It’s a game . . . it’s phonics practice – no, it’s Building Words! If your first grader has a hard time remembering key vocabulary words, help him learn in style with a game that is as fun as it is educational. Change up the themes to accommodate holidays and family events to create a game that can be enjoyed throughout the year.
What You Do:
- Help your child cut out squares from the construction paper. The squares should all be about the same size, but the actual dimensions don’t matter. Just make sure that the squares are at least bigger than a square inch.
- Use a pen to write one consonant letter on every paper square. Each consonant in the alphabet should be written at least once.
- Decide if this round of Building Words will have a theme. Themes can be inspired by the current season or an upcoming holiday -- even a favorite movie!
- Encourage your first grader to decorate the paper squares with the colored pencils. Remind him to keep the theme in mind as he colors.
- Shuffle the squares together.
- Give your child five of the squares, a sheet of scratch paper and a pencil.
- Write down one vowel.
- Start the timer. Your child has one minute to write down as many words as possible using the consonants on his squares and the vowel on the board.
- When the timer goes off, tell your child to set his pencil down.
- Look over the words he wrote down and correct any possible spelling issues. Ask him to tell you what each word means.
- Count up his score, awarding one point per word. He also gets a point for each correct definition.
- For themed rounds, award an extra point for words that relate to the theme. That means he can earn up to three points from a single word.
- To play another round, hand out five new squares and write down a new vowel.
Building Words is even more fun as a group game! Invite the whole family to take part in a round. For bigger groups, just create more consonant squares.