After a fall phonics activity – perfect to play as we come into pumpkin picking season? Then why not grab this pumpkin beginning sounds matching game? Great to help your little learners tune in to hearing the initial sounds of words.
This phonics matching game is great for helping your little ones to recognize what the different letters look like and start listening for the beginning sounds in words.
This pack contains pairs of beginning sounds pumpkins for every letter of the alphabet. I’ve made them all lower case as these are the main letters they will come across when learning to read.
You can check out some other fall themed activities here!
What Skills Can Your Little Ones Learn And Develop?
This beginning sounds game is designed to help your children practice and develop their early reading skills, such as:
- Segmenting – this is the ability to break the word into its different sounds
- Letter recognition – knowing what the written form (letters) of the sounds look like
- Fine motor skills – as they pick up and move the cards
If you line the pumpkins up to spell some simple CVC words – e.g cat, your children can also have a go at:
- Sounding out – this is saying the different sounds that the written letters make, one sound at a time.
- Blending – the ability to put the different sounds of a word together to be able to correctly say the word.
These are important skills taught during phonics lessons and help your children take some of their first steps on the path to becoming fluent readers.
How To Prepare This Beginning Sounds Game
First you need to download the beginning sounds pimpkins by clicking on the download box at the bottom of the page.
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After that, you’ll need to carefully cut them out (or roughly if you’re that kind of person…).
There’s a pair of pumpkins for every letter included.
* A special note about x. x is a strange letter in terms of beginning sounds. Although there are a few words that begin with x (x-ray, xylophone etc), they don’t use what we’d typically think of as the ‘x sound’ (it’s kind of like a ‘k’ followed quickly by a ‘s’ – as in fox). So I’ve included a picture of a box to be matched with x as this is a better representation of the x sound children will be taught. If you think this may be a little confusing (as this is a beginning sounds game) – I’ve also included an x-ray. So you can choose which one you’d rather use, or leave it out altogether. *
I’ve made the pumpkins as square cards for easier cutting – but you could always cut around the actual pumpkins if you want to make them a little fancier.
Then I’d advise laminating them to keep them nice so you can reuse them.
That’s it, your little ones are now ready to start learning their beginning letter sounds.
How To Use This Beginning Sounds Game
This fall matching game would be great as a phonics activity at school or home. Here’s a few ways you can use the cards (I’m sure you’d be able to think up some more as well).
Sound Matching Game
One activity you could do is to lay some of the picture pumpkins on the floor. If your children are learning set 1 then you could put down the pig, apple, sun and turtle. Then give them the ‘s’ letter pumpkin and see if they can pick out the right picture to match the sound.
You could also put down all the pumpkins and see if they can move them all into the correct matching pairs.
You could lay the pumpkins with the letters out to spell easy CVC (consonant, vowel, consonant) words like cat or dog and see if they can sound out and blend them correctly to read the word.
Check out this post about phonics lessons at home for some tips.
Sound Sorting Game
You could also use them as the base of a sound sorting game. Choose a few letter cards, let’s say A, S and T and put those on the floor. Then get a range of objects that begin with those sounds (sock, apple, toothbrush etc.) and see if your little ones can place the correct objects under the correct cards.
You could always time this as they get better and mix up the cards and objects as they learn new sounds.
You could challenge your little learners even further by playing a memory game with them.
I’m sure you know how to play this game (sometimes called pairs), but in case you don’t it’s pretty easy:
- First, shuffle all the pumpkins together (you might want to just do a set or two to start with)
- Then lay them all face down in neat rows
- Starting with the youngest player, take turns turning two cards over
- If they match, you can keep them and have another go. If they don’t your turn is over and play moves to the the next player.
- Play continues in this fashion until the last pair is collected
- Count up all cards (a good chance to get a bit of counting practice in) and whoever has the most wins!
This game is great for developing memory and concentration skills.
However you decide to use them, I hope you and your little learners enjoy this beginning sounds game.