It’s a game . . . it’s phonics practice – no, it’s the amazing Build a Word! If your first grader has a hard time practicing his vocabulary skills, 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 Need:
- Construction paper
- Colored pencils
- Scratch paper
- White board
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 Build a Word 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 one vowel on the white board.
- 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 rings, 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 win up to three points off of a single word.
- To play another round, hand out five new squares and write down a new vowel on the white board.
Build a Word 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.