Here is a fun yet simple DIY to help your children learn phonics and spellings.
Supplies you will need:
- White and other colored papers or card stocks
- Lids – 26 nos (Lids of milk cans or juice bottles etc., can be used)
- permanent marker pens
- circle template
- Using the circle template or a circular object that is slightly (a couple of mm) smaller than the diameter of your lid, draw a circle on the desired colour paper
- Fussy cut the circle and repeat the same to get 52 circles
- Write the capital letters on the first 26 circles and the small letters on the remaining 26
- You can also use different coloured paper for vowels
- Using a strong glue, paste the capital letters on the inner side of the lid
- Similarly, flip the lid and paste the small letters on the top of the lid (outer side)
- Coat well with a sealant to avoid smudging. Give another coat if required.
You can make multiple sets using more lids. And can differentiate each set by using different coloured markers or papers.
I used different coloured lids for vowels
It is always safe to avoid smaller lids like water bottles to avoid the risk of choking. Even if your child is older enough, there are possibilities that the younger siblings or other kids may have access to them.
Liked the idea? And wanna make it more pro? Scroll down!
You will need:
- Self adhesive magnets (circle shaped)
- Self adhesive flexible magnetic sheet (A2 size)
- Measure the diameter of your lid (say ‘d’ mm)
- In Microsoft Office Publisher, draw a circle with diameter as ‘d-1’mm.
- ‘Fill’ the circle with the desired colour.
- Add a text box inside the circle.
- Select any good ‘kids font’ and type your alphabet (say A). Drag and adjust the text box so that the alphabet fits right at the centre.
- Choose ‘No Fill’ for the text box
- Once you are happy with your circle and text, copy and paste it to get all 52 circles (26 for capital letters and 26 for small).
- You can differentiate the vowels by filling a different colour.
- If needed draw few empty circles to manually write few alphabets like small ‘a’, if your chosen font is not very kids friendly
- You can also make multiple sets and differentiate them by choosing a different colour tone for the ‘Shape Fill’.
- Print and fussy cut the circles
- Peel off the self adhesive magnet and paste on the ‘inner side’ of the lid
- Paste the capital letters on the inner side of the lid on top of the magnet
- Flip the lid and paste the small letters on the top of the lid (outer side)
- Coat well with a good sealant. Coat multiple times if required. Aaand you are done…!!
You can use these straight away on iron or steel surfaces like fridge or table and make your kid’s learning so fun. If you don’t have an iron surface, you can use a self adhesive magnetic sheet. Just peel off the magnetic sheet and stick it to the desired surface like wall or fridge’s door. And it becomes a magnetic surface!
I didn’t stick my magnetic sheet to any surface (as we live in a rented house). I simply roll it and keep it inside the box in which it came. My kid rolls it off and puts it on her table whenever she’s using it.
Before continuing to finish the entire set, first make a trial with one alphabet and check the power of the magnet. If it sticks well and if you are satisfied with the outcome, go on and finish the rest.
Can’t collect the lids? Or the magnet is not so powerful? Don’t worry. Just stick your fussy cut circles on both the sides of the magnet (capital letter on one side and small on the other). Give multiple coats of a good sealant. And there you go! (For this, it is better to use card stocks instead of papers as they are thicker).
This post is not about how to teach phonics. Please refer to your country’s curriculum for the targeted age group.
The important thumb-rule about ‘teaching phonics’ is ‘not to teach it at all’ rather than ‘teaching it wrong’.
Hence, refer to your country specific websites or your local library to have a deep knowledge about phonics before actually beginning to teach your kid.
Here are some useful links:-
The alphablocks guide to phonics: https://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/grownups/the-alphablocks-guide-to-phonics
Never over do it. If your child feels it difficult or expresses disinterest, take a break and slow down.
Do it like a play activity. First teach the kid the individual sounds.
Then play the ‘start letter of the word’ game.
Move on to ‘end letter of the word’ game (choose simple words like ‘dog’, ‘grass’ and avoid tricky words like ‘ice’ or ‘dough’
Then move on to simple word construction with CVC (consonant vowel consonant) words.