When my kids were first learning to read there were two areas that were somewhat problematic and hard for them to learn. Segmenting and blending.

Here is a sample of what our conversations sounded like:
Me: c-a-t
Child: cat!
Me: Good! Let’s try another. “a-pp-le”
Child: Pull!
Me: Close, let’s try again. “A-pp-le”
Child: Map!
Me: Okay. “app-le”
Child: A pull!
Me (faster): “App-le”
Child: Apple!
Me: Yes!!!

It was the same with segmenting. I would show a picture of a dog and would ask them to segment it.

Child: dog-o-og
Me: What is the first sound that you hear?
Child: Dog
Me: No, the first sound
Child: G
Me: The first sound.
Child: ….
Me: D….o…g
Child: …….
Me: …….
Child: D?

Seriously, it’s one of the things that makes me want to bang my head against the wall. Luckily, I’ve found a way to help speed this process up and help each age (including pre-k) solidify these skills.

I Spy!

We play this game a lot and it has helped tremendously. We usually play while we are in the car since it allows all of us to play, including toddlers.

One person starts by “spying”, or deciding on an object, that they want the others to guess. They segment the word. For example, “I spy with my little eye a b-oo-k.”

Then the others shout out an answer by blending the word together. “BOOK!” 

I usually take turns by age just because the older kids guess the word faster than the younger, but we all join in. In no time they start really getting the hang of segmenting and blending. 

Let me know what other games you use to teach these skills.