What you need:
- Magnetic letters — it's best if you have more than one set, and both upper- and lower-case letters
What to do:
- Play a matching-letter game: Invite your child to match capital letters to lower-case ones. With help from you, he can begin to see the relationship between the two cases.
- Choose a letter: Together, think up as many words as you can that begin with that letter. For example, B is for ball, bat, baby, balloon, bees. Be playful with the language, and make up silly phrases from the words you create. Try creating tongue twisters using words that begin with the same sound. Try "buzzing bumblebees" or "green, gooey grapes." Take turns saying the phrases three times, fast.
- Be a letter detective: Invite your child to choose any magnetic letter. With the letter in hand, find words around the house that contain that letter. Is it in a word on the microwave, stereo, or washing machine? On a T-shirt or toy? Is the letter at the beginning, middle, or end of the word? Is there more than one of the same letters in the word? This gives children the opportunity to recognize the same sounds in different words.
- Play "Going on a Trip": Start the game by saying, "I'm going to Florida and I'm taking the CAT." Spell out the word with your letters. Ask your child to repeat the phrase and to add another item that begins with the same initial sound: "I'm going to Florida and I'm taking the cat and a CRAYON." See how long you can keep going with that letter. Then try another letter sound.