For the month of December, my Kindergartener is taking a break from his Language Arts curriculum and doing some extra practice with fun games and activities.

For Language Arts we use The Good and The Beautiful Level K, and while we love everything about it, it does move a bit fast. However, with homeschooling, we have the flexibility to take a break and do more practice whenever we need to. We will continue the next unit of his LA curriculum at the start of the new year.

My son is doing well with reading, but I believe he is slightly dyslexic. Blending words longer than 3 letters starts to become a little more challenging. So we are using this month to really focus on phonetic awareness and sounding out/blending words before we move on to other concepts.

*Before learning to blend sounds make sure your child has mastered all of their beginning sounds. Check out this post HERE for tons of fun games and activities that we use to learn all the alphabet beginning sounds.

I did some research, gathered lots of favorite items we already own, and found some great printables that I put together in a small basket that we are calling his Language Arts Blending Basket. Instead of a lesson in his curriculum this month, everyday he gets to choose 3 different activities to do from this basket as well as reading 1 book to me.

Here is everything that is in his basket:

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Word Family Wheels:

My kids love these word wheels (by Carson Dellosa) and they are great for practicing word families and beginning blends. This is a set of 18 different word wheels for only $6! Spin the wheel to form new words to read. (*Note: You will have to have some brad fasteners to put them together as they don’t come with them.)

Dash Into Learning Readers:

I’ve shared these early readers many times, but these are our favorite books to learn to read. The stories are sweet and simple, and my kids love the illustrations. We are continuing to read through the first set for extra practice. (Use code SMITH20 for 20% off your order!) There is also great activity packs that go along with the books for extra practice.

Sight Word Readers:

These little readers are great to practice sight words. The box set comes with 25 titles, each focused on a key sight word. We have the nonfiction set that has real-world topics with predicable text and real-life photos that help mastering sight words easy and fun. These have helped my son build a lot of confidence.

KaBoom! Game:

This is our favorite game and we use it to learn many different things. Plus, it is an easy DIY game! For this game we are working through the primer sight word lists (my son mastered the pre-primer sight words, and alphabet sounds using this same game.) On the end of each popsicle stick I wrote one sight word. Then on 4 other popsicle sticks I wrote the word KaBoom! Put them all together in a cup or jar.

How to Play: Take turns pulling a stick and reading the word. If you read it correctly you keep it, if you read it wrong it goes back in. Continue playing until someone pulls a stick that says KaBoom! If you pull one that says KaBoom you have to put ALL your sticks back in. (Keep the KaBoom stick out.) Continue to play taking turns pulling sticks to read. Playing continues until the last KaBoom stick is pulled. Whoever has the most sticks left wins.

This is my son’s favorite game and it can be used for so many different things. Write math facts, sight words, alphabet sounds, or blends for a a fun way to practice.

Crack the Code:

I found these printable from youclevermonkey.com and knew my son would love them. He loves to build and do hands on activities so these “crack the code” cards are perfect for him. You can purchase the bundle that has a TON of CVC, CCVC, or CVCC words together, or purchase sets separately. Children work through each set of pictures by identifying the beginning sound of each image. Then they have to blend the 3 or 4 sounds together to make a word. We use THESE moveable letters, but you can also laminate them and use a dry erase marker.

Build A Word:

These cards are also from youclevermonkey.com and are similar to the Crack the Code cards, but are great for more practice and learning how to spell. We also use these with moveable letters or a dry erase marker.

Spin & Read Phonetic Reading Blocks:

These moveable blocks help to build and read simple 3-letter CVC words. Spin it, read it, or match it with the set of 30 double-sided flashcards it comes with also. This is great for independent practice, as well as taking on the go.

Road blending:

I knew my son would love this and an option to add playing into learning. To create the road I cut a long rectangle out of cardboard, painted it black, and used yellow washi tape for the center stripes. I use our moveable letters to create a word, spaced out, and have my son use a toy car to sound out the letters and drive it on the road to blend them together.

Magnatiles:

If you have some magnatiles on hand, grab a few squares and a dry erase marker. I write one letter on each square. He sounds out each sound and then blends them as he snaps them together. I keep just one square in his basket so I remember that this activity is an option.

Explode the Code:

We also use Explode the Code for extra phonics practice. They are so simple, but we all love these books. It helps improve decoding of words and spelling as well as helps build confidence in reading. For Kindergarten my son started on the Level 1 book and is almost finished with it. He completes 1 or 2 pages every day and is able to do it independently.

You do not have to have all of these things to have a successful reader, but they are great resources that have helped us. Some of these activities are also similar, but it is nice to switch it up and practice the same concept in a different way.

I have already seen how the extra practice is helping my son with his reading. I hope you are able to get some ideas to help teach your children as well!

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