Making your own Magnetic Build-a-Word Tray is a great way to promote pre-reading skills with your preschooler or early-elementary student. The best part about this DIY tray is that it can grow with your child–adding new skills as your child progresses through the early literacy process. I’m sharing the tutorial for assembling the tray today. In the next week or so, I’ll be sharing several ways to use this tray to help with letter recognition, phonemic awareness, and decoding.
Here’s what you’ll need: A Cookie Sheet, some 1-inch tiles (I got ours on clearance for less than $1 at Lowes last year), another color of tiles or GemStones, a hot glue gun, and magnetic buttons (which we received compliments of CraftProjectIdeas.com), a permanent marker, and some Mod Podge (optional).
1. Write all lower-case consonants on your 1-inch tiles. If you want to ensure that the marker doesn’t eventually fade, you can paint over them with Mod Podge.
2. Next, write all the lower-case vowels on the alternate tiles/GemStones. If you choose, paint over with Mod Podge.
3. Attach a magnetic button on the back of each of the tiles/GemStones using a glue gun.
4. Write each capital letter at the top of the cookie sheet using your Sharpie and draw 5 equally-spaced stars at the bottom (I’ll explain why in a future post).
Big Brother in action with his Build-a-Word Tray!
Go ahead and make your trays and then get ready for some great pre-reading activities!
Other Activities that Use the Build-a-Word Tray: