Friday, July 26, 2013

Farm Animal Letter Sound Matching Game

This post is sponsored by Melissa and Doug.

Since it is Animal Adventures Week for Virtual Book Club Summer Camp we came up with an easy letter sound matching game using two Melissa and Doug Farm animal puzzles that we love.

At our house we like learning activities to be...

1. Inexpensive 
2. Easy to set up
3. Interactive

For our letter sound matching game we used the following Melissa and Doug products...

Melissa & Doug Magnetic Farm Hide and Seek
Melissa & Doug Farm Wooden Chunky Puzzle
Melissa & Doug Easel Paper Pad
Melissa & Doug Alphabet and Numbers Stickers

These are all products we already had at our house that we use on a daily basis. If you don't have them, I'd suggest buying them or keeping them in mind as gifts for little ones.

Once we collected all of our supplies, we took all of the animal pieces off of the puzzles and put them in a clump on the floor.

Then we took a large piece of easel paper and covered it with alphabet stickers. We only used the letters that corresponded with the beginning sounds in the animal names. For example, we added an S for sheep, G for goat, H for horse, etc.

Once our easel paper was covered with alphabet stickers we were ready to play our matching game!

Here's how we played...

My daughter picked up an animal and said its name. We started with PIG. Then we talked about the sound that PIG started with- /p/.

I pointed to the letter P sticker and said "P says /p/ as in pig. Can you put the PIG on the /p/ sound?"
Then I said... "Are there any other animals that should go there?" She looked at the other animal puzzle pieces and found another pig and added it.

Then we moved onto the next letter. We worked together to place all of the animals on the correct letters.

Some she knew, some she didn't. If she put one on the wrong spot (for example if she put Horse on letter G) I would just briefly say, "Horse starts with H. H is right here. Can you put horse on the H?" That way she learned the correct way and I didn't make her feel bad by saying, "you did that wrong."

The first time through this game involved more teaching... and then the second time we took turns matching and placing the animals once she knew more of the letter names and the letters they matched with.

Since we had animals from both puzzles, she also worked to match the chunkier animals with the magnetic animals (pigs with pigs, horses with horses, etc).  

After we played for a bit, my 5-year-old came down to join us and had fun working with my daughter to match all of the animals to their correct letters.

The 2-year-old got bored after a bit and went back to playing with the puzzles while my son continued the game. He practiced sounding out the beginning letter sounds of each animal name and then made sure to put each animal puzzle piece on its correct sticker!

Once we played the matching game a few times, each kid got their own page of alphabet stickers and a big piece of easel paper and then they just had fun making words and creating letter pictures.

These alphabet stickers are among my favorite craft purchase. There are 10 themed pages and 1000 stickers... so they last forever! 

After you try this activity, you can read one of our favorite farm animal books together. Here are three we like...

Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin

Moo Baa La La La by Sandra Boynton

Duck on a Bike by David Shannon

Or check out some of these other Farm Animal book suggestions by No Time for Flashcards.

Do you have any other favorite books about farm animals?

We are so happy to have Melissa and Doug as a Virtual Book Club Summer Camp sponsor! You can follow Melissa and Doug on Facebook & Pinterest for giveaways, info on new products, etc. 

If you want another way to keep your kids occupied now that VBC Summer Camp is wrapping up you can subscribe to Melissa and Doug's Summer Fun Calendar which is available for FREE! Similar to last year’s Camp Sunny Patch celebration, this year they created a calendar full of educational activities, crafts, games, summer-sanity tips, and more!

This post contains affiliate links.

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