Posted on by Paula Baker

One of the most important things children need to learn to read, write and spell is the ability to HEAR sounds in words. We have some great products in store to help with hearing and identifying sounds in words.

The cards have a dot or dash for each sound you can hear in a word. Eg bus has 3 sounds : a b/u/s. Children can point to each dot on the card and say the sounds, count how many sounds they can hear when they sound out the word, or use counters to represent each sound as a more tactile way of exploring sounds.

The single sounds are shown as a dot, the double sounds (digraphs) are shown as a dash, which I like to refer to as two letters ‘holding hands’ to make a new sound. Here I have used different coloured counters to show the difference in sounds.

You can also use existing games, picture cards and flash cards that you may have at home already to try the same concept.

Here we are using one of our Orchard games without the letter cards. Children say the picture word, and put counters under each sound.

Children can then go further with their learning by practising this skill. Write your words by sticking magnetic letters on a board, the floor, or the fridge to make the word, using different colours for each sound, or drawing dots and dashes under each letter with a whiteboard marker. Or make the words with our letter cubes and use a variety of different counters to represent each sound as above.

By changing up the materials you use this activity can be done in lots of different ways.
Counters can be stones, sticks, buttons or any other materials you have around the house. Or you could try some of our brightly coloured counters we have in stock.

Having fun with sounds is so important to encourage a love of reading, writing and spelling.