A new game to play and a new member of the phonics team! Meet Metal Mike. This is a game which is very adaptable, so please, feel free to adapt. It’s particularly useful game to support your child in listening out for all the different sounds in words, helping them with the building blocks for reading and writing. You might find ‘robot talk’ a bit challenging (it’s taken me years to perfect and I still get muddled), again adapt it and make it work for you. Focus on the sounds in the words NOT the spelling (sugar, special, chute, ocean, quiche, chef). Spelling patterns are taught much later on as children’s understanding and experiences with language mature.
Writing: Use bottle tops with letters and digraphs written on them. It is surprising how quickly you can accumulate bootle tops. Save these and use them for a variety of writing experiences. For example, use them to write your child’s name or put them in a bag/bowl, etc and ask them to pull out the sound you’ve modelled. It’s a great sensory experience, if you have a paper shredder use that to hide bottle tops in for them to find. Mess Warning: paper will go everywhere but that can get turned into a game too. Who can find the most bits of paper the fastest?!
How to play- Find things that have the sounds ‘sh’ and ‘ch’. Anything you have that fits the criteria and remembering it’s the sound you need to listen out for not the spelling. Suggested items – shirt, shoe, something shiny, toy sheep, squash (as in drink, vegetable or flattening something), fish, dish, tissue, sugar, chef’s hat (remember it’s the sound you’re listening for not the spelling), chicken, cheese, ketchup, chain, wrench, bench. You can also gather a few items which haven’t got the sh sound so that children can discriminate between them, and, of coourse, it’s another way of playing the game. Try to speak ‘Robot Talk’ (persevere, the mistakes are half the fun and your child will happily correct you, they can speak ‘robot talk’ really well!) but it really makes no difference. Ask your child if they can find the object that’s been sounded out. YAs always, take your lead from them. There are so many different ways to play this game that the sky’s the limit. Please adapt as you like.
A few tips – I made my Metal Mike from a box, scissors, glue or sellotape, bottle tops, aluminum foil and a small string of Christmas lights that were past their best. It took about 10 minutes to construct but the glue took ages to dry! I asked an adult in my household (other than myself) to cut the cardboard; even grown ups need help with scissors! View it a few times, you’ll notice different things each time. Make things work for you, use what you’ve got in the house. The resources you see in the videos are from my children’s toy collection and what I’ve gathered over the years. It’s surprising what you can find around the house when you can’t go to the shops! Dip in and out of the games adding to your repertoire. Change the game to include initial sounds we’ve used so far or use rhyming objects. 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. https://home.oxfordowl.co.uk/reading/learn-to-read-phonics/
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