The development of the child, including his speech development, can also be traced through the games the child plays. Children’s play is first solitary (lonely), then parallel, and finally cooperative (social). In the solitary play, the child, for the most part, talks only to himself – describes what he does, names the objects and toys he plays, asks himself questions, and answers them. In the next phase, children play side by side, but without cooperation, which is reflected in the use of speech. Children do not pay attention one by one, they speak for themselves and themselves. When a child begins to play socially, he or she becomes a member of a group that cooperates with others, and speech becomes one of the building blocks of play.
By practicing speech, the child develops his or her speech behavior. And the quality of contact is very important for successful communication. Procedures with a child who speaks little should be even warmer. The first phonological games (knocking, tapping) are, in fact, motor games – the child is playing the modes of articulating voices, and only in that early period, do phonological games appear as a stand-alone category. Later phonological games are just an element in other types of language games, they are an incentive to replace words, to play with grammatical forms and meanings, to rhyme and poetry.
For a child to master a language, he or she must adopt numerous grammar forms and rules, of which there are thousands in every language. In language games, the attitude of the child towards the language changes. It no longer uses it for communication purposes, so the reference function is suppressed. In the play, the child transforms the language into a play object, and therefore his or her attention is focused on the properties and aspects of the language. Encouraging your child to create new words, rather than correcting them, means encouraging your child to think about language as a means of expression and communication. It is very common for a child to find words that already exist in the language but are not known to him or those around him.
Everyday life and practical situations and leisure activities are the basic and most appropriate framework for the diverse use of speech. Such situations are: when a child arrives in kindergarten when changing clothes, taking a meal, talking about content from the family when arranging and planning, formulating rules for living together, visiting, talking about current events, what the children are interested in. In addition to life situations, which are also the most natural and appropriate context for the development of communicative abilities, specific language activities are organized as special or complex, in combination with other activities. Through various communication experiences, the child learns new words and expressions to express meanings that he can already express in other words.
Letters and Sounds
Letters and sounds is a 6 phase teaching programme designed to teach children how the alphabet works for reading and spelling. They teach phonics through discreet daily sessions and through phonics activities in the classroom and outdoor environment.
This is where we help your child to develop listening skills and awareness of sounds in the environment.
This is where we help the children to develop an awareness of sounds made with instruments and noisemakers.
This aspect helps children to develop an awareness of sounds and rhythm.
Rhythm and Rhyme
This aspect looks at developing children’s awareness of rhythm and rhyme in speech such as joining in repetitive phrases like; ‘run, run as fast as you can, you can’t catch me I’m the gingerbread man’.
This aspect helps children to understand alliteration. We teach children this aspect through wordplay with initial sounds;
This aspect teaches children how to make sounds with their voices, e.g. Wheeeeeee! Boing, boing. Shhhhhh… Tick tock, tick tock…
Oral blending and Segmenting
This aspect helps children to oral blend and segment sounds in words. We model this throughout the day like;
It’s time to get your c oa t, Touch your t oe s, Hang your coat on your p e g
Invite the children to show you how good they are at listening and talk about why listening carefully is important.
A listening moment
Ask them what made each sound and encourage them to try to make the sound themselves.
Encourage the children to explore the outdoor area and discover how different sounds are made by tapping or stroking, with their beaters, a wooden door, a wire fence, a metal slide, and a few items such as pipes and upturned pots you have ‘planted’.
Teddy is lost in the jungle
One child (the rescuer) is taken aside while a teddy bear is hidden somewhere in the room. Tell the other children they are going to guide the rescuer to the teddy by singing louder as the rescuer gets closer to, or quietly as the rescuer moves further away from the teddy. Alternatively lead the children in singing a familiar song, rhyme or jingle, speeding up and slowing down to guide the rescuer.
Many commercially produced sound lotto games involve children matching pictures to a taped sound.
Each child selects two or three picture cards that match the sounds, places the cards in the same order in which the sounds are heard, and explains the sequence of events.
New words to old songs
Take a song or rhyme the children know well and invent new words to suit the purpose and the children’s interests. Use percussion instruments to accompany the new lyrics.
Adjust the volume
Two children sit opposite each other with identical instruments. Ask them to copy each other making loud sounds and quiet sounds. It may be necessary to demonstrate with two adults copying each other first. Then try this phonics activitie with an adult with one child.
Grandmother’ has a range of instruments and the children decide what movement goes with which sound (e.g. shakers for running on tip-toe, triangle for fairy steps). First, an adult will need to model being a Grandmother. Then a child takes the role. Grandmother stands with her back to the others and plays an instrument. The other children move towards Grandmother in the manner of the instrument while it is playing. They stop when it stops. The first person to reach Grandmother takes over that role and the game starts again.
Singing songs and action rhymes (action songs in which the children have to add claps, knee pads, and foot stamps or move in a particular way) should be an everyday event.
Listen to the music
Ask the children to think about how the music makes them feel and let them move to the music.
Follow the sound
Invite a small group of children to sit in a circle. The adult begins by producing a body percussion sound which is then ‘passed’ to the child sitting next to them such as clap, clap, clap. The sound is to be passed around the circle until it returns to the adult. These kinds of phonics activities kids love it.
Words about sounds
Adults must engage with children in their freely chosen activities and introduce vocabulary that helps them to discriminate and contrast sounds, for example:
– slow, fast;
– quiet, loud;
– long, short;
Read these books with plenty of intonation and expression so that the children tune into the rhythm of the language and the rhyming words.
Learning songs and rhymes
Play with rhyming words during the day and have fun with them.
Listen to the beat
Remind the children to use their listening ears and to move in time to the beat – fast, slow, skipping, marching, etc.
In a pairs game, use pictures of objects with names that rhyme. The children take it in turns to turn two cards over and keep them if the pictures are a rhyming pair. If they are not a rhyming pair, the cards are turned face down again and the other person has a turn. Start with a small core set of words that can then be extended.
Songs and rhymes
Include a selection of songs within the daily singing session that involve children in experimenting with their voices. Simple nursery rhymes, such as ‘Hickory, Dickory, Dock’ provide an opportunity for children to join in with wheeee as the mouse falls. Use this to find related words that rhyme: dock, clock, tick-tock.
Make up silly rhyming names for a pair of puppets (e.g. Fizzy Wizzy Lizzy and Hob Tob Bob).
Digging for treasure
Collect two sets of objects suitable for use in the sand tray. Each set of objects must have names beginning with the same initial sound. Choose initial sounds for each set that sound very different from one another. Bury the objects in preparation for the session. As the children uncover the treasure, group the objects by initial sound, and each time another is added recite the content of that set: Wow! You’ve found a car. Now we have a cup, a cow, a candle and a car. Kids love these kinds of phonics activities.
Make collections of objects with names beginning with the same sound. Create a song, such as ‘What have we got in our soundbox today?’ and then show the objects one at a time. Emphasise the initial sound (e.g. s-s-s-snake, s-s-s-sock, s-s-s-sausage).
Provide a mirror for each child or one large enough for the group to gather in front of. Play at making faces and copying movements of the lips and tongue. Introduce sound making in the mirror and discuss the way lips move, for example, when sounding out ‘p’ and ‘b’, the way that tongues poke out for ‘th’, the way teeth and lips touch for ‘f’ and the way lips shape the sounds ‘sh’.
Explore different mouth movements with children – blowing, sucking, tongue stretching and wiggling.
Record some children talking while they are busy with a freely chosen activity and play the recording to a larger group. Can the children identify each other’s voices?
Show children how they can make sounds with their voices, for example:
Look astonished – oooooo! Gently moo like a cow – mmmooo!
Be a clock – tick tock.
Keep everyone quiet – shshshsh.
Make your voice go down a slide – wheee…
Like a ball – boing, boing.
Sound really disappointed – oh.
Buzz like a bumble bee – zzzzzzz
Be a steam train – chchchchch.
Hiss like a snake – ssssss.
How you can help your child at home…Organize phonics activities
- Read to your child – stories, library books, signs and labels, anything!
- Talk about the letter sounds in words
- Play word/sound games (examples on the handout)
- Sing songs and nursery rhymes
- Play with words – silly sentences
- Show them that you love reading and writing too!
Equipment you can use at home for phonics activities:
2. Magnetic letters
3. Foam letters
4. Phonics games
5. School high frequency word cards
Letters and Sounds: Principles and Practice of High Quality Phonics
Literacy teaching guide:Phonics
Making Phonics Fun! Teaching Phonics in the Early Years Foundation Stage<