Improving listening skills

I've been working on a guided reading pack that I hope to have out in the next month or so and as I was working I kept thinking "Luke could do this!" It's so exciting as a teacher to be able to use my expertise at home, also! Especially when we're at home all summer!

Luke is 3 1/2...he's a typical BOY. He likes anything that has to do with  messes, dirt, trucks, tractors, games, sports, and the list could go on! He is high energy and doesn't. ever. stop! I hear boys are this way.

Ella knew all her letters and sounds by 2 1/2. NO JOKE. We didn't even have to "teach" them to her. She just picked up on it as we read, watched Word World, did puzzles and such. Luke...notsomuch. He's just not interested in letters and reading like Ella was. I by no means feel like he is behind, but I want him to have a solid foundation to build upon.

So I created this little's nothing too exciting or ground breaking but it really helps with LISTENING. What toddler/ preschooler doesn't need help with their listening skills?!
Listening is the FIRST step to phonological awareness. Phonological awareness (PA) is an awareness of sounds and how they work. Vaughn, from "Research-based methods of Reading Instruction" states: "Children who enter school with PA have a very HIGH likelihood of learning to read successfully. Children who lack PA have great difficulty learning to read. Obviously children who come to school without PA need to develop it!"

Well, obviously I'm going to do everything I can to ensure that my babies are good readers and love to read. Making reading games FUN at this age is so so important! So I created this little animal sound game. Phonemic Awareness is about the SOUNDS and is all auditory. And what child doesn't love animal sounds?!
I printed out THESE animal cards, laminated, and cut them. I placed them all face up so that Luke could see them. I asked him what each animal is and what noise they make first. Now for the fun part...momma made the sound and Luke had to slap the correct card. We played this game with sister. Maybe if your child is not competitive or not a toddler just a sweetheart, then you could play the competitive version. {The first kid to slap it gets to keep the card} We tried that version and it went something like this:
LOL. Well, that's life with a toddler, right?!
You could do different variations of the game where you say multiple sounds "baaaa, mooo, quack" and your child will have to slap the first, middle, last sound they heard, etc. The possibilities are endless!
I hope you can use this with your kids- and those struggling little babies at the beginning of the year, too! This is a great game for guided reading! Let me know if you snag these up!


  1. Love this for my just turned 4 year old! And great for beginning of the year Kinders! Thanks for the freebie.

  2. So cute! I have four-year-old and two-year-old boys. They are so not interested in reading in general. The four-year-old knows a lot of letters and has seemingly picked them up from playing iPad games and preschool. We've downloaded a few handwriting apps that he's having fun with. I figure we'll do a lot of work this next year so he's ready for Kindergarten!

    What I Have Learned

  3. This is great even for beginning kindergartners or those who need intervention support. Love it!


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