Phonics Fun – The Letter B

I started alphabet lessons with K when he was about 2.5 years old and created his first alphabet lapbook/file folder. At the start of each alphabet lesson, I will use a word wall.
Letter B Word WallYoung children are very visual learners and are affected by what they see. Seeing words on the wall helps them become excited about words and understand that words are important and can be used over and over again. The word wall helps them learn the names of letters, letter-sound relationships and the list of words and things beginning with that letter. It provides the reference support for the child when he/she goes through the elements in alphabet lapbook and the activities related to that letter through the week. The wordwall for Letter B can be downloaded here.
We read books that featured things starting with the Letter B, sang songs and nursery rhymes, went through the Letter B lapbook together and did many kinesthetic activities
Here’s what we did for our Letter B Lapbook and activities –
1. Letter B Lapbook :
 Big and Little bus sorting + pockets to store the cards
 B Wheel
 Baa Baa Black sheep sequence cards
2. Matching and Numeration with Number Dot cards and Counting bears counters (you can substitute the counting bear counters with edible gummy bears, buttons or craft pom pom balls). The Number Dot cards can be downloaded here. 
3. Sorted buttons by colours / sizes using a muffin tray (you can use use plastic bowls or containers to store the buttons). 
4. Played the balloon game. The rule of the game was to make sure that the balloon does not touch the ground and we had to make the sound of b when we touched the balloon. This progressed to shouting out the B words that he has learnt.
5. Made a Binoculars by taping two pieces of recycle toilet paper tubes together
6. Created buildings with wooden blocks.
7. Played a game of marble ball roll, with added goal posts (for added challenge) made from lego bricks
8. Played basketball and football
9. Made cinnamon buns together
These activities were completed in one week and managed within one to two 15-30 minutes sessions per day. We had so much fun learning the Letter B and I hope you and your child will enjoy the activities as much as we did.
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Learning to Read – Alphabet Lessons

One of the ways to get your child started on learning how to read is to learn to recognise the alphabets. Apart from knowing the form of each letter, children need to learn and use the Alphabetic Principle, i.e., system of letters associated with a series of sounds, to acquire phonemic awareness.
Phonics instruction is an essential ingredient in early reading instruction. The majority of English words are phonetically regular, thus teaching the most common sound-spelling relationship is extremely useful for readers. When children are able to learn the relationships between letter and sounds, most of them will be able to successfully decode words and English words become accessible to them in print.
So when should you introduce alphabets to your child? From 2 years old to 4 years old, language is developing very quickly. Thus it is the best time to provide children with experiences that are relate to the development of phonics and literacy. 
Alphabet lessons at home should not be just based on the child’s age, but on the readiness of each child. Each child differs in their rate of progress, some 3 year olds will be able to work happily on phonic activities while some others will prefer to work on kinesthetic activities and craft. Some 3 year olds will immediately show that they understand the idea of the sound, while some others will not. It is important that the parent offers a hands-on experience that a young child will enjoy, with no pressure and no failure.
Alphabet activties
The best method of introducing the alphabet or teaching reading is that it is delivered through a pressure-free, enjoyable multi-sensory experience; incorporating visual, auditory and kinesthetic elements. There is no need to introduce sounds in an alphabetical order, start with easily recognisable sounds that begin familiar words related to interesting objects and concepts.
View this video to learn the individual letter sounds for all the alphabet :
For more alphabet phonic practice, drop by these interactive sites online:
 Starfall: Click on letters and hear the sounds and words beginning with the letter
 Chicken Coop : Practice Phoneme matching
 Sounds Fun : Click on the alphabet for the right sounds
And here are some of my alphabet lessons introducing alphabets to my son, K :
– Letter F
– Letter M
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Sensory Experiences and Sand Play


Sensory experiences are very appealing to young children, they delight in the feeling, seeing, smelling, listening and it give hands-on experiences with various materials, by manipulating the materials through placing, pouring, tipping as well as shoving. It can be therapeutic for children, as the tactile play with the materials allows them to express feelings that they may be too young to verbalise.

Sand and other materials
You can get sand cheaply at from plant nurseries but if you want it sterilised, it will be better to get the more expensive ones from toy shops. You can sterilise it yourself but I don’t recommend it as it can be quite tedious. You do not need to buy a designated sand tray, however it has to be large. Other containers that you can use include baby bathtub, large storage containers, inflatable wading pool or even an unused cat litter tray.
There are also many material options to replace sand; materials like rice, beans, corn, uncooked pasta, gravel, shredded newspapers/paper. However my preference is still to use sand as it is a versatile material.
– Sand is portable, so children can find many ways to push, pull, pour in and out of containers, shovel and pour it out of funnels
– When sand is wet, it changes colour, and it can be shaped, the finer the sand the more intricate the shapes can be
– When water evaporates from a structure made with sand, it collapses and when too much water is added, structures do not hold their shapes
Ideas for Sand Play :
Dry sand

1. Provide containers of all shapes and sizes, some funnels, moulds, scoops and spoons
– these can be used for exploring the properties of sand, for counting activities, looking at shapes and comparing weights and length.
– learn about new vocabulary used in capacity, such as ‘more/less than’, ’empty and full’.
2. Stimulate imaginative play by introducing animals, dinosaurs, play people and farm animal figurines to the sand. 
3. Play treasure hunt and bury items in the sand for the child to locate using their hands. 
4. Pre-writing activities (can also be done with wet sand)
– Put a small amount of sand in a tray, smooth is out with a ruler. Show your child how to write and draw with his/her fingers.
– Give him/her a stick, tooth brush or paintbrush to practice letters, numbers, shapes and patterns. 
5. Use a sifter or a panty hose (this is good for very fine sifting) to sift the sand.
Wet Sand
1. Use spoons, recycled plastic food containers, sand moulds pat down with sand, turn upside down to make castles. 
2. Use Legos or other toys to make imprints in the sand. 
3. Collect a few stones, twigs, seashelles to make a sand garden. 
4. Use toy tea set and have a sand tea party. 
5. Use toy diggers and dumptrucks to transfer sand from one place to another.
Extend children’s thinking with these questions :
– What will happen if we mix sand and water?
– What will happen to the sand if we add different amounts of water?
– What tools can you use to move sand from one place to another?
– What are the words we can use to describe dry sand/wet sand? 
Sand and other sensory experiences can give your child hours of fun playing and learning. It might get a tad bit messy with sand and water spilled on the floor, nevertheless, you can extend the play by getting the child to help you clean up thereafter. Have fun!
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