Prep: None / Activity Time: 10-15 Minutes

This activity gives your child practice with both beginning writing and phonological awareness. As you say the name of an object in a funny way, your child will figure out the word and draw a picture to represent it.

  • paper (copy paper cut in half)
  • pencils or crayons

Step 1: Give your child several pieces of paper and pencils or crayons.

Step 2: Tell him that you are going to say the name of an item in a funny way. You might segment the words by syllables or by onset and rime (see examples below). Choose objects that are easy for him to draw. Here are some examples:

  • Segmenting by syllables
    • /pen/ /cil/             (pencil)
    • /ba/ /na/ /na/     (banana)
    • /air/ /plane/         (airplane)
  • Segmenting by onset and rime
    • /c/ /up/                 (cup)
    • /t/ /able/               (table)
    • /b/   /ook/             (book)

 Step 3: Say one of the words, segmented by syllable or onset and rime. Tell your child to listen very carefully to the sounds you say and to put them together in his mind to make a word.  

Step 4: Ask your child to say the word out loud and then to draw a picture to represent the word. If your child struggles, you might ask him what he sees in his mind when he blends the sounds together. Assist as necessary. You might say:

When I put /c/ and /up/ together, it makes cup. Can you draw a picture of a cup?

When I put /ba/ /na/ /na/ together, it makes banana. Can you draw a picture of a banana?    

Provide a visual clue. Place pictures of the items you are naming on the table in front of your child. As you segment and say a word, ask him to choose the picture that represents the word. Then ask him to draw his own picture of it.

When you segment the words, break them down even further into individual sounds. For example, you might ask your child to draw some of these things:

  • /c/ /a/ /t/     (cat)
  • /l/ /o/ /g/     (log)
  • /k/ /ee/         (key)