Summer is the time for BIG fun activities, but just because they are big doesn’t mean they can’t work on very specific goals. I bought this roll of paper at IKEA for art, but it’s perfect for this letter sounds puzzle activity too. The thing about big activities like this is that their actual physical size is part of their appeal. The novelty sparks interest and that can make or break this activity especially if it poses a challenge to your child. What I love about this floor puzzle is that you can do it with one child like I did or as a group activity. It’s also super simple to clear and put back together again, which makes it a fun option for free choice or a literacy center in a classroom.
Gather your materials, you will need a roll of paper, some toys or magnets that have easily identifiable images on them. I love these ones from my friends at Melissa & Doug (affiliate link), some markers, painter’s tape, and a tray to hold the toys before they are placed on the puzzle.
Place the magnets on the paper and trace the outline. The outlines act as a scaffold for the children, while the main goal is to match up the sounds, some might be tricky and that is where the shape can really help.
Write the first letter sound in the middle of the outline.
I decided to include this digraph when I saw the sheep in the pile. My daughter has been working on digraphs ( two letters that together make a single sound) while playing with sounds lately. I get asked often when to introduce consonant digraphs. A few signs that are ready to move on to consonant digraphs are that they have a good grasp of single letter sounds, can isolate some digraph sounds when they hear words beginning with them ( What is the first sound in shoes? , What is the first sound in change?” ) and that they are interested. I think my daughter’s interest was sparked because of her constant request for me to tell her how to spell everything. She started noticing the digraphs in written words and questioned me about it. There is no rush for this but if your child is ready adding some (attainable ) challenge is something I will always encourage.
I popped the magnets in a handy tray and let my daughter at the puzzle.
The most important thing was that she liked it, so much in fact that it’s still on our playroom floor. I think I might have her color it before we recycle it.