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Word Detective Game

Kindergarten Phonics Activities: Word Detective Game

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Read, Write, and Think

Got a kid who’s learning to read? Looking for a new game to add to the bunch? No need to go to the store. With a little help from your child you can make a game of your own! Young children love to play guessing games, and they can never get enough trivia. This game delivers, and throws in practice with the alphabet and letter sounds, too.

What You Need:

  • 52 index cards
  • Word Detectives activity sheets: page 1 and page 2
  • Crayons
  • Markers
  • Shoebox
  • Construction paper
  • Tape

What You Do:

  1. Ask your child to draw pictures on index cards for each letter of the alphabet, following the word list below. This will include beginning, middle, and ending sounds. While middle and ending sounds can be difficult for new readers to hear at first, this game is a fun, and low-pressure way to practice.
Beginning sounds list:
  • apple
  • banana
  • cat
  • dog
  • egg
  • fire
  • goose
  • queen
  • van
  • yellow
  • zipper
Middle sounds list:
  • grapes
  • feet
  • bug
  • hit
  • rope
Ending sounds list:
  • clap
  • stick
  • hill
  • ham
  • pan
  • jar
  • grass
  • hat
  • wig
  • box
  1. While your child is drawing the picture cards, take the other 26 cards and write “clues” on them, using the Word Detective activity sheets. If you like, write the answers on the back of each card.
  2. Once all 52 cards are finished (the picture cards and the clue cards), put the clue cards in a single pile. Ask your child to mix up the picture cards and lay them in rows on the table.
  3. Pick the first clue card from the pile. As you read it, have your child find the matching picture card. For example, if the first clue is “ Which letter comes at the beginning of a red fruit?” The answer is letter A, for apple.
  4. Each time she gets a correct match, have your child put the set aside, until all of the clues have been solved. If she gets stuck, be sure to remind her that some letters make more than one sound when spoken (for example, c and k, or short and long vowels).
  5. When play is over, put everything in your handy dandy shoebox, and put it on the game shelf for next time. If your child's feeling crafty, she can decorate the box and give her game a fancy title. If not, a plain old shoe box works just fine.

Happy gaming!

You can extend this activity by having your child make up his own clues and matching picture cards. Or involve an older sibling and have him read and write clues. This is a great way for your child to practice letters and sounds. Plus, it's just plain fun!

Updated on Jan 28, 2014
Printable Workbooks from Education.com
Find a printable workbook to go along with this fun activity. See Workbooks
See more activities in: Kindergarten, Phonics
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