Our reading box started with a need to make reading lessons a bit more hands on for my oldest (5 years old.) He wanted to learn how to read, loves books and showed a huge interest in doing so.
We are still new to homeschooling but hands on, play based, sensory rich learning has worked really well for us. Our reading box accompanied the readers we were using when we first started our reading journey.
Here are the resources that have worked well for us in our journey thus far:
- Nature Letter Cards
- Mushroom Editable Sight Word Cards included in the Mushroom Activity Pack
- Minimal Alphabet Flashcards (*two toned paper)
- Nature Beginning Sound Cards
- Play dough
- Ten Frame
- Letter Tiles
- A couple of manipulates (like the mushrooms pictured)
We simply package them all up in a little box like this:
First I reviewed any readers or curriculum pages and identified the first letters that would be worked on over a 2-4 week period. I decided to start with about 10 letters. I wanted to keep the box as concise as possible and not overwhelming.
My husband also enjoys sitting with him and teaching/reviewing so keeping only what we were working on in the box seemed to work best. Also, keeping less in the box made it easy to take it on the go with us, bring it outside, or pop in a bag, etc.
With those letters chosen, I grabbed the Nature ABC Letter Cards that have the picture support with them. These are great to match letters to or use with play dough and make the letter as you go. You can even trace the letter with your finger!
The Editable Sight Word Cards are one of the best resources for versatility. I used them for sight words of course but I also used them to help with blending sounds. I put the letters we were working with on them and this is where having a manipulative on hand is helpful.
For example, take the letters ‘m’ and ‘a’. Grabbing a manipulative (this could literally be anything including just a finger - I have a mushroom pictured above) and move it across to the next letter as you make the sounds of each letter.
Once that is mastered, I used a step by step approach (suggested in a reader) and also placed the sound blend like ‘ma’ on the cards as well. So a letter like ‘p’ or ‘t’ could be added with the ‘ma’ sound at the end and blended in the same way. How you customize these are really based on your preference and curriculum/method at hand.
The Nature Beginning Sound Clip Cards are a great way to reinforce and review any sounds learned throughout the week(s). On occasion, we also use letter tiles to mark the correct letters.
A new addition, are the Minimal Alphabet Flashcards, I printed these out in two different color tones, white and kraft card stock. The reason for this was to have a letter flash card set to help identify consonants and vowels. I thought this would be a great, cost effective way to do this rather than purchasing yet another letter set.
The ten frame is really just a tool that can help create a multi sensory approach. To create blends, spell words with letter tiles, or use play dough to press down as your child makes the sound of the letter tile above it and so on. It also is compact enough to fit inside the box we used which, by the way, was a Michaels purchase. So that was a total win!
There are so many amazing resources from Mornings Together, you can really create any theme you want for your box! Also, check out the freebie section, you may find some hidden gems in there for your next lesson or if you decide to put together one of these boxes for your little reader!
Do you have something like this? Any resources/strategies that have worked well for your reading journey? Comment below - I’d love to hear about it.
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- Tags: alphabet, early literacy, homeschool, kindergarten, preschool reading, reading box, tutorial