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Beginning Sounds STOMP Game

Searching for beginning sounds worksheets? You won't find those here. My goal in creating Forward with Fun is all about using play to create unique and memorable learning. Kids are more likely to engage and remember new skills when they are actively participating in experience, especially if it's a game! That's the secret to getting kids to LOVE learning!

Isolating beginning sounds is part of a set of early reading skills called phonemic awareness, the understanding that words are made up of sounds. When kids connect a specific sound to a letter name, that is called phonics.

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learning letters and beginning sounds gross motor

How to Play: Beginning Sounds STOMP


  • Play dough. We use the classic version but for our gluten-free friends, Aroma dough!
  • 10 small items that begin with different letter sounds
  • Index cards
  • Writing utensil
  • Bag

Prep for beginning sounds fun:

  1. Write the first letter of each item on the index cards. Make sure you pick items that have first letters that match the most common sound of that letter. Things like “phone” or “ice cream” will confuse them!
  2. Make sizable balls with the Play-Doh, one for each index card and place them beside the index card.
  3. Put all the small items in the bag.

Invite your child to play:

beginning sounds games

I'm sure the set-up laid out before your child is sure to inspire and delight them. To invite them to play share your Bag of Items.

As you pull items out, one at a time, ask your child whaat sound they hear at the beginning of the word, then find the matching letter on the ground. Once they find the letter that makes the beginning sound of that item they can jump, hop, or STOMP the Play-doh ball next to it!

Here is an example from our beginning sounds STOMP game.

Me: What's this? A hammer. What sound do you hear at the beginning of the word hammer?

Big Sis: /h/ /h/ Hammer.

Me: What letter makes the /h/ sound?

Big Sis: The H!

Me: Alright, let's stomp the H!

If your child doesn't know a letter sound, remind them. No big deal. We love to sing this phonics song we heard from a Leap Frog toy, "The B says /b/. The B says /b/. Every letter makes a sound. The B says /b/." If they don't know any letters, start with 2-3 objects. You can always simplify a game so they can still get important practice in with beginning sounds without knowing many letters names.

When should my child know all their letters and sounds?

Before starting kindergarten, kids should be able to write their names and name some letters and sounds. (To grab your FREE kindergarten readiness checklist, check out this post.)

Mastery of all letter names and their corresponding sounds are expected at the end of kindergarten, according to USA Common Core standards:

Recognize and name all upper- and lowercase letters of the alphabet.

Isolate and pronounce the initial, medial vowel, and final sounds (phonemes) in three-phoneme (consonant-vowel-consonant, or CVC) words.1 (This does not include CVCs ending with /l/, /r/, or /x/.)

How to Introduce Letters and Beginning Sounds to Kids:

When your child starts showing interest in books and the words on the page, you can begin pointing out letters. This can be as early as 2 or even as late as 4 years old. All kids are different and show interest at different ages.

Here are some tips for practicing letters before kindergarten:

  • Pick out a few letters at a time to work on, so kids don't get overwhelmed.
  • Many kids find it exciting to learn the letters in their name first.
  • Make sure not to push kids into sitting for long periods of time to focus on letters. Instead bring up letters naturally as you read together, notice signs, or food labels.
  • You can practice beginning sounds before learning letter names, by isolating just the initial sound of a word like the /d/ in dog. This allows your child to practice isolating sounds without being limited by letter names.
  • Definitely check out these 14 epic alphabet games to practice letter names and beginning sounds.
Letter learning games

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