Play is paramount in the development of early literacy and language skills. As parents, we can help our children build upon their natural inclination toward literacy by providing materials to facilitate learning right at home. Incorporating simple activities like using LEGO bricks for spelling and reading is a great way to do this.
LEGO DUPLO Sight Word Activities
Teaching sight words is a great way to help your child build confidence in their reading abilities. High-frequency words generally fall under one of two lists; the Fry words and the Dolch sight words. The former includes a list of 87,000 high-frequency words often found in text geared toward grades 3- 9. Dolch sight words are most commonly found in reading material for children in kindergarten through second grade.
High-frequency words cannot be deciphered by phonics. They generally do not follow any decoding rules and can not be inferred by context clues or pictures. Learning them by sight is often the preferred method of instruction. One way to help your child identify sight words is with LEGO DUPLO blocks. Use a dry erase marker to write sight words on the larger DUPLO bricks. Write the letters of the word on single, individual bricks. Have your child match the single bricks to the larger brick.
Letter Manipulatives for Spelling Practice
Another fun way to include LEGO in your child’s spelling and reading activities is to use the bricks themselves to make words. Many educators encourage the use of manipulatives to help children work out what they’ve learned in a tangible way. While common in mathematics, manipulatives can be helpful when teaching children letters as well. This hands-on approach allows children to see and touch letters and words being created. This creates a connection that might otherwise be missing when simply writing letters and words on paper.
Most young children have a difficult time with pencil grip so using LEGO bricks to spell out words is an easy and fun way to introduce reading. To do this simply gather the thin 1-by bricks and a large LEGO base plate. Your child will be able to create simple block-style letters to spell out words like “this, that, sun, go, etc…”
LEGO Spelling Activities for Early Readers
When your child is first learning the alphabet, consider writing the letters on individual LEGO DUPLO bricks. As you sing the alphabet song, point to each letter just as you would when looking at a book with your child. As your child learns the letters of the alphabet you can build upon this activity. Have your child put the letters in alphabetical order. You could also leave a few letters out and have them fill in the missing letters.
If you’re looking for LEGO spelling activities for preschool and kindergarten age children consider teaching CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words with bricks. These short, one-syllable words are a great starting point for early readers. Using a dry-erase marker, write words like cat, pig, dog on LEGO DUPLO pieces and have your child build the words. Another option is to leave off the first letter and have your child create multiple words from a CVC word family list.
Because 90% of brain development occurs by the time a child reaches the age of five, hands-on activities with a nurturing caregiver will go a long way toward creating a happy, healthy and well-adjusted child. Incorporating hands-on LEGO spelling and reading activities into regular play is a great way to develop a child’s literacy skills. Not only is it educational, but it is also a fantastic bonding experience. Your child will benefit not only from a literacy standpoint but also from the one-on-one quality time with you, and those are memories that will last long after they’re reading chapter books on their own.