Little Sister (almost 5 years old) has shown a sudden interest in all things letters and sounds lately (which gives me great relief as she is by far the latest one of my children to show this interest). We created this Sticky Wall Segmenting and Blending Activity for Beginning Readers on a whim one afternoon and it has been a huge hit!
This activity is a combination of two of my favorite activities already on the blog: Our Sticky Murals and our Build-a-Word Magnetic Tray. The key to this “sticky success” is finding alphabet letters that are EXTREMELY light in weight. We used a lowercase alphabet puzzle that I purchased from the Dollar Tree and it worked like a dream!
Segmenting and Blending are both important pre-reading skills. Every word is made up of individual sounds (phonemes) and the act of pulling those sounds apart is called “segmenting”. Segmenting requires your child to first hear the individual sounds in each word and identify those sounds. Your child then matches those sounds to their corresponding letters (for example: /c/, /a/, /t/ are the individual sounds heard in the word “cat” and “c-a-t” are the letters corresponding to those sounds). Blending involves squishing those individual sounds together to form one cohesive word.
Here’s what you’ll need:
Foam alphabet letters (ours are from a puzzle I bought at Dollar Tree)
1. Unroll and cut large piece of contact paper. Carefully peel the back off.
2. Use painter’s tape to secure the contact paper (sticky-side-out) to your wall. Draw 4-5 stars on the bottom of the contact paper using a permanent marker. These will be your “sound stars”. Add all the foam letters to the top in alphabetical order. You could also write capital letters directly on the contact paper and then use as a matching capital/lowercase letters activity as well!
3. This is where you use put your little one to work! I created a simple CVC (consonant-vowel-constant) word and placed each letter on one of the sound stars. Little Sister then pointed to each star and said the sound each letter made. She repeated this a couple times, progressively more quickly until she “read” the word.
Likewise, you could say a word (fog) and then ask your child to segment each individual sound (/f/, /o/, /g/) and place each sound that he/she hears on a sound dot.
The possibilities are endless with this hands-on activity!