Dinosaurs are great toys for learning. Last week, they helped with letters as kids dug them out of sand. This week, how about a fun dinosaur word game?
Letters have both names and sounds. Long before kids learn the names of letters they can have fun with sounds. Have you ever made a mistake reading a favorite story to a child and been corrected when you said a word wrong? Kids may not even be able to pronounce all sounds accurately but they know what words should sound like.
Dinosaur start with the ‘duh’ sound. So does dad, dog, and dish. When talking about dinosaurs, you can say the word dinosaur and then another d word and say something like, “Hey, did you hear that? Dinosaur and door both start the same. Duh, dinosaur and duh, door. Duh, duh, duh. I wonder if I can think of any thing else like that? Oh, oh. I got some dirt on my hand. Dirt. Dirt starts duh. Dinosaur, door, dirt. Wow that’s lots of duhs.” Some kids will not yet have developed the skill of dividing words into their little sound bits, but no matter, it starts to clue the brain into listening to different sounds.
For some fun today, play the word game Stuck on Dinosaurs. That is, use the ‘duh’ sound incorrectly. For example, in the kitchen ask your child if it’s time for dunch. You can notice you made a mistake and realize you meant to say lunch not dunch, but you were stuck on dinosaur. Some other possibilities could be looking for your dlasses (glasses) or maybe your docks (socks). When kids catch on, they think this is pretty silly but very funny. You can even call your child by the wrong dame, er…name. Anyone for dice cream?
Kids need to hear millions and millions of words for the brain to figure out that words are made up of bits of sounds. This is called phonological awareness and it is a critical skill for reading. Taking advantage of opportunities to play word games with kids will encourage listening for tiny differences in sounds and help brains understand how sounds work. Sounds are like puzzle pieces that get put together in various ways. The sounds that words start with is one of those ways.
Can you play the Stuck on Dinosaur Word Game with your child?
P.S. You can get stuck on 123kindergarten on FB and play anytime.