Word Slam!

It’s a rainy day here in Vermont, and the baby is asleep after a big morning at the local mall (and by local I mean 50 minutes away, and by big I mean it has an Old Navy).  With a half hour to go before dinner, I pulled out an activity I found on Toddler Approved which would be a bit above Em’s head literacy-wise and simplified it so both kids could play and get their wiggles out after a long car ride.  Word Slam!

Word Slam with Rub Some Dirt On ItFor kids who are comfortable reading basic words and beyond, you can color code sticky notes or note cards by word families and have kids slam words in certain word families (-at, -ar, -op, etc.).  Since Em has a very rudimentary phonemic awareness (she knows most letter sounds but doesn’t really apply them to written words), I picked some words that she sees often enough that she should recognize (Mom, Dad, go, stop, hello, dog, cat) and wrote them on post-its.  Then I stuck them to our sliding glass door.

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In this house, literacy trumps clean windows.  Shocker.

Then I would call out a word and the kids would have to find it on the slider and SLAM it with a soft bouncy ball.  That was without question Jax’s favorite part.  Reading AND throwing balls in the house?  Score!

1Afterward Jax asked me to “challenge” him by writing more difficult words and mixing them in with the “baby” words.  So I wrote words like laugh, smile, brother, baby and he went to town slamming them all.

They each took a turn reading and slamming each word, and I was happy at how well Jax coached Em through it.  He loves taking on the role of leader or teacher, so this was a fun activity for him while Em had a chance to learn something new.  I could have made it easier for her by just doing letters (maybe upper and lower case letters on separate doors and having her find each one on both sides), but today I felt like challenging her and she did great.  There are so many awesome ways to differentiate this for different ages, even just by calling out colors and having a younger child find a card of that color, that you can’t go wrong by Pinning this saving it for a rainy day!

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