Sound Flakes

by Juliet Leonard
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There is something truly magical about the look on a child’s face when they realise they have ‘built’ a word from their sound knowledge.  It signifies a key step in literacy development and the beginning of the journey of reading.

As a speech and language therapist and mum, I have had the privilege of watching this special moment many times over and it never ceases to amaze me.  Recently, my 4 year old announced with great pride: “I made a word!.....”awesome”!”  He proudly presented me with 3 cubes, sounding them out: “o-s-m!”  Building words by their sounds (and never mind the errors at this stage!) demonstrates an ability to identify the sound components in a word, to segment them in to those sound parts and to identify whether they make real words, or non words

As the winter fast approaches and we are gearing up for a magical holiday season, here is an activity  which promotes these early literacy skills whilst doing something creative….and, decorates a classroom or home!

Together, make some beautiful snowflakes, which are about the size of a saucer or small plate.  These can be as simple or intricate as you wish.  Make a small hole at the top so that they can be hung from the ceiling.

Next, add a consonant or vowel sound to your snow flake, to make it a ‘sound flake’.  You can add sounds according to your child’s level.  If your child would benefit from seeing a distinction between vowels and consonants, make these 2 types of soundflakes different shapes.

Then, simply hang them from the ceiling and start building words.