In our homeschool I like to use a variety of materials to work on language concepts including letter recognition and phonics. One wonderful tool in my language arts “toolbox” is a set of miniature objects. The miniature objects I own come from the Language Object Starter Set sold by Montessori Services.
In this post I share three simple activities you can do to help kids work on initial sound recognition, middle sound recognition, and vowels vs. consonants recognition.
Note: For more language and literacy ideas, see my Literacy Activities for Kids Page.
Sorting objects by initial sound
When first learning to segment words into their sounds, most kids find it easiest to identify the initial sound. I prepared an activity for XGirl that involved placing several letters from our Montessori moveable alphabet onto a mat. I then provided her with a container of miniature objects beginning with the sounds on her mat.
By the time we did this activity, she was familiar with all of these letter sounds. So I first helped her review the sound made by each letter. She then sorting all of the objects by placing them under the appropriate letter.
Sorting objects by middle vowel sound
Identifying the middle vowel sound of a one-syllable word was a more advanced skill for XGirl to master. I helped her by preparing activities where she had to sort miniature objects into one of two piles based on the middle vowel sound.
For this activity, I placed miniature objects like a rug, drum, and club for the short-u sounds and a clip, pin, and fish for the short-i sound.
She didn’t have very much difficulty sorting objects based on the short-u and short-i sounds. For both of my kids, distinguishing between the short-e and the short-i sounds has been the most difficult.
Sorting objects that begin with vowels vs. consonants
At one point I realized that QBoy didn’t know what a vowel was vs. what a consonant was. I set up this simple activity to help him learn the difference.
I wrote all the vowels on one piece of paper and all the consonants on another. I then asked him to sort miniature objects based on whether their initial sound was a vowel sound or a consonant sound.
More ways to teach to early language & literacy skills
More early language activities from Gift of Curiosity:
- Sight word ball toss game
- Sight word tic-tac-toe
- Shaving cream writing
- Blending practice with pipe cleaners and letter beads
- Learning to alphabetize