of a three letter word in three separate boxes. Push a counter (like a block or poker chip) up toward each letter as you say the sounds. Help your child to say the sounds faster until he can say them together.
3. Consider starting with continuous sounds (sounds you can sustain) and using continuous phonation. That’s just a fancy way of saying “stretch out each sound until you get to the next one.” An example is found in this video from Heidisongs with the word RUN.
I saw this genius activity on the fabulous blog Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational, whose author learned about it from her son’s kindergarten teacher. With Relentlessly Fun’s permission, I’m sharing the idea on my blog as well.
The idea is very simple. You can use index cards or long strips of paper to write simple words to sound out. Since my Three loves to read and spell the word “pop,” I created a set of 30 short o word cards. (You can download my cards for free at the end of the post.) It helps to include a picture of the word at the end of the strip for self-checking.
Next, seal a business sized envelope.
Cut off the end of the envelope.
Insert a card into the envelope. Have your child say each sound as each letter or letter combination is revealed.
Have him repeat the sounds in order until he can sliiide them all together to make a word.
Simple! The first couple times we did this, my little guy resisted. I pulled it out a month later, and suddenly he was sounding out at least half of the words on his first or second try. I loved seeing the smile on his face when he revealed the final picture and saw that he was correct!
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Word Slider Cards
Get our expanded, updated set of over 300 short vowel word slider cards! Each card has updated clip art and comes in both color and black and white.