Phase One: Alliteration
Purpose: To develop children's understanding of alliteration, where words start with the same letter or sound. This will help them when they start to sound out and spell words later on.
30-50 months: Shows and awareness of alliteration
40-60 months: Hears and says the initial sounds in words.
This is a fun way to explore initial sounds. When I did this activity, I added magnetic letters so that Sophie could match the sound and letter, but don’t worry too much about making sure they recognise the letters at this stage. During Phase One, we want children to be able to hear the sounds. They will learn to match the sounds to the written letter when they start Phase Two in Reception.
Collect two sets of objects that can be buried in sand. Each set of objects must have names beginning with the same initial sound. Try to avoid objects that start with the same letter but a different sound. e.g. sun and shell both start with the letter s but the first sound in sun is 's' whereas the first sound in shell is 'sh' (can you spot the shell in the picture below - I was thinking about the starting letter rather than the starting sound when I collected the objects!)
To make it easier, choose initial sounds that sound very different from one another. You could use sounds that are familiar to them e.g. the first sound in their name and someone else’s name in their family.
Bury the objects in the sand. As your child uncovers the treasure, say the name of the object and identify the initial sound. As they become more confident they can join in.
Group the objects by their initial sound and each time you add another object recite the names of the objects e.g. Wow! You’ve found button. Now we have a biscuit, a brush and a button. You could match the objects to the letter if your child is ready, but there is no expectation to teach them the letters during Phase One.