Fresh and Fun Word Work to Help Your Reader Bloom

Fresh and Fun Word Work to Help Your Reader Bloom title image

One of the best ways to avoid summer slide is to use word work and reading games to make reading fun. Yesterday, I did a parental involvement presentation with our first and second grade parents, and the topic for the evening was “Preventing Summer Learning Loss”.  I shared with the parents tips on how to weave in time for reading, gave a list of recommended books for the summer, and information about what’s happening at our school and in our community.  

In addition to reading time, our youngest learners need word work practice too. I shared with them some literacy manipulatives for word work and modeled how they might find and use them.  The answer to where to find most…The Dollar Tree!

Today’s focus though is a follow up to this workshop.  In fact, I am going to share the link to this post with the parents who came to show them how they can work on word building this summer.  After all, kids look at these activities as play (and we want to keep it that way since learning is fun!).  

how outdoor fun leads to word work:

The first idea came from my friend Nikki over at Teaching in Progress.  Her little guy is starting kindergarten in the fall. He and his brother got hours of entertainment out of constructing this mansion out of boxes in her backyard.

Where does word building come into play with this? Well, it’s in the labeling and letters that they wrote back and forth for the mail slot.  Worried about the mess??? Guess what…you can paint with water on any dry surface and the words will show up and disappear as the water evaporates.  It’s a great lesson in the water cycle too!

Fresh and Fun Word Work to Help Your Reader Bloom outdoor fun activities

solo cup word work:

Fresh and Fun Word Work to Help Your Reader Bloom solo cup ideas

I love this next idea from Teresa at Confessions of a Teaching Junkie.  Notice the solo cups fit neatly in the Pringles can turned Sightword Storage.  Working on rhyming words, short or long vowel families??  No problem…put the words on the cups and sort them first.  You can make a great long o tower and then have your child read and identify the patterns.

Another solo cup option is to layer two together…word family on top cup with a notched out part to the left of it.  Beginning sounds go on the inside cup to build rhyming words. (from I Teach Kinder)

Fresh and Fun Word Work to Help Your Reader Bloom solo cup ideas

Pingpong ball Word work

This cute activity would be an easy one to make. All you need is a sharpie, ping-pong balls and the egg carton.  When you’re finished making words, just close the lid for storage. I can see this being a great game to play too if you have a discard bag with all the extra ping-pong balls in. Kids pull out random balls, make words with the letters needed for points, put them back into the bag for the next player.  Can’t make a word?? Well, then you forfeit your turn and draw one next time.  (or whatever rules you find works).

Fresh and Fun Word Work to Help Your Reader Bloom pingpong ball word building

cookie sheet word work

Fresh and Fun Word Work to Help Your Reader Bloom cookiesheets

I also love this post from Emily at Curious Firsties, and I have used her idea quite a bit with tutoring students with much success. It is a great thing when students begin to see chunks of sound and quickly work through longer words.

Cookie sheets and magnetic letters can keep kids busy forever.  I recommend building both real and nonsense words because then students learn to see the chunks of sounds in more complex words later on.  Multi-syllable words are demonstrated in the second picture to the right so you can see what I mean. You can also use food trays such as the one below for single and multisyllable words.

Fresh and Fun Word Work to Help Your Reader Bloom food trays

Lego learning ideas:

The next option is great for repurposing those Legos or Duplo blocks you have lying around. One tip…have all vowels the same color so that patterns sink in.  Notice that the picture shows cemented sounds on one block (ck, ee, sh, th). Want to make a game of it?  See if you can make words in other directions too.

The picture on the right is of a word slider.  Kids need help sometimes with blending sounds to make word. By simply wrapping word cards with a cardstock “envelope”, you can practice blending.

Fresh and Fun Word Work to Help Your Reader Bloom lego words

repurposing household games for word work

Fresh and Fun Word Work to Help Your Reader Bloom games

In this picture, you’ve got a few recycle options…
Plastic eggs can be used long after Easter with the help of a few adhesive letters or a sharpie. The word family goes on one part of the egg and the beginning sounds on the other. That same idea is demonstrated with the toilet paper rolls. Who knew??

Kids love playdough, and I think this is a fun way to practice sightwords and word building.

Connect Four just got a new use.  Kids love that game, and what a fun challenge it would be to see how many words you can make (in more than one direction).

finally…paint chip word work:

Got paint chip samples?  There are a bazillion ways to use them in education. Just type in paint chip DIY ideas, and I am sure you’ll have a full page of things you can make and do with them. This is one of my favorites.

Fresh and Fun Word Work to Help Your Reader Bloom paint chips

word work resources for young learners:

Interested in these, but prefer purchasing on TPT. Click here.

other posts you may like:

If you’re worried about your young learner, I hope these ideas help you with ways to help with things you have in your home. Add in great books, and you’re sure to make a difference.

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Carla

Carla is a licensed reading specialist with 27 years of experience in the regular classroom (grades 1, 4, and 5), in Title 1 reading, as a tech specialists, and a literacy coach. She has a passion for literacy instruction and meeting the needs of the individual learner.

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