Weekly Kid’s Co-op…Sound and Shhh! A Word Game for Beginner Readers

“By words we learn thoughts, and by thoughts we learn life.” Jean Baptiste Girard

Getting boys interested in reading is sometimes a hefty task. I know this, because I have 3 boys of my own.  My smallest boy however, is proving my theory wrong. His appetite for words is insatiable. He will try to read anything you put in front of him and he’s only 5.  And I’m loving it.

Today at lunch we were talking about the letter J, and what might happen if we changed the first letter of all our names to J. The smalls thought this was pretty funny…especially when they realized Rain’s name became Jain!

When the wee ones went for naps, I decided to carry our lunch conversation over into the afternoon and make a game of it. I prepared some “word mats” with 12×12 scrapbook paper by writing 3 simple words on them. I chose words that could easily have their first letter removed and switched out for a new one.

I grabbed our bowl of cut-out letters that we keep around for different activities. They are just letters cut from cereal boxes before the boxes hit the recycle bin. Then I got our chipboard alphabet cards, and we got down to the business of playing.

First, I picked a card with a consonant on it…

Then the boys searched the bowl for that letter…

Once the boys found their letter, I asked them to place it over the first letter of each word on their mats, one word at a time. By “shhh-shing” the first letter and adding a new one, they could change the sound of the word altogether!

Sometimes, we found that the new sound made an actual word! But sometimes, it just made nonsense. Which was funny.

And the boys, being boys, had fun with the letter B…

We played and played, for over an hour, sounding out letters and then shhh-shing them, then sounding out new ones. Every time we picked a new letter card, we would make the sound of that letter so we knew what to expect when we added it to a new word…

The kindergartener helped the preschooler sound out his words when he got stuck…

One of the boys got weary of the game, but mine kept on going. And when his big sister came home, they took it to a new level, by adding new vowels in the middle of the words…

Then they “shushed” all the letters except the one at the beginning and spelled all kinds of new words…

And all this with chopped up cereal boxes and a few sheets of cardstock! I love activities that cost next to nothing! Especially ones that feed the appetites of young and eager readers.

Today is the Weekly Kid’s Co-op again, where you get to link up your ideas here and share them with the world, plus get a whole world of new ideas! But before we do that, I’d like you to maybe take some time to read this post by WordPlayhouse. It was linked up with the Co-op last week and I sooooo believe it’s worth the read. So often we get caught up in the “doing, doing, doing” with our kids and we forget to enjoy the moments when there is nothing scheduled. Her photographs are beautiful and tender and her words are wise and insightful…


But don’t take my word for it…click on either of these photos and it will take you right there.

Now it’s your turn. Link up below if you’d like! Grab the badge and put it on your blog linking your followers back to the Co-op so they too, can enjoy the fun!

Thanks for stopping by!

~Arlee, Small Potatoes
The Weekly Kid's Co-op

And click on this little blue guy to link up your blog post…


5 thoughts on “Weekly Kid’s Co-op…Sound and Shhh! A Word Game for Beginner Readers

  1. I just pinned your word game project. I love the beautiful nod to vintage in your game pieces—even the word boards you made yourself with the lovely worn texture! I think it’s always nice to work with beautifully made materials. And, you can see from your son’s delighted face, he is enjoying this educational game. Also, thank you for the lovely, lovely words you shared with our post you chose to feature here from the other wonderful ideas linked up with the Weekly Kid’s Co-op.

    • Thank you so much, Heather. My cousin picked up those vintage alphabet cards for me at a sale somewhere and I was sooo happy!! You you are very welcome for sharing your post here…it really is so well written. Thanks again for your sweet comments!

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