Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Christmas Activities

I love Christmas! 5 activities we love to do together as a family each year are:

*Sing Christmas carols around the piano. It is such a special, family bonding time. This year we are starting something special. We are having an "extravanza" where everyone in the family is preparing something musical to perform (singing, guitar, piano, anything). I will let you know if it becomes our next tradition.

*Have a big Mexican dinner for Christmas Eve, Noche Buena. We have enchiladas, fajitas, tacos, chips and salsa, flan, tamales, and cheese dip. So yummy! Add a pinata, a great story like The Legend of the Poinsettia and it is a beautiful way to start the evening!

*Go Christmas caroling. It is always fun to bring Christmas cheer to neighbors and friends. The littlest kids have to bring along Christmas bells so they can contribute even if they don't know the words.

*Do an advent calendar. It is fun to add to the excitement counting down the days. We did this advent last year and will pull it out his year.

*My husband brings out simple wood scraps and we put together a little manger scene. The kids can fill it up with hay. It helps remind us of the real reasons of Christmas

This is part of the Dora Christmas Carol's concert. Look at more entries answering the question, "What are Your 5 Favorite Holiday Activities to do with Your Kids?" here.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Why I Homeschool!

This year I have started homeschooling my oldest. She is in Kindergarten. I know we are just starting out, but to me, it is a big deal. I am starting out what I want to do with homeschooling.

I have had to do some real thinking about homeschooling. Yes, I was homeschooled and I liked it. Yes, it seems very natural to me. But yes, homeschooling will be a lot of work! I needed to make sure that I felt like this was the right move for me, my husband and my family. I better really believe in it because it will definitely take enough work and there will be hard times.

As I studied and taught in elementary education, it was so interesting for me to see what public school was like- the good and the bad.

So why am I homeschooling my kids? Is it just because I was homeschooled?
First off, let me answer a few questions...
Do I think public school is bad? No
Do I think children will be ruined if they go to public school? No
Do I think moms that don't homeschool are not good moms? No
Do I secretly think every mom should want to homeschool? No
Should everyone homeschooling? NO!

Are there advantages to public school? Yes
Are there advantages to homeschool? Yes

Here are the reasons why we are homeschooling right now:
-I want to be a part of my children's education. I want to learn along with them and help them develop a love for learning. I want them to view "school" as fun, exciting and an adventure! I want to involve my husband as much as I can.

-We want to build strong family relationships. I feel like I will have more one-on-one time with my children. They play with each other so much and I think that is a good thing :D

-We feel that our children can progress academically if they are taught at their level and at their learning style. I can give my kids so much more instruction at their level than all the hours in school in a day. I can see when I need to slow down and when I need to speed up. One of my daughters only speaks Spanish when we sing, so we sing a lot :) My oldest needs to feel very confident in reading one vowel or set of words before we move to the next level.

-I want my children to have plenty of time to play with friends. I don't want them to be too busy with homework in the afternoon that they can't have unstructured play with friends of all ages! I also love having flexibility to do fun field trips and outings.

-I am used to the idea of homeschooling from the wonderful example of my mother and I love teaching!!!

As they get older, like middle school age, we will probably be homeschooling for other reasons like not wanting them to be exposed to some stuff out there. I don't want them to be super sheltered, but I think it will be okay for them not to see and hear some stuff :)

Am I worried about them being socially awkward? No. I feel like I have no problems making new friends or talking with people. It wasn't hard for me to go to high school or college. I believe that there are lots of weird homeschoolers because their parents don't relate socially very well or they never let their kids play with other kids :) Let's be honest, there needs to be more normal homeschoolers out there!

Are there problems with homeschooling? Yes, but I hope to make up for those problems. I want to give my kids opportunities to work and learn in groups. My husband wants them to learn how to deal with people with a variety of backgrounds. There are other things to consider, but I feel like right now homeschooling is working for our family. I want to evaluate each child as to what would be best for them as we continue homeschooling in the following years.

We're starting a fun adventure right now! Why do you homeschool? Or what do you think is great about homeschooling?
Books are along the wall you can't see :)

What Happens to Old Homeshool Moms?

They resurrect as a homeschool grandmom.

My life has changed drastically in the last two months. Our son Jason´s oldest daughter, M, was diagnosed with Leukemia. She was a thirteen year old, healthy girl trying out for the volleyball team for her first year in public school this year. What a blow, no volleyball, no first dance, no school, much less facing no hair. Those losses seem trite now to the loss of feeling good enough to sit up all day or see friends or just be home instead of the hospital.

My husband and I decided to help out by moving me to Houston. I am now in an apartment near our son´s house. Kim drives to Houston every weekend to see me. I am homeschooling M and her sister, L, every day. So from 8:00 to 3:00 or 4:00 or 5:00 they are here and we are learning tons of things. We do classes over the phone with their cousins in Seattle. A teaches Essay Writing, Shakespeare and Grammar-Vocabulary. I teach Spanish and History.

I help out when needed by the family, still play some tennis, and play the rented piano. I have a new ward to get involved with.

I will start blogging about some of the resources we are using and activities we do.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Free Mini Books for Beginning Reading

We are busy homeschooling! We had our first week with my oldest for kindergarten this last week. I will post our plan for the year later.

I had to share this incredible resource! My mom found this wonderful program and they have great lesson plans and mini books and activities for kindergartners. They have free mini books for short vowel words. They also have a plan for the curriculum. Check it out!


Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Check out the Giveaway

Just wanted to let everyone know that there is a whole week of giveways at SpanglishBaby.com.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Day of the Child and Book Giveaways

I wanted to share with you some great giveaways going on right now!

Last weekend I took my two granddaughters to a wonderful celebration of Day of the Child-Day of the Books (El día de los niños-El día de los libros). They made books from folded paper, listened to stories, played with play dough, made pinwheels, listened to lively Latin music and received lots of gifts including several nice books. I didn't know that this has been celebrated in Latin America for some time and is just now arriving here to the United States. Read more about it here.

Spanglish Baby (an incredible resource if you haven't checked it out yet) is giving away a book called Book Fiesta that has beautiful illustrations. Click here to enter this giveaway. It ends at midnight on Sunday, May 3rd.

The Latin Baby Book Club is giving away a book a day this week to celebrate El día de los niños/El día de los libros! Be sure to check out their giveaways every day. Click here to enter the giveaway.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Can I? Short Vowel Word Game

I decided it would be fun to review reading words with all of the short vowel sounds. I had the idea to have the sentence "Can I _____ the ______?" and then have two piles of words, one pile has verbs (only simple short vowel words) to put in the first blank and the second pile has nouns (only simple short vowel words) to put int he second blank. She will get some silly phrases like, "Can I rip the sock?" and then more normal phrases like, "Can I hug the Mom?" We do a couple of these a day and she enjoys it. If you are going to print these, you have to save the first picture (above) as a .jpg. The rest should just print fine by clicking "more" and then "print." You might just want to print one sheet of verbs and one sheet of nouns to see if your kids like it :) The first four sheets are the nouns, the last two sheets are the verbs. My mom is going to use this with the grandchildren she is visiting right now and wanted me to post this. Hope someone else can use this too!

Click on "more" above the documents and then press "print"

Friday, April 17, 2009

Fantastic Resource

There is this wonderful resource that I have been using and checking out. There is a free homeschool resource everyday. On Monday they send out a list of all the resources available for the week. You can check them out and come back to download the ones you want.

This weekend in honor of the 234th anniversary of Paul Revere's Ride they are giving away four
wonderful resources all related to Revere and the history surrounding his midnight ride. Here's the complete rundown:

Listen My Children (MP3 audio) -
This a great half hour audio story about Revere's long life and influence, including the events of
that fateful night, as originally dramatized on the radio program "Cavalcade of America", in December, 1952.

"Listen My Children" Listening Guide (PDF ebooklet) -
This PDF discussion guide with background info and questions to accompany the above audio program.

Paul Revere's Ride (MP3 audio) -
A wonderful dramatic performance of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's classic poem,
"Paul Revere's Ride" as performed by Frederic March.

An art study lesson focusing on paintings & sculptures depicting Paul Revere (as well as
the Minutemen), courtesy of Yes You Can! Publications. This is lots of fun and a great way to combine history with art appreciation & hands-on activities to boot.

Check it out at http://www.homeschoolfreebieoftheday.com

Monday, April 6, 2009

Teaching Ch, Th, and SH

My two year old knows all of her letter sounds, so I have been introducing some digraphs (two letters that together make a new sound). My mom likes to introduce these while the kids are learning normal letters because they learn them just like they are another letter. We use the letter sound cards you can find here.

Now I take two sounds like Ch and Sh. I have her put both of the cards down. Then I give her a picture (sometimes I tell her a little story as I explain each one). She has to put the picture in the right column on the floor (under the ch or the sh). We do a lot of repetition, reviewing the sounds and names of all the things aloud after we have put down a couple of pictures and then when we are done after about four pictures under each digraph.

My mom told me today another game she likes to do is like slap jack. The way you
play is have a bunch of cards with just ch, sh and th on them. You make a big deck, as you flip each one, you tell her to only slap the one of them, only the ch for example. I can't wait to try this tomorrow.

Just click here to see the sheets of pictures of words starting ch, sh and th my mom created. The last document I created could be printed and cut out to make a slap jack game.

*To print, click on more above each picture and click print. I'm trying a new way to upload word documents. Tell me if it doesn't work :)

Friday, April 3, 2009

Johanna makes a book or worksheet for her daughter every morning. They are so cute and I thought someone else might want to print some up for their beginning readers. So here is a cute one. This one is more of a worksheet for cut and paste activities.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Sight Words Dice Game

My daughter has been having a harder time with learning her sight words, especially for a word like the. She can't sound it out exactly and doesn't like going over her sight word cards. So, I decided to make a fun game out of it. I made a simple die to help her learn some sight words. It took me about 5-10 minutes to create this, print it out on some orange card stock paper, cut it out and glue it together! We use a simple program called Scrapbook Factory Deluxe to do all the worksheets and activities for learning to read. I thought I would share the die template with you, so hopefully it will only take you a few minutes to create a die if you want to use it :) You could always take the image and erase the words (by covering it with white square or something) and then type or write down your own words you want to work on with your child.

Click on the image above to be taken to a screen that you can print to full page size.

*Other games to play to review sight words-
-Slap the Word- Lay out the words in front of the child. Say a word and they have to slap the right word.
-Hide and Seek- One child hides the sight words in the room while the other child leaves the room. When the child looking for the sight words find them, she/he has to say what word they are.
-Jump Up- Lay out the words in front of the child. Say a word and they have to pick that word up and jump up and sit back down as fast as they can.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Patience with Teaching

Children are extremely sensitive. Not only are they affected by how we treat them, but they can detect real sincerity. I have found as I work with my daughters, if I am not really enjoying working with them (just pretending to have a good attitude) they can instantly sense it. They don't work as well. It's incredible how they can figure out sincerity! Maybe it is because they are so genuine themselves.

As I was working with my daughter with reading, we were reviewing some words she had read the previous day. She kept on making mistake after mistake. I started getting frustrated thinking I had spent so much time with her on these words and now she did not even know them. As our reading time continued, her reading became worse and worse. We ended with both of us feeling frustrated.

In my mind, I remembered a story shared by Shinichi Suzuki in his book Ability Development from Age Zero. He shared the following:

Here is another case which shows that happiness develops ability.

There was one child in my family with a learning disability. His mother scolded him very much when he was six. She said that he would not remember what she taught him. For some reason he could not remember the numbers from one to ten. "Why don't you understand? This is four and this is seven!" she scolded harshly as I watched.

"It will not do any good to scold him, " I warned. After some observation, I realized that four and seven were numbers that the child was scolded about and therefore he could not look at them clearly.

"Hey, come and play with your uncle," I called.

Then I made dice out of paper and on the faces I wrote only fours and sevens.

"Let's play dice," I said, and we started to throw. A four was thrown.

"Four! I said it first. I win, " I said. Again a four was thrown.

"Four! I won again." At this point the little boy was determined to try harder. Again a four was thrown and together we said, "Four!"

"Hey, you said it too!" I praised. His eyes began to sparkle. The game continued with both fours and sevens being thrown. Sometimes I said the answer slowly. Sometime I pretended that I did not know the answer and let the boy win Sometimes I said the wrong one and the boy made no mistake. In this way four and seven became his favorite numbers in a mere ten minutes.

I had the mother write the numbers from one to ten and have the child read them. He said four and seven the quickest and in the loudest voice. These numbers had become the most well known and fun numbers.

The problem is how to combine interest and training. If a child is always scolded about four and seven, his ability will not grow. Even if a parent overflowing with love for a child uses a bad method, the ability of the child will not develop.

Suzuki, Shinichi. Ability Development From Age Zero. Tr. Mary Louise Nagata. Secaucus, New Jersey: Summy-Birchard Inc., 1981.

Isn't this so true! When I am scolded about something that I fail at or someone tells me I can't do something, I can't seem to think clearly when I try to do it again. Now every time, I start getting frustrated with my daughter. I stop and tell myself that getting frustrated will only have the opposite effect of what I want. It will only slow her progress. If I am patient and genuinely happy working with her, she will learn at her own speed. I also love how Suzuki takes the skill and breaks it down to a more simple level. I have also tried doing this. It has been incredible to see the difference this had made!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

More Reading Activities

I have been working with E all week teaching her reading. If you change the activity every few minutes, it is surprising how long a child of 4 or 5 can keep interested in doing reading activities.

We played matching games with pictures and word cards. I get pictures off of Microsoft Office Download Clip Art. It is fantastic. I make cards with Short Vowel words. Here is an example of a page. I print it on card stock and have them ready for all kinds of fun games.

One game I do when I have something I want them to learn is the Slapping game. I set two word cards in front of her and she has to slap the one I say. For example, I put down "the" and "this". I use this a lot with the sight words she needs to know. Then I put down another word card and we do a few slaps then I add another one. We get up to about six words. This helps her read them faster.

Anything can be a reward. She reads a list of words and the little remote control dog we bought her at Walgreens barks and says "Good job."

I love to use a stop watch. If she is reading her pile of short U words. I start the stop watch and she reads as many as she can in one minute. Then the next time she does it she gets a smartie for each one she reads more than she did the first time. So if she read 16 the first time, if she reads 19 the next time she gets three smarties. Games like this or counting who won in memory are also excellent for their counting and math understanding.

Another game she love is the Quiet Game. I set four words out in front of her. I have ten in all but just four are set out at a time. I act out a word and she picks it up. I set out another word so there are still four words in front of her. Then I act out another word. Neither of us can say any thing till she has picked out all ten words. We can take turns being the one who acts out the words.

Here are some work sheets we did this week. She likes to cut and paste so she cuts out the words and pastes them into the correct box.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Letter Crafts and Activities

We have already posted the letter cards we use to help children learn the letter sounds, but I love to do other activities. Sometimes we can't do something special with every letter because we don't have time, but I like to pick letters that my kids are having a hard time remembering or saying. Tessa was having a hard time remembering F (she kept on saying th sound instead of f sound!) So we made Flowers from the F shape using a fun new book I found at the library:

*The picture is linked to amazon.com.

When my oldest was about to turn 3, we did a color a week. For example, when she had her cousin visiting, we focused on yellow one week. We painted one egg carton hole yellow to make a bee, we finger painted with lemon pudding, and I hid yellow stars throughout the house that they had to find. My favorite activity was letting them squeeze their own lemons to make lemonade. You could focus your activities on a letter or a color a week. I always loved going on letter or sound hunts. You put a blanket in the middle of the room and find everything in the house that is a certain color or that starts with a certain letter and put it on the blanket. It's a lot of fun and there are a ton of books and websites with lots of ideas.

Monday, March 2, 2009

I have my granddaughter E (turned 5 last month) with me this week. She arrived last night (Sunday) and will stay till we go visit them on Friday. This is Reading Camp. I have done this once before and she can read all the short A and Short I words very well. So last night we began. She began reading the short O words and has picked it up quite easily. She still seems to stop and sound out each word. I want her to get more fluid. She still needs to stop to notice what vowel is there. As I work with her I try to notice what her strengths and weaknesses are so I can work on those.

She brought the Bob Books collection I gave her sister last year, but this is the Collection 3 with compound words and long vowels. I can tell she is very motivated to read books. She is reading all the Hooked on Phonics books I have and going through that workbook. I have all my reading materials organized so we can play lots of games. She has an incredible attention span. I worked with her for 1 1/2 hours last night. She has a room with her sister M who is two years older. She wants to do everything M does. So she is greatly motivated to write and draw. Her ability to write is impressive. Many children this age are not as motivated or coordinated with those muscles but since she is, I can use that to further her reading.

Then we read to her from more advanced books. I read her one of my favorites and discovered that my book is falling apart from so many years of use. "Hats for Sale" is so delightful. Then grandpa started reading the "Fables" book to her.

Many times I have the children read lists of words or flashcards when they are at this level and that gets boring so I do several things to make it more interesting.
1. Explain the meaning of the word to them when they first read the word. Multiple meaning
words need more explanation, but what an opportunity to make their learning deeper with
more definitions.
2. Make up a sentence with the word after they have read it. If the word has more than one
meaning I try to make up sentences with all the meanings.
3. Make up a riddle before they read the word. It is fun because sometimes they think they
know the answer and start trying to read it with the first sound of the word they think it
must be. Then they see it isn't that word and have to figure it out.
4. Last night I tried to make up a story with a series of the words. It turned out to be a silly
5. Have them say a sentence with the word.

I also like to show her pictures of things because she can get a better idea of what they are like if she is not familiar with them. I doubt if she knows what a cot is. I have to buy her a fig this week so she can know what that is. I love vocabulary!

I am including one of the pages I made up for her.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Free Short i Book and Short o Book

The order we like to teach our kids short vowel words as far as vowels go is:
short a

short o

short i

short u

short e

My mom likes to teach the short e last because it is so similar to the short a and short i sounds. There are also not that many short e words.

Here are the mini books I made. One uses only short i words and the other has both short i words and short o words. Again, fold them like a greeting card. The big pig has two greeting cards with one stuck in the middle. It starts with A Pig. I hope that makes sense. Enjoy!

The Dog Bit

The Big Pig
This is page one that is folded like a greeting card. It is the front and back cover.

This is page 2 that is folded and put inside page 1.

If you download these, please leave us a comment. If we get some response, we can post more.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Teaching Short a words & Free Short a Mini Books

It is such a fun experience teaching my daughter, A, to read. She gets excited reading simple words and laughs so much for silly pictures that go along with them. In our family, when we teach our kids to read, we do it a little differently.

Most people teach children to sound out each sound and then blend them all together like, for the word,


/p/, /a/, /t/ = pat

The child sounds out three sounds and then says them faster and then all together to form a word.

My mother has taught all her grandchildren to say the first two letters together, so,


/pa/ /t/ = pat

The child sounds out the pa and then the ending /t/ sound. She has found that they learn to read faster because of this. She learned this way of teaching children to read from how they teach children to read in Spanish. They teach them to read the words by syllables. When children try to pronounce each letter sound individually, they tend to say the beginning sound with an "uh" sound like "puh" instead of only the "p" sound alone. So they end up saying /pu/ /a/ /t/ instead of /p/ /a/ /t/. We avoid this by combining the vowel with the beginning sound like /pa/.

We practice short "a" syllables to get fluency. So we have a list of short "a" combinations like ca, fa, da, la, ta, ga, ma, na, etc. After they can quickly say all of these with the short "a" sound, then we add the ending consonants like taking the ca and adding t to make cat.

This makes the sounds blend because you can elongate a vowel easily. So they can say "caaaaa t" and it still sounds like cat.

I have enjoyed teaching my daughter in this way and I think she has caught on faster than if she had to sound out each little sound in a word.

I have been looking for books online and plan to buy BOB books. I have not bought any of these easy readers yet, but my mom created some simple ones that A actually gets a big kick out of. I will post them here. You can fold them in fourths like a greeting card and it becomes a mini-book. Enjoy!

Dad Sat

Sal Sat

I just made up a cute mini book for short i and o for my daughter today. I will post those another day.

If you download these, please leave us a comment. If we get some response, we can post more.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Morning Devotional

Something I started doing while my children were attending school in France was during breakfast we had morning devotional. I was missing the precious time I had to teach my children and I wanted to use each moment we had together. In France I used that time to work on teaching my children the primary songs in French to help them acclimate and feel at home during primary. In the process of doing this I discovered how fun it is to teach the primary songs and how gospel filled they are. For my primary song devotionals I prepare picture versions of each song. I print these out twice. Then we will spend a week on each verse of the song. Here's an example of one weeks devotionals with the example following in italics for the primary song for March: My Eternal Family.

DAY 1: I usually find a story or scripture to help illustrate the gospel theme of the song to introduce the song and sing the song with the pictures.

I took a picture of our family and various other tools (including a flashlight) and showed it to our children and talked a little about each member of the family. Then I chose one child to leave the room and hid the picture and turned off the lights. Inviting the child back in I asked them to find the picture of our family. Tell the child there are people to help him and giving the flashlight to another child have them shine the way to the picture. Explain that just like we needed to use a tool (the flashlight) to find our family there are many other tools we can use to help us build our family. Tell them to listen to the song and see if they can figure out other tools we use to build our family.

DAY 2: We go through each line of the song as I explain vocabulary/concepts/pictures

The vocabulary and concepts are fairly basic in this song so on this day I set out all the pictures on the table along with other 'real' tools (ruler, hammer, screwdiver, level etc..) As we sang through the song the children took turns choosing a tool to represent a part of the song and attached a picture.

DAY 3: We play various games with the songs/pictures

Games: using the two of each picture play memory. When someone finds a match they have to sing the matching line of the song as well.

Set out all the pictures and then have once child close their eyes and another child remove one or two pictures. Then the other child has to figure out what was removed.

Set out the pictures face down in a stack. Flip the top pictures over and whoever remembers that line of the song first raises their hand, sings it and wins that picture.

DAY 4: Either play more games for learning the song or plan another activity to help teach understanding of the song.
Attach each picture to a lego or other building block, also attach each family members name to a block. Build a pyramid or tower together and talk about how each family member is important to the building.

DAY5: We have a recital where every person takes a turn singing the song

I will often do our Family Home Evening on the same theme because there are so many fun ideas and activities to reinforce the lessons in the songs.

For this FHE we read several scriptures about building families and discussed them and then built a family pyramid. To make it even more fun we used the camera timer and tried to catch a photo.

At the end of the week I print out the picture-song with words onto one landscape sheet of paper(see example at beginning of post) and put it into my children's primary picture song book and they like to look at it during Sacrament meeting.

I enjoy putting together my own picture-songs but if you would like to implement something similar without much work there are flip-charts and teaching ideas galore for primary songs at sugardoodle.net

New Spanish Teaching Blog!

We have decided to make a new blog dedicated to Spanish Teaching. We want it to be easier for you to find general topics of homeschooling here on this blog.

We will continue to update this blog with homeschooling ideas. We plan on sharing ideas for teaching your children to read, doing history theme study units and more. Please check back soon for a give-away.

Please visit our new blog about Spanish Teaching at www.wannajugarwithmigo.blogspot.com.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Letter Games

It has been a long time since we last posted. First of all, I had a wonderful Christmas vacation and was able to see all of my siblings. I always learn so much from them and their parenting. They give me great ideas of things I should try with my kids.

My sisters who are also contributors to this blog are pros at homeschooling and I wish they could post more in this blog, but they are busy homeschooling their kids. So you are stuck with suggestions from me :)

What do we do with these flash cards and pictures to learn letter sounds? Do we just drill our kids with the flash cards? Not at all!

We play "letter games." My 2 year old, T, loves it so much that she asks me to do letter games every day. My mom has a talent with making up fun games that children love. I will share some games that she has shown me and some other games I use. I hope they are not confusing. If you don't understand them, just comment and ask me to explain better.

*Silly Commands- Lay out 4 cards (with pictures showing or just letters showing, depending on how well they know the letter sounds). Tell them to do silly things with one card. For example, Can you find a monkey toy in your room and put it on the /m/ card? Can you give the /i/ a kiss? Can you sit on /t/? Can you jump on /l/? Kids love this one the sillier you make the commands.

*Run & Get It- Have your child place 4 letter cards at the end of a hallway and you sit on the opposite side of the long hallway. After your child placed the cards at the end of the hallway, she comes back to you. You whisper to your child, "run and get me the /p/" She runs all the way down the hall, picks up the /p/ card and brings it back to you. You have to cheer and shout and tell her to run as fast as you can. My kids always want to play this game.

*Fill up the envelope- This is a great one for them to understand that there are both lower case and capital letters. Get two envelopes (or make simple envelopes) and write both lower and upper case letters on each one (like P and p on one envelope and J and j on the other envelope). Tape each envelope to a different chair (preferably across the room.) Cut out smaller pieces of papers with lots of P, p, J and j's. Put these smaller papers in a small bag or box. Have your child draw a letter out of the bag or box and run and place it in the right envelope. Make sure to say the letter sound many times or ask them what sound that letter makes.

*Musical Letter Sounds- Place 6-8 letter cards in a circle. Put on some music and walk around while stepping on the letter cards. When the music stops, each person has to make the sound the letter they are standing on makes.

Let me know if you use these games and how it goes! Maybe I will post some more!