Beginning Sound Letter Hunt

The quickest and easiest sound activity ever


Little Brother and I are working on learning (and reinforcing) letter sounds.  I am also in the throes of learning how to juggle 3 kids…while nursing a newborn about 7-8 times each day.  Needless to say, activities these days must be SIMPLE and QUICK.  This beginning sound letter hunt met all the above criteria and Little Brother just happened to love it because it felt like a game!  :)  In addition to learning letter sounds, this is a great phonemic awareness activities for dissecting the sounds heard in words and identifying the onset (initial sound heard in a spoken word).


Here’s what you’ll need:  Letter Stick-Ons (for posters).  Don’t have those?  Write some letters on a post-it note and call it good.  :)


 *You can find these letter pads near the poster board at most stores.





Give your child a sticky letter.  Identify the name of the letter and then help him/her make the letter sound.  Have him/her take the letter and stick it to something in the room that starts with that sound.  Little Brother started off by sticking the “N” to himself.   :)




 “B” for Books!





 “L” for lamp!





 “B” for Balloon





“P” for Piano!


It doesn’t get much quicker or easier to help your child learn letter sounds!


What is your favorite “on the fly” learning activity???


Seek and Find Color Hunt

seek and find color hunt


Guest Post by Jody of Growing Book by Book

One of our favorite literacy activities to do is go on a seek and find color hunt. It’s super quick and easy to put together and will keep the little ones busy on a long walk or a trip to the store.


What literacy skills does a color hunt build?

  • Recognizing color words
  • Categorizing
  • Noticing details
  • Discriminating
  • Building language

Here are the materials you need to prepare your seek and find sheet.

  • a clipboard or heavy piece of cardboard
  • 1 white piece of paper
  • 6 different paint color samples or construction paper
  • writing utensil
  • tape or glue

1. On each paint color sample or construction paper square, write the name of the color at the top. Select colors that your child needs to practice.
2. Tape or glue each square down onto the white paper.
3. Attach the sheet to a piece of cardboard or a clipboard.
4. Grab a writing utensil and you are ready to start your hide and seek color hunt.
During the hunt, children should find objects that match the colors on their sheet. They can either draw a picture or write the name of the object in the correct box on their sheet. Talking about what objects they are selecting and why they are making those choices helps build language skills. This activity works well for so many age groups!
We love to take outside walks for our hunts. We also use them on trips to the grocery store. They are a great way to keep little ones occupied while running errands. There are lots of color hunts you can take with your kids. Where else could you have kids hunt for colors?


Jodie Rodriguez is a National Board Certified teacher, reading specialist and administrator with over 18 years of experience. She currently stays at home with her two young sons (3 years and 21 months). Her newest adventure is the creation of the Growing Book by Book blog dedicated to helping caregivers nurture young readers. You can also connect with her on Facebook and Pinterest.


Sound It Out Parking Lot

Sound It Out Parking Lot. {Playdough to Plato}

Guest Post by Malia of Playdough to Plato


When my four year old learned the last few alphabet sounds, I knew that it was time to show him how to blend those sounds together and make words. Learning this new skill would take a lot of practice so I wanted to make the process more fun and motivating by incorporating one of his favorite things: Matchbox cars. Sound It Out Parking Lot is a playful, hands-on way to help kids begin reading.


To Prep, I pulled out a pile of Matchbox cars, a sheet of dot stickers and a black marker. I wrote a different letter on each dot and attached it to the roof of a car. I wanted my son to be able to build a variety of words so I used the letters {p, f, r, d, t, c, m, a, e, i, o and u}.

Sound It Out Parking Lot. {Playdough to Plato}

I grabbed a piece of blue construction paper to use as the parking lot and glued on two strips of yellow construction paper to make parking stalls. {Yellow tape would have made this step even easier but we were all out.}

I placed the {f, i, t} cars in front of the parking lot and invited my son, C, to join me. “Today is a big day!!” I said. “We are going to start sticking letters together to make words. Look at the tops of these three cars. What letters do you see?”

“F, I and T,” he said.

“And what sounds do those letters make?”

“/F/ … /i/ … /t/” he said carefully.

“Great! Now we are going to stick those sounds together like this.” I reached over to the cars and said each sound as I pushed the matching car into a parking stall. “/F/ {pushed the f}, /i/{slid the i}, /t/ {moved the t}.” I pulled the cars out and invited my son to try it too.

Sound It Out Parking Lot. {Playdough to Plato}

We slid the cars out of the stalls again and I showed him how to do it more quickly. My son eagerly repeated after me. After picking up the pace a third time, he figured out the word. “FIT!!” he exclaimed proudly.

“You’ve got it!” I said. “When you stick the letters {f, i and t} together you make the word {fit}. We sounded out the letters slowly at first and then went back to read them more and more quickly until we figured out our word. Now let’s practice again with a new word.” I drove the {i} away and replaced it with an {a}. Following the same process as before, my son was able to sound out his new word {fat}.

We continued swapping out one car at a time to create new words and with each new word he read, my son’s speed and confidence grew a little more. I had so many proud mama moments watching him.


Malia is a National Board Certified elementary teacher turned stay at home mama to three young kids {4, 2.5 and 5 months}. She shares fun learning activities over at Playdough to Plato. Check out her site and follow along with her newest activities by email.

“I Love You to Pieces” Valentines

I Love You to Pieces Valentines


This simple “I Love You to Pieces” Valentine Craft is the perfect personalized gift for parents, grandparents, and friends!  It is also great for fine motor development because it requires your child to tear small pieces of paper, which is excellent for developing the small muscles in the hands.  :)


Here’s what you’ll need:  construction paper, clear contact paper, scissors, markers, and a glue stick.  



1.  Lay out a small piece of clear contact paper with the backing removed.  Give your child some pieces of construction paper.



2.  Have your child tear the construction paper in the tiniest pieces possible.  This is GREAT fine motor practice and helps to develop those small muscles in the fingers!

IMG_5756 3.  Once your child is finished tearing paper and placing it on the sticky part of the contact paper, cut out another piece of contact paper the same size and sandwich the tiny pieces in between the two sheets of contact paper.



4.  Fold another piece of construction paper in half.  Use a template to trace a heart in the center of the folded paper.



5.  Carefully cut the heart shape out of both layers of your folded piece of construction paper.






6.  Lay your contact paper inside the construction paper with the heart cut out.  Use a glue stick on the inside, fold, and press.



Looking good!



7.  If your child is able, have him/her write “I love you to pieces!” on their creation.  If they aren’t able to write the entire thing, at least encourage your child to write his/her name.




















Check out more fun Valentines Day ideas here and on our Valentines Day Pinterest board!  

Word Family Lego Buildings

LEGO Word Family Buildings


These Word Family Lego Buildings are a great way to encourage your child to hear/see patterns in reading.  This is an important skill because it allows children to begin “reading” by grouping sets of letters within a word.  To put it simply, word families (sometimes called “chunks”) are groups of words that rhyme.  The first part of a word is called the onset and the last part of the word is conveniently called the rime (although it is spelled differently).  Word families share a similar “rime” as the onset changes.


Here’s what you’ll need:  LEGO Duplos, return address mailing labels, permanent marker, and scissors.




1.  Cut your labels in half lengthwise.



 2.  Write rhyming words on the labels.



3.  Attach the labels to the DUPLOs.



4.  Set out the blocks and encourage your child to put the blocks that rhyme together in the same stack.




5.  Point out that the words in the same word family end with the same letters.







He did a great job!






Looking for more word family activities?  Check out these posts:


Word Family Pull Out Activity

word famly game

Word Family Game