Phonics Fun – I’ve got a word… ng

Hello everyone,

Another new game!  Today’s new sound is the ng sound.   Introducing the ng digraph can be a tricky one for children to hear.  They often don’t reproduce the sound clearly,  may make a long ‘n’  sound instead.  Make sure that you are very clear in your pronounciation and model whenever possible.

This sound is very subtle,  it is barely distinguishable from the nk sound as in pink (can you hear the ng sound in that word?).   Confusing?  The English language is such a hodge podge of other languages that our sounds and spelling really make very little sense at times! I have been teaching children how to read for nearly 30 years and I continually question. check and investigate if I’m doing it the ‘right’ way.  Do not tie yourselves up in knots, that’s my job!  Do the best you can.  If you hear that sound, you’re probably right!  At the very least it makes for an interesting discussion with your child.  Again, it provides an opportunity for you to see how much they really understand.  I bet they’ll surprise you, they don’t see things in black and white the way adults do.  I have never been disappointed by the insight 3 and 4 year olds can bring to discussions.

Writing –  Remember children are not expected to do formal writing until Reception anytime they pick up a pencil/chalk, etc is a bonus at this age and stage of development.  Making the process fun will encourage any reluctant mark makers.  Try taping or gluing some feathers or glitter to the end of pencils, markers, chalks, etc.  Threading little christmas bells on the end of pencils is fun and the tinkling sound encourages children to mark make even more!

I’ve got a word 

How to play-  A rhyming game to introduce the ng sound and support their rhyming skills.  Think of a rhyming word that will match one of the objects you’ve collected.  Hopefully, rhyming is improving.  These skills might not be ‘apparant’ when they’re playing the game but children might be using some rhyme at other times of the day.  Find things that have the ng sound, probably things with that sound at the end sound of the word.   Anything you have that fills the criteria is perfect.  Suggested items  – ring,  tongue, finger, fang, string,  wing (Christmas fairy, toy,) tong (BBQ), ping-pong balls.  Name each of the objects, making sure that your child knows what it is and can identify and pronounce the sound.  Say a word which rhymes with one of the objects you have and see if they can find something that rhymes.

A few tips –  If you notice that your little one is confusing this sound with another it’s a perfect opportunity for you to give them the practice to discriminate between some very subtle pronounciations.  It’s a fun sound for children to make as you can pretend to be a Circus strongman or woman!  Over emphasising the sound really helps to heighten their awareness.

Modify to make things work for you, use what you’ve got in the house, don’t feel obliged to buy resources.  Dip in and out of the games adding to your repertoire.   If it’s fun your child will want to play again and again!  Any questions about the pronunciation please check the Jolly Phonics and Oxford Owl sites or email.

Have fun and enjoy!

Until next time, do good looking for adventures, clean your ears out for good listening and turn your noggins (brains) on for good learning.

Take care and stay safe, 

The Nursery & Reception Team