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Play the "Sound Blending" Game

Welcome back to Read Not Guess. Today is a review day. We’ll practice blending the letters we learned this week and then play a game to help build your child’s understanding of how sounds combine into words.

Let’s get started.

Word Practice

We’re going to work on “blending” letter sounds into words. Your child can start slowly by saying each sound individually, but each time, they should try to say it just a bit faster.

Ask your child to say the correct sounds as they point to the letters:

a t at And:

u p up By the end, make sure your child is reading the word as "up" (and not "up-puh"). Let’s do some more:

c u p c up cup And:

c u t c ut cut


p a t p at pat And:

s a t s at sat


t a p t ap tap


n u t n ut nut

Sound Blending Game

This is a speaking game. You’re going to divide words into their sound parts, and then ask your child to say the word.

To start, say the word “aaat” very slowly. Ask them to repeat “aaat” slowly just like you said it, and then have them repeat it faster until they can guess your word (“at”).

Here are some more words to try:

P-aaa-t = pat C-aaa-t = cat Sss-aaa-t = sat Mmm-aaa-t = mat T-aaa-p = tap Nnn-aaa-p = nap Mmm-aaa-p = map

Rrr-aaa-p = rap Sss-t-aw-p = stop

If your child struggled with any of the words, go back and have them do it again. Repeated practice is good for kids.

For a harder challenge, swap roles. Have your child give you a word to guess based on a combination of sounds. Made-up words are fine! What's important here is for your child to hear the individual sounds and practice combining them together.

Keep practicing!

Try playing the “Sound Blending” game at the dinner table, in the car, or anytime you’re waiting around.

That’s it for today. We’ll see you next week!

P.S. The next time you're reading to your child, try making it interactive. As this Reading Rockets blog on "dialogic reading" suggests, try following the PEER approach:

  • Prompt the child to say something about the book,

  • Evaluate the child's response,

  • Expand the child's response by rephrasing and adding to it, and

  • Repeat the prompt to make sure the child has learned from your expansion.


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