~The FINAL DAY on our 19 DAY JOURNEY of inspiration, activities, and resources! Thanks for joining us!~
If you missed Teach with Toys Part I Monday, click here: Day 17: TEACH WITH TOYS: the teaching manipulatives lurking in your home! (Part 1)
If you missed our TOY MATH MANIPULATIVES in Part II yesterday, click here: Day 18: TEACH WITH TOYS (part II); the MATH MANIPULATIVES lurking in your home!
TOYS that teach READING & WRITING and how to be RESOURCEFUL with them
~Instead of Montessori “Reading Blocks” use. . . BLOCKS!~
Reading Lessons/Activities using BLOCKS:
Fill in the Vowel (ages 3-6):
Set up “consonant frames” and allow your child to play by subbing in different vowels and sounding out the words.
- Some “consonant frames” to get you started:
- B_G (bag, beg, big, bog, bug)
- B_T (bat, bet, bit, but)
- C_P (cap, cop, cup)
- C_B (cab, cob, cub)
- C_T (cat, cot, cut)
- L_G (lag, leg, log, lug)
- P_T (pat, pet, pit, pot)
- P_G (peg, pig, pug)
- S_P (sap, sip, sop)
- T_P (tap, tip, top)
- ST_MP (stamp, stomp, stump)
- SP_N (span, spin, spun)
Match a word (ages 3-6):
Set up words and have your child sound them out and match them to the corresponding block pictures.
Word Starters & Finishers (ages 3-6):
Set up a series of “word starters” and/or “word finishers” and allow your child to start or finish the words by adding a consonant to the beginning or end of each word.
- Some “word starters” to get you. . . started:
- BA_ (bag, bat, bad, back, etc)
- BU_ (bug, but, bun, buck, etc.)
- CA_ (cab, cap, cat, can, etc.)
- CU_ (cup, cut, cub, cuff, etc.)
- HE_ (hen, her, hem, head, etc.)
- JO_ (jog, job, jot, jock, etc.)
- LI_ (lit, lip, lick, lift, etc.)
- PI_ (pit, pig, pin, pine, etc.)
- PA_ (pan, pat, pal, pack, etc.)
- SO_ (sob, sod, sop, sock, etc.)
- TA_ (tag, tap, tab, tan, etc.)
- Some “word finishers” to get you started:
- _AD (bad, dad, had, lad, etc.)
- _AG (bag, sag, gag, lag, etc.)
- _ED (bed, red, fed, led, etc.)
- _UG (bug, lug, rug, mug, etc.)
- _IP (lip, sip, hip, rip, etc.)
- _OT (rot, pot, hot, cot, etc.)
- _OP (hop, top, chop, shop, etc.)
- _UN (bun, run, sun, fun, etc.)
~Instead of “Reading Rods” use: DUPLOS!~
Write letters on old Duplos or Megabricks with a sharpie, or use circular label stickers that you can remove later like we did, to create a set of “Reading Rods” every bit as good as ones you can buy.
Reading Lessons/Activities using DUPLOS:
Match a word (ages 3-6):
On larger Duplos/Megabricks, write out entire words in sharpie or on a sticker, and on other equal-sized bricks, draw the images or symbols to match. Example: the word ball, and a drawing of a ball.
Build a word (ages 4-10):
Allow your child to play and manipulate their Duplo Reading Rods to experiment making lots of words. You can also give your child a set of vocabulary or spelling words, either as flashcards or written out on index cards or cardstock, to have them build words to match. This activity can be used for older students, and/or can grow with your child; just use increasingly longer and more difficult vocabulary/spelling words.
~Instead of “Moveable Letters” use: ABC PUZZLES or MAGNETIC LETTERS!~
*To preface: we have a set of Montessori wooden letters in manuscript and cursive and we love them. But they are expensive, and quite honestly, they do not get used as often as our other materials. If your child loves moveable letters activities, or your child is creating sentences and needs more than one of each letter, than purchasing a set of moveable letters may better suit your needs.
Reading Lessons using ABC PUZZLES or MAGNETIC LETTERS
Fill in the Vowel (ages 3-6): refer to the same instructions under “BLOCKS”
Word Starters & Finishers (ages 3-6): refer to the same instructions under “BLOCKS”
Build a word (ages 4-10):
Allow your child to play with the letters and experiment making lots of words. You can also give your child a set of vocabulary or spelling words, either as flashcards or written out on index cards or cardstock, to have them build words to match. This activity can be used for older students, and/or can grow with your child; just use increasingly longer and more difficult vocabulary/spelling words.
Sentence Builder (ages 6-10):
Allow your child to copy or create sentences (provided you have enough letters to do so). Many children love to copy sentences out of a favorite book or magazine.
~All Toy Takeover~
Reading Lessons/Activities you can use with ANY TOYS:
Sort Toys by vowel, or beginning or ending consonant (ages 3-6):
Have your pre-reader play with this “sounding out” activity, sure to be a hit and sure to bring phonics to life! This has been a true favorite in our family; my son asks to do this one just for fun!
Assemble the following:
- 2 or more containers/baskets/boxes/bowls (add more as your child is ready for more challenge)
- flashcards or index cards with vowels and/or consonants clearly written in large print
- a tray
- a collection of small toys/household items that coincide with chosen vowels, starting consonants, or ending consonants. Examples: if highlighting short vowel sounds, good choices for items may include: hat, button, mitten, block, etc. If highlighting long vowel sounds, good choices for items may include: boat, baby, kite, glue, etc. If highlighting the beginning consonants of B, S, and T, good choices for items may include: sock, ball, top, etc. If highlighting the ending consonants of CK, R, and L, good choices for items may include: car, doll, lock, etc.)
Help your child sound out the words of the items on the tray and locate the corresponding container. Once your child is able to do this on his or her own, add to or replace items on the trays daily or weekly to meet your child’s challenge and interest level. Add more containers, longer item names, etc.
*Educational Note: the reason I love this activity so very much is that the toys and household items you will assemble on the tray are things that your child sees, handles, and plays with regularly, or daily. That familiarity works in their (and your) favor three ways. First, your child will be very motivated to work with these items. Second, your child will have a jump start or upper hand in that he or she already will verbally know most of the names of the items. And third, your child will go on seeing and handling these items after discovering their short or long vowel, or beginning or ending consonants. . . in other words, they will learn the lesson and then be reminded of that lesson daily upon encountering each item.
Label Toys (ages 4-8):
Use flashcards or write the names of various toys out onto index cards or cardstock and have your child match them or “label” the toys. Use more or less difficult words depending on the age of your child. This can be used many ways:
- In a tray activity with small toys, or a collection of toys, such as animal figurines
- Labeling a Dollhouse
- Labeling a Lego City
- Labeling all around the toy/play room
- In a “Toy Store” to label the names and prices of toys
Toy Scavenger Hunts (ages 4-8):
Write the names of various toys around your house onto index cards or cardstock. Choose items that your child can sound out, or more challenging vocabulary/spelling words for older kids. Hide the words as clues, placed in envelopes (Easter eggs also work great) alongside or hidden with the toy corresponding to the last clue. For example: you give your child the first clue, “doll”, and with her doll is hidden the next clue, “blocks”, and so on, ultimately leading to a prize or treat of some kind.
Story Baskets & Small World Play (ages 3-8):
Assemble a collection of toys and other items for children to play with in creating an original story, or recreating an existing story. Young children also love playing with story baskets or creating story “small worlds” while listening to the story on audiobook. Collect items for each tray according to the elements needed for your chosen story. Pictured here is our Story Tray/Basket for The Three Little Pigs:
Readers’ Theater (ages 3-8):
Assemble costumes and props for your child to act out a favorite story. Younger children love doing this while listening to the story or story drama on audio. Pictured below is my son’s “Practical Pig” costume and prop basket that he loves to use while he listens to Sterling Holloway’s The Three Little Pigs (link below photo).
*Want links for our favorite audio dramas? Check out the “Music and Movement” section on my previous post, click here: Day 6: Get your kids to MOVE IT (and stop taking it out on the walls)!
Toy Stories (ages 8 to adult):
Need a creative writing prompt? Tell your child to select three toys. ANY THREE TOYS. Have your child gather the selected toys and bring them to their writing area. Invite your student to write a story. The only rule is that the story must be about, include, or significantly mention in some way, the names of the three toys. The story may be all about the toys, bringing the toys to life, or may just include them in detail or dialogue. The three toys may not, however, just be included as a list. They must, in some way, contribute to the plot of the story.
WANT MORE CREATIVE WRITING PROMPTS LIKE THIS ONE? I highly recommend this TeachersPayTeachers product: CREATIVE WRITING PROMPTS FOR TEENS. Check it out on my Pinterest board below:
Thank you so much for being a part of our 19 DAY JOURNEY! I can’t believe how quickly it went by! I have a lot planned for the upcoming weeks and months, and will be continuing to post once or twice a week, so I’d love it if you stuck around!
Leave a comment below for what you’d like to see covered in the next series!
Love, ~Our Holistic Homeschool~