Blending can be a tricky skill to pick up when learning to read, so here are a few cheap and easy ways to practise. Scroll to the bottom to watch my Ask the Expert video, all about blending sounds too.
1) Use magnetic letters (with vowels in one pot and consonants in another). Pick one consonant, one vowel and another consonant. What does it spell? Is that a real word? Who can make the silliest word with the letters from the pots?
2) Write as many CVC (consonant, vowel, consonant e.g. pen, cat, sun) words as you can on post it notes or slips of paper. Mix up alphabet flashcards and lay them on a table. Set a timer for two minutes. How many of the words can you make in that time?
3) Use a small flip note pad and cut into three sections (as below). Write the alphabet in each section. Use your CVC words from the previous activity. Choose one at random and see if you can make the word using the letters from the note pad.
4) Use larger size building blocks and write on three letter CVC words on them. Write individual letters on the small blocks and see if you can match the letters with the words. Erin is learning digraphs at school at the moment so I included few of these too.
Don't forget to make sure you are constantly modelling blending to your child. Sound out the words together and repeat the blended word a few times. Segment the word again after to keep reiterating the relationship between the phonemes.