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How can I teach my daughter letter sounds in a fun way??

(26 Posts)
mummyloveslucy Thu 09-Jul-09 19:29:17

Hi, my daughter has been diognosed with verbal dyspraxia. She talks all the time but it's very hard to work out what she's saying sometimes, even for me.
She is going to be acessed by the child development team at the hospital as she is still soiling herself every day and dosn't seem to know what's appropriate with strangers. She has a good memory for her age and she seems to be keeping up accidemically with her class. She'll be starting reception in September and I've heared that children with speech problems often have problems learning to read and wright too.
I was wondering what we can do at home over the holidays to help her with learning her letter sounds? She loves games, so I thought we could try to make a game out of it.
At the moment we read to her a lot, sing, read poems and sing nursery rhymes. We've been doing all this since she was born and she really enjoys it, but I'd like some more ideas of games to boost her language skills and letter sound recognition so that she's up to speed with the other children in her class. Thanks. smile

LIZS Thu 09-Jul-09 19:35:23

Jolly Phonics was designed for children with language difficulties in mind as it is multisensory, for example you can use the signs and songs to emphasise the sounds. There are many materials to support it including games like lotto. It is explained here and commonly used in schools and nurseries as a first step to reading. What has her nursery used until now ?

mummyloveslucy Thu 09-Jul-09 19:43:07

Thanks LIZS, the nursery do phonics work. They do things like clapping out sounds in words. Lucy will often get the sounds wrong when doing this, although she is improving. I bought the Jolly phonics DVD but she just whined and said "I don't like this, I want Cbeebies". hmm
I'm going to buy the big book for her as she loves stories.

mummyloveslucy Thu 09-Jul-09 19:46:03

I didn't know it was actually designed for children with language difficulties.
That should be great for her. smile
They use Jolly phonics in the school she'll be going to in January.

LIZS Thu 09-Jul-09 19:46:58

There seems to be a JP cd rom , perhaps she'd prefer it more interactively than passively watching ? Also have a look at BBC Schools webpages as they usually have some basic games there too.

mummyloveslucy Thu 09-Jul-09 19:53:23

Thanks, I'll have a look. smile

LIZS Thu 09-Jul-09 19:56:18

This game might be worth a try at basic level, for example, although she would probably need you to help her.

dilemma456 Thu 09-Jul-09 21:11:53

Message withdrawn

Yurtgirl Thu 09-Jul-09 21:15:02

Hi MLC - we used to have a jollyphonics video - argh! is all I can say about it, I am not surprised your dd isnt fond of it

We have the jollyphonics handbook and I highly reccomend it - loads of games and other ideas to help a child learn to read


carocaro Thu 09-Jul-09 22:58:50

I would leave her to it, see how she goes when she stars school, you don't want to maybe confuse her with what you do and what the school does.

In DS1 class there are 2 kids with speech issues inc. verbal dyspraxia and are just about to end year 2 and the difference is HUGE and BRILLIANT. They have had extra help, but also being part of the main class has really helped. Time is the best thing on her side to be honest, small steps not too much pressure on one area.

Just make some fun games when you are out and about and at home, like

'ooooh look CAT, that starts with a curly C, lets say C C C together'

You know relaxed chatty silly fun stuff with everyday things; T T T T Toasts ready!

And DON'T worry that she won't be up to speed with other kids, some have learnt to read and write before they start school in one form or another, some have never done anything and some have bits and bobs, so don't think for one minute she's going to be below some sort of imaginary benchmark.

You should get more of an idea when she gets assessed with ideas for her, so try not to worry too much, my DS1 has dyslexia and issues with dyspraxia/gross motor control and he loves school and goes at his own pace with great teacher guidance, when he started he would not say boo to a goose for months and but he gradually found his feet!

good luck. xx

carocaro Thu 09-Jul-09 23:01:05

PS: also meant to say that my DS understands the majority of things and is bright, but just finds it hard to write it down, so the level of intelligence and understanding is there, just hard to express.

Scattercat Wed 15-Jul-09 13:33:53

Could I suggest you take a look at . I set up the website several years ago for parents who want to help their children learn to read with phonics. I know that many parents and children find the 'Hear the sounds' page useful.

georgiemum Wed 15-Jul-09 13:40:09

Silly songs. They work well - especially with silly actions.

We used to choose a letter then see who could think of words beginning with the sound - colour, animal, name, item of clothing, something in the room...

pagwatch Wed 15-Jul-09 13:43:28

Actually, can I suggest that you forget that idea for now. She is not yet in reception is she? When DD started in her reception she was only able to vaguely recognise her name - and she attends a selective independent and was one of the oldest.
Many of the children will not have any phonics or letter recognition and, as others have said, you may well be muddling her up before the teachers start their method.

My son has verbal dyspraxia and in my opinion it is WAAAYYYY more important to help her speech as much as possible. If she likes games keep it based around sound construction - things like practicing proper 'p' sounds by making feathers move.

Efas made a big difference to DS2 as well. Have you looked at this site here

HollyBunda Wed 15-Jul-09 13:44:37

check out

pagwatch Wed 15-Jul-09 13:47:36

sorry - that site is the wrong one - I will find it and post again......

bubblagirl Wed 15-Jul-09 13:50:00

my ds has ASD and cannot produce lots of speech sounds and he is learning to read by memorising the words not by speech sound we read the same book twice a day and he can now recognise all the words he says them but obviously not how they should sound but he knows the words

dont panic though as they will find ways of teaching to read when starting school by reading the books he can now say ball properly as he can see the ball word starts with a b weve just worked on it slowly and he can do more sounds singularly which he can sometimes use in a word

so ball b and he was saying gall then bgall now ball just read and do speech sounds but dont panic about having her reading yet i think my ds will be a visual learner he'll remember word by site and as he gets older and speech sounds come along he'll be able to use sounds

pagwatch Wed 15-Jul-09 13:50:25

OK found it!
This is an american site with lots of interesting info and a good message board full of useful stuff including therapies and biomedical things

mrz Wed 15-Jul-09 18:20:39

If you decide to go with Jolly Phonics I would suggest using the music CD Jolly Songs. Children pick up things that are set to music and rhyme and other than that I would leave it to the school.

shigella92 Wed 15-Jul-09 20:07:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mumeeee Wed 15-Jul-09 21:29:30

Don't worry about her not knowing letter sounds at the moment, A lot of children with dyspraxia do have trouble but she will be doing stuff like this in reception. Just carry on reading her lots of stories and making up silly songs and most of all relax,
DD3 is dyspraxic and although she didn't have verbel dyspraxia she founf d it very hard to learn letter sounds she was much better at the whole word system because like your daughter she had a very good memory.

SammyK Wed 15-Jul-09 21:34:27

I have a Cbeebies fan hmm I bought the CBeebies phonic pack for £10, it has a dvd, huge poster and book and DS loves it. He also has a good memory and the way they visually get the sounds across with the letter shape is brilliant IMO.

oneopinionatedmother Wed 15-Jul-09 21:50:37

OOOOhh so many games...

I used to teach this stuff to foreign kids -

1) get a large foam letter shapes from (eg)Tescos
2) make the sound (try most-used letters first a,e,s,n,t) (use the phonic sounding eg 'a' like 'can' or 'e' like 'elephant'
3) whilst saying the sound, perform an action e.g. biting an apple for 'a'
4)hopefully they make the action/ say the sound
5) get them to do it a few times in a fun way, e.g. by sayng it softly, then saying it LOUDLY, then softly. hopefully this is funny ! or say it quickly, then slowwwwwwllllyyyy. or hold the letter high and squeak, then low, and say it in your lowest voice. you get the picture.
6)play a game like letters on the ground and make the sound & action together. Hopefully they bring you the right letter (keep going until they do and reward them with stickers/ sweets/ praise)
7) two letters on the ground. give baby an inflatable hammer. make the letter sound/ action and reward them if they hit the right one!
8) or...put letters on the wall . make sound/action -reward them for running to right one (best done with two kids or more)

best practice is: drill child in the letter first, before doing the game, and repeat often so they remain confident and feel 'good'

best thing is : don't worry if they don't get it at first. make it fun, and even if they're not learning, they're enjoying themselves.

this way, i had my 18mo bringing me the right ltter in response to the sound..have not been arsed since though, so she's forgotten, there you go.

oneopinionatedmother Wed 15-Jul-09 21:56:59

i can't stress enough the importance of physical action in learning wonders. cbeebies is good, but a bit too passive to elicit speech and get them all excited about sounds.

btw: it actualy sounds like your little girl is doing really well, taken in the round.

Bumperslucious Wed 15-Jul-09 21:57:18

DD is only 2 but we have foam shapes in the bath and she likes to know what they are an name them. They stick to the sides of the bath.

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