Check out Yellow Mum’s super cute dinosaur shapes free printable. If you want a larger size, she has them for purchase from her etsy shop. Regardless of the size, there’s a ton of ways you could use these guys.
- make into magnets and use on the refrigerator or for portable fun, a cookie sheet
- cut them out and glue onto notecards. Then make a memory/concentration matching game
- depending on your child’s skill level, practice writing the first sound or shape word
- match color words to the color of the dinosaurs
- glue onto posterboard and cover with contact paper. You’ll have a placemat for fun at dinnertime.
I’m always on the look out for more fun (and even better, easy to make) letter recognition games. Just visit Tired, Need Sleep (don’t we all?) and print off her lowercase letter templates. Then cut out the pieces from foam and away you go! This also works on spatial reasoning, as it’s just like a puzzle and fine motor skills, as those pieces of foam are pretty small. Once your child is ready to move on to something harder, print, cut and paste more letter templates to spell out their name or sight words.
If you want to make this a fun car or airplane game, make the templates and foam magnetic with a bit of refrigerator magnet tape and use them on a cookie sheet.
I’ve posted about sight words in the past but check out another fun game to try from The Activity Mom. I love stuff like this that is simple, requires only a handful of supplies and is fun!!
Amy from Let’s Explore guest blogs at Simple Kids and discusses the importance of kids setting goals. Setting goals really is important and having a goal chart like one of Amy’s really helps a kid visualize their progress and become motivated. This is something great to do at the beginning of the school year, and you can bet your child’s teacher will be talking about setting goals in class. It will also likely come up in parent/teacher conferences a little later in the fall. Talk with your child about something they’d like to work on and make a plan for how they’ll accomplish it. Then celebrate it when they do!
When your child is learning to read, looking for patterns in words is huge! If they know the word, “at” for example, then they know all the words that can be made by putting a consonant in front of it, cat, rat, mat, you get the idea. Once they understand blends, they can also read those, that, chat, slat. All these words make up one big happy family, the -at family! Other common word families that are good for your child to know are: -og, -en, -ack, -ig, I could keep going. You can go to Mrs. Alphabet and see a list of more. Word families are good rhyming practice and naturally make writing easier too.
When teaching word families at school, we drew a house and gave it a family name, like the Acks! Then we would write “family members” inside the house.
You could take it a step further and add words with blends.
You can also have them illustrate a picture of the words, ahem, I mean family members!
I also used to read, Flip the Page Rhyme and Read books to the kids to work on word families/rhyming. It’s a great series with Zug the Bug and Tog the Dog. You can also make your own, as Having Fun at Home did. Get your kids involved and this could be a great learning activity that is also FUN!
Want some free alphabet cards? Here are some super cute ones from Homemade by Jill. You can use these the traditional way of holding them up and saying the letter name and sound or you could:
- Print two copies and play Memory/Concentration
- Use them to play wordless (letterless, really!)
- Play “Go Fish” (you’d need four copies)
- Play “Old Maid” (you’d need to print some other card, maybe a period or question mark, for the old maid card)
- Sort out the vowels and consonants
- Find the letters of your child’s name
- Think up other things that make the same letter sounds
- Draw one card at a time and have your child practice writing that letter with sidewalk chalk or bath paint
Print these on card stock and see if you can get them laminated at your local teacher store or Kinko’s. If you plan on really using them for games, the extra cost for the laminate will make it worth it in the end.
How on earth do cookie sheets and alphabet magnets have anything to do with each other? Well, they are the perfect combo for a car trip, whether it’s running errands around town or a long trip out of town. Here’s a few ideas but of course let your child be creative too. Have a few extra sets of magnets available too if you’re child wants to work on spelling.
Depending on your child, you can start out with simpler ideas focusing on just the letters and progress to more difficult ideas like writing sight words or environmental print. This idea is sorting letters that use only straight lines and letters that use a curved line.
Straight letters vs. letters with curves
When your child has a good grasp of letter identification, have them sort consonants and vowels.
Consonants vs. vowels
You can also have them sort out the letters in their name or anyone else’s for that matter.
Letters not in your name vs. letters in your name
When your child is ready for a challenge, have them sort out the letters that make more than one sound.
Letters that make one sound vs. letters that make two or more sounds
Kids also love to copy environmental print.
Copy environmental print