originally published December 20, 2009
We have had a ton of snow dropped on us in the last two days; clearly, my kiddos have snow on the brain.
So I knew that if I wanted to sneak in a little bit of early literacy learning over here while we were stuck in the house, I had to capitalize on their current love interest: snow!
Sure, we’ve been reading, coloring, and playing with Legos (and don’t get me wrong–along with our fair share of teasing, arguing, and crying), but those sight words are just so darn easy to stick into games that I found inspiration in one of my old faves and turned it into a snowy day read a word, build a snowman face.
An early literacy game for kids.
Here’s the skinny. . .
- Build a Snowman Game: This is so easy.
First, I used cardstock and printed out two copies of the read a word, build a snowman face, which includes a snowman’s face and five parts–two coal eyes, a carrot nose, a coal mouth, and a hat.
You can download it here: read a word, build a snowman face.
Then I printed two copies of thebecause Maddy seemed ready, and I knew I was going to be on Owen’s ‘team’ while we played today.
Owen’s five word cards
Finally, I grabbed Maddy and Owen and asked if they wanted to build an inside snowman before their rest times today. Of course, they looked at me like I was crazy, but then they finally said, “YES!!”
I said, We’re going to play a new game today to celebrate the snow, and it’s called ‘Build a Snowman Game‘. We’ll use some of Maddy’s word cards, and all you need to know is that the game is kind of like ‘Go Fish’. Remember that game?
I need you to put all of these tiny word cards face down in a pile. Then Maddy, you’ll take your snowman face, and Owen you take our snowman face, and we’ll get started.
Owen had two word pairs, so he earned two snowman parts:
a nose and mouth.
Essentially, the object is to be the first player to complete her snowman face. But in order to put an eye, or a nose, a mouth, or a hat on your snowman, you need to find matching word pairs.
Each player begins with five word cards and should have at least five cards at all times.
We put our word cards on green paper plates because, for some reason, we had two green plates were in our living room. We also kept our word cards face up because we wanted to help each other out a bit.
Players put down any pairs they pick, and they can add a piece to the snowman when they find a pair. Then, like Go Fish, player one asks player two if she has a word from his hand, and if she does, she gives it to him; if not, player one grabs a card from the pile.
When one person completes a snowman face, then she’s the winner–as long as she can read each of her five word pairs!
We made sure to read the words as we went along, and I also used brown M & M’s as the snowman’s eyes. (Seriously, why not? They look like eyes, and after the cookies and candy my kids have been putting away, what’s two more M & M’s except more holiday game fun?)
They liked it. They really seemed to enjoy the game, and they were excited-giddy even before they ate their chocolate. Kids like to create faces, and this was simple enough that they could manage the word reading and face building and not be overwhelmed.
I think that tomorrow we’ll do it with the Early Emergent Words or the Letter Cards. Or maybe both. And I’m seeing more ‘Face Building-Scene Creating’ Games in our long, cold, snowy-winter future. . .
The cool thing about this game is that I can use it for any level–letters if one of my kiddos needs work on letter recognition or any level of sight words that I need. Feel free to do the same.
- Alphabet Letter Cards (uppercase and lowercase): consider playing uppercase-lowercase letter match
- Early Emergent Word Cards
- Upper Emergent Word Cards
- Early Fluency Word Cards
- Fluency Word Cards
And I’m jumping for joy! I just re-saved all of the files as pdf’s and will be saving that way from here on out; maybe that will be easier for my friends to open and use the files at home. Let me know what you think. Happy Snowman Building!