This VERY simple activity takes two minutes to set up and it so enjoyable for those learning to read. I simply rolled out some homemade play dough, put five toys inside that are CVC words and then rolled up the dough to hide the contents inside. The items I used were: dog, hen, pig, man and cat.
CVC words are words that are made up of a consonant,then a vowel and finally a consonant. These words are simple to read phonetically (using the sound that the letter makes). Once children know some of their sounds and are able to show some signs of hearing sounds within words, they can practise and rehearse their phonic knowledge by blending their sounds together to read a CVC word.
I presented J with the hide and seek play dough and then a whiteboard with the CVC words written on. Even though J asked me what they said before we started, I said that we’d work that out as we played.
J was so excited to get stuck into the play dough as I’d told him that there were some hidden secrets in there.
Digging the items out of the dough gave J the lovely workout I adore… yes, you’re right, a fine motor workout!
As J found the dog, I asked if he could find the word that said dog. As I said the word, I said it broken down into sounds, e.g. ‘d-o-g’ and then blended it back together, ‘dog.’ So in reality what I said was, ‘can you find the word, d-o-g, dog?’
After a couple of demonstrations of this, J was able to find the words himself. You can see in the photo below, he is sounding out ‘c-a-t.’
J really enjoyed this activity and we repeated it several times after with different objects and CVC words… sun, ten, six, tin, cap, cup, mug, fox, pan and jam. As with lots of our games, this could easily be adapted to learn initial sounds (first sound in a word) just by having the objects in the play dough and the letters/sounds on the board. Or for colours, having different colour objects, e.g. a banana and a yellow colour patch on the board. Even with numbers… having numbers hidden in the dough and the correlating number of spots on the board. Hope you have fun with it as learning should be fun!!