forward with fun logo

Make Word Segmenting a Blast with Sound Parking Lots

Have you ever heard of word segmenting? This essential skill helps kids encode (aka spell) words. Word segmenting means breaking up words into their parts/sounds. An example would be taking the word CAT and "chopping up the word" to say "/c/ /a/ /t/."

This post will include 3 kinds of sound parking lots that my students in kindergarten AND first grade find simply irresistible. To download your 9 different activities now, scroll to the bottom!

samples of sound parking lots that teach word segmenting in a fun easy way!

*As an amazon affiliate I may receive a teensy commission if you buy something from one of the links in this post, at no additional cost to you. Thank you.

What is word segmenting?

3 word segmenting activity mats

Word segmenting is breaking down words into beginning, middle, and ending sounds. Sometimes segmentation is performed without connection to letters, building up kids' pre-reading skills that fall under the umbrella of phonemic awareness. Once kids begin connecting letters to these segmented sounds, they're learning phonics.

By the end of kindergarten, kids are expected to spell CVC words (consonant vowel consonant words) correctly. In order to do this, they'll need to have the skill of phonemic isolation, to segment beginning, middle, and ending sounds of these words. To spell correctly, kids will need to connect those sounds to the letters they've spent so much time studying.

This is the most kid-approved way to practice all these essential skills! WORD SEGMENTATION parking lots for the win! Woohoo.

What skills are needed to segment words?

The three skills highlighted in these kindergarten level activities are:

  • beginning sound isolation
  • middle sound isolation
  • ending sound isolation

As children isolate each sound, they gain the skills to segment the whole word,(especially when they move beyond the beginning sounds).

When I first made these parking lots, I chose beginning sounds only. It turns out, the kids I worked with loved the activity so much that they asked me to create more! And so, I created a whole bundle of beginning, middle, and ending sound parking lots to ensure kids master word segmenting.

Buy the bundle now to save!

9 Printable Sound Parking Lots to Teach Word Segmentation:

You'll find beginning, middle, and ending sound parking lots. Each set will have 3 different mats, so kids can practice each skill 3 different ways, for a total of 9 downloadable parking lots. Bundle them all to save, or buy one at a time based on what you're teaching.

You'll need cars. These cute Amazon cars are the most recent ones I've purchased, and they're just the right size. My original cars pictured here are from the Dollar King store, which might be regional. The kids prefer the Amazon ones though!

  • Label each car using a wet erase marker.
  • Beginning sound mats will need 10 cars that will work for all 3 beginning sound mats: C, T, B, S, F, P, N, G, H, M.
  • Ending sound mats will need 10 cars that will work for all 3 ending sound mats: G, N, S, K, R, M, T, D, L, X.
  • Middle sound mats will need 10 cars that will work for all 3 beginning sound mats: A, A, E, E, I, I, O, O, U, U.
  • Have the kids line up the cars so they can see all the letters. Name each picture, isolating either the beginning, middle, or ending sound and find the matching car. Drive the car to the correct parking spot! BEEP BEEP!

These mats will get LOTS of play, so I recommend laminating them before use. Amazon also has my fave laminator and thick, lasting lamination sheets. I've had this laminator for 4 years, and it's still going strong.

Beginning sound parking lots

Get your 3 beginning sounds lots right here for $3.33 (or grab the discounted bundle at the end of this post.)

Independent beginning sound reading activity

Ending sound parking lots

Get your 3 ending sounds lots right here for $3.33 (or grab the discounted bundle at the end of this post.) I recommend ending sounds as the second skill to work on before complete word segmenting. If your kiddos are struggling with ending sound skills, here are some great activities to practice before moving onto isolating middle sounds.

word segmenting with focus on ending sounds and driving little cars to the right sound

Middle sound parking lots

Though it seems like middle sound practice should come right after beginning sounds, vowel sounds are the hardest sounds for kids to master. I highly recommend making sure kids have mastered their beginning and ending sounds before moving onto middle sound isolation.

If you only want middle sound parking lots, you can get them HERE. Or scroll down for the bundle of all 9 word segmenting parking lots for only $8!

middle sounds parking lot segmentation activity

The Ultimate Word Segmentation Bundle

Get all 9 different printable parking lots to practice beginning sounds, middle sounds, and ending sounds for a steal. Usually $9.99 for all three, now only $8 for the bundle! You'll save 20% by buying them all together.

May 16, 2024

Join our signature program
KinderReady Summer

Find out more...
My mission is to bring fun hands-on learning to your home through simple activities and games that capture your child’s interest.
[sibwp_form id=2]