How do I get my child to start blending?
This is a question I get asked all the time so I have created this game to help your child blend sounds together to create words and to help you to help them HEAR the sounds! Playing this game with your child will help you to see how well they are developing these skills of auditory discrimination needed to hear the individual sounds. You will both learn!
It is very important that you say the sounds, rather than the letter names because we cannot blend words for reading without using the pure sounds. This game is ordered into pages, which is (roughly) in order of how difficult the sounds are supposed to be (according to the order of Letters and Sounds (2002) so you can start from the beginning and only print what you need, as you need it.
In this video, you can hear that my little boy recognises the first few pictures and knows the sounds and can match them to the milk bottle tops (used as an extra sensory dimension) but when he comes to the picture of the map, he loses a little bit of engagement as he doesn't distinguish what the picture is. He knows map begins with 'm' but can't quite segment those sounds. This is where practise makes perfect and you can really help your child to hear, recognise and find those letter sounds! It really helps if you talk through what the pictures are with your child first (they are all listed at the beginning). Some of them, like 'fern' may not be known to them so they can learn new vocabulary and develop their knowledge and understanding of the world as you talk / play!
A C-V-C word is a word with three sounds that are beginning with a consonant; have a vowel in the middle and end with a consonant. The game starts with the simplest c-v-c words- for example 'sun' and the child can organise these into a phoneme frame of three sounds.
As the game progresses, consonant digraphs such as 'sh' and 'ch' are introduced as are vowel digraphs, such as 'ee' and 'ai'. It's really important that although these are two letters, they are still considered one phoneme- all digraphs are two letters that make one sound. This is one sound that we hear and the same sound that we say. Although we see more letters (graphemes). The game helpfully keeps the phoneme frame as three units so it's easier for children to see / hear that they are still working with three units of sound even when they are progressing to words like 'ch/ai/n" and 'sh/ar/k'.
There are many different ways you can play the game- but it's always advisable to start working from where your child is at and start with the sounds they know already. There is information in the instructions about this,
This game is available to buy in our shop here
If, having purchased it, you would like any further help on how to use it or other ways you can help your child with blending, please get in touch!
There is no magic wand to help your child to blend for reading but fun practice, learning through play is the best way to support them. I am sure that many parents would agree that it feels like MAGIC when it clicks, which it will.