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I love learning that doesn’t feel like learning. The other day I went to the game closet to pull out Candy Land. My son has been obsessed with it lately. We’ve been using it to practice taking turns and flexibility. (Flexibility because green is his favorite color, and sometimes he throws fits when he draws other colors and only wants to move to green squares.) I happened to glance up at the “grown-up” board games and had an idea. Bananagrams!
With adults, you play in teams, one-versus-one, or even just alone… trying to build a giant crossword and use up every single letter. With my son, we just dumped them out and started building words together!
Beginning Sounds and Phonics
My son spelled STOP, GO, NO, HOT, and his name by himself. I added LOW as a rhyme for the words he already had. Then I started spelling a bunch of short words that I knew he liked. I did PIG, MOUSE, QUEEN, DINO, MOMMY, and more. He’s already used to sounding out words that I write down for him based on the sound of each letter, so after I told him the word, he tried to “read” it by himself.
“Sweetie, I wrote down PIG.”
“Puhhh-ihhh-guhhh. PIG.” He pointed to each letter as he read it’s sound. He still doesn’t know how to sound out words QUICKLY. He’ll say each sound slowly, but then when I tell him to say it faster to figure out what the word is, he still says it really slowly and can’t get the words on his own. I’m still really proud of his progress, and I think this game will give him a lot of confidence with building his own words that he already knows and with recognizing words that I spell for him.
My son had no clue that we were practicing reading and beginning sounds… he just keeps begging for more banana game! Teaching preschool should always just feel like fun!