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Phonics Fun twist on some old favourites…

We’ve had some lovely emails asking us for more ideas for the kids school holidays, whilst helping to continue the development they have made in their Phonics Stars ™ Classes during term time.

One little suggestion is to use fun games that we all know and love, but to find an educational angle in each…  For example, from a young age, Pre school Children quickly get to grips with, and enjoy playing, ‘pairs’.  There are endless versions of this game featuring all possible combinations of animal, household goods, not-to-mention characters from films and TV programmes.  Next time you play with your Child, invite them to tell you about the sounds used in the name of the object on the pair of cards that they have just won.  As a simple example, if the cards are dogs, ask what it starts with, what it ends with, and can they spell it if you cover it up?  You may like to build this up in an age appropriate way, choosing to start with fewer cards, and selecting pairs that include simple letters and diagraphs.

Picture1Surely every house has a Snakes and Ladders board in the cupboard-under-the-stairs or the loft!  If not, you can get it here from Amazon for only £5.99.  The most basic skill that Children can learn with this game is the simple and repetitive process of counting their counter along the squares to match the number on their dice; and benefiting from the regular repeating of this mantra.  As the game goes on, the sequence of numbers increasingly become set in their little minds; helped by the excitement and anticipation of wondering whether they may land on a slippery snake or a lucky ladder.

But there is another variant that Parents can introduce too… The great thing you can do when playing Snakes and Ladders with young Children is to use two dice.  Or is that ‘dices’ or ‘die’?  Never mind… the point is that this is a fun way to help Children to learn to add together the smallest and easiest of numbers.  Depending how old or developed they are, either get them to count the spots in total, or get them to add the two small numbers together.  Bigger dice make this easier, and its a fun way to introduce and develop simple addition.

And finally, if you want to impress your Children with a little magic, tell them that if they throw the dice, you can guess what number is on the side that is underneath, and thereby invisible.  If you don’t know how to this, the answer is that any two opposite sides on a dice add up to seven!  So if the three is at the top, you will know that the four is the hidden number at the bottom.  One and six, two and five.  Simples…

Whether it is counting how many bananas are in your shopping trolley or learning to spell the names of the pubs in your holiday village in Cornwall, there is always a way for creative Parents and Carers to extend Phonics Stars™ learnings anytime, anywhere.