Children need to be confident playing with and manipulating speech sounds in words to support their reading and spelling.
Fun with words:
Ask you child to say a word, for example pen, and identify the first sound – p. Ask them to delete the p and replace it with the letter sound d (den). Now delete the d and replace with t, ten. Now repeat with these letters, w, b, s, f, qu, ch, sh – some words will be nonsense words.
You can make this game harder by manipulating the end sound.
Pen, replace n with t,f,m,d,l,b,sh,th.
A similar game uses your child’s name.
Say Daisy but delete the D – Aisy.
Say Sam but delete the S – am.
Say Jack but delete the J – ack.
Change D in Daisy to b,f,m,t.
Baisy, Faisy, Maisy, Taisy (nonsense words are fine it’s all about the skill to manipulate speech sounds.
Or, swap first letters of Christian name and surname.
Playing with syllables:
Ask your child to manipulate these words.
Say songbird without saying bird.
Say handbag without saying bag.
Say blackberry without saying black.
Say sunflower without saying sun.
Say zookeeper without saying zoo.
Say sandpit but replace pit with bag – sandbag.
Say lighthouse but replace house with bulb – lightbulb.
Say sunlight but replace light with shine.
Say toothbrush but replace brush with paste.
Ideas adapted from I Hear With My Little Ear, By Liz Baldwin.