Preparing your Preschooler for School- Discriminating Sound

Here is another challenge for your child to encourage him/her to pay close attention to environmental sounds. I hope that enjoyed the last game that I posted about.

If you have not yet read the article, you really should as it explains the educational reasons behind games such as these. Please click here to read the article. Discriminating environmental sound correctly and with ease is a prerequisite for phonics.


Click here to play the Listen and Match Game

Your child needs to  listen and match the cans that make the same sounds. As you can see there are no visual cues at all!! The can on the bottom shelf needs to be dragged up to make a match. This game is a much greater challenge than Bailey Bear. If your child found that game way too easy then this is for you!

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

Preparing your Pre-Schooler for School: Discriminating Sound

It is hugely important to prepare Pre-School aged children for Primary School. If  your child is well prepared he/she will have a less stressful transition and experience early success in school. This will in turn lead to a positive attitude towards school and much needed boost to his/her self-esteem.

Here are 2 fun, easy and free games that you can play with your child over the coming months. When September comes around you will both be glad that you did.

The game is called  “A Listening Walk”. Your child can choose between a walk in a city or a walk in the countryside. Bailey Bear hears lots of different sounds and your child must click on the image that matches the sound.

This game will train your child to tune into sounds and also to listen carefully and distinguish between sounds (General Sound Discrimination).  Bailey Bear will  challenge your child to  listen to and remember sounds (auditory memory and sequencing) in order to play.

When your sit with your child and talk about all the sounds heard you will be developing vocabulary and language comprehension skills. Discuss the sounds that you heard and the sounds of the others images shown.

Play “Which one am I” before moving on to the next part of the game. Make a sound from the image above and ask ” Am I an airplane, police car, pedestrian crossing or children playing a ball game?”. Take turn with both you and your child making the sounds.

Play “I spy” with the pictures. “I spy with my little eye something with wings. Who am I?”.

All of this will enlarge vocabulary and encourage logical thinking.

These skills important pre-cursor to phonics instruction in school. If your child cannot distinguish the difference between the sound of a motor bike and an airplane, for example, distinguishing between “p” and “d” will be a huge struggle.

Click here to play

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

Learning the alphabet with Sesame Street

Wait until you see this cute, cute game from Sesame Street!

Cookie Monster tells your child the name of the letter that he wants to eat. The game has helpfully highlighted the beginning/initial letter in each word.

Your child just clicks and drags the correct food to feed Cookie Monster. There is a lovely help button too and Cookie Monster is really sweet if you make a mistake!

Don’t you just love it! Click here to play Cookie Monster’s Letter of the Day

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

Learning the Alphabet (Part 2)

Practice your “abc’s” with ABCD Watermelon.

Join in and sing along as the letters appear on the screen. This will help to reinforce the name of the letter and how it is written (a grapheme) in a simple and clear way.

The song stops when something “silly” appears. Your child then needs to use his/her knowledge of the alphabet to click on the missing letter. It’s short and sweet :). This would be a great game to play together! Your child could tell you the missing letter and you could click on the grapheme until your child is able to play unaided.

Click here to play ABCD Watermelon 

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

Free Phonics Fun for Little Kids is just a brilliant way for beginner readers to learn their sounds. I just love how easy it is to use. You just click on whatever sparkles. Cute! It is always really, really popular with Pre-schoolers and children who have just started school. It would also be useful for a slightly older child as a way to revise or to get some extra practice.

Click on the screenshot below to visit the site 🙂

Your child will learn:

  • to recognise the capital and lowercase form of each letter
  • it’s phonetic sound
  • to recognise what begins with that sound

Each time you click on the letter or the navigate button you will hear phonetic sound of that letter. This encourages quick and easy learning.

The illustrations are bright and cheerful to look at. There are games built in to the end of most of the lessons. It is also a great way to check that you are pronouncing your sounds correctly.  Check out my previous blog on the Top 7 problems when teaching phonics to learn a little more about this.

The only negative about this site is that pronunciations are American and can therefore be slightly different to Irish pronunciations. This is only the case for a small few letters, though, and it certainly hasn’t stopped me from using it.

Starfall also offers free ABC Printouts for each letter of the alphabet. They are of a really high quality and are great for writing practice too.

It is worth reading the bottom of each printout for more game and activity suggestions

Have fun 🙂