In this activity, your child will practice changing the first sound of some words in a chant. Playing with sounds in words is part of phonological awareness, which is an important set of skills that help children learn how to read and spell.
letter cards (printable) or 14 small pieces of paper
Begin by printing the letter cards or making your own cards by writing each letter on a separate piece of paper (refer to Tips section). Take out the s card. Stack the remaining letter cards face down.
Tell your child that they are going to learn a funny chant where they get to make silly rhyming words for parts of a monkey’s body. Show the s card and explain how to change the first sound of the body parts by saying, “We will change the first sound of the monkey’s body parts to /s/, like the first sound in the word snake. Let’s say that sound together: /sssss/. So instead of a head, the monkey has a… sead! I’ll start the magic monkey chant and then you can help me.” As you say each body part, point to or wiggle them and encourage your child to do the same.
I found a magic monkey who can make his body change.
When I say a letter sound like /s/, that’s when things get strange!
The monkey starts to giggle as his body starts to wiggle.
/sss/ (Insert the new sound again.)
Instead of a head (point to your head), the monkey has a sead (rhymes with head)!
Instead of a neck (point to your neck), the monkey has a seck!
Instead of hands (wiggle your hands), the monkey had sands!
Instead of fingers (wiggle your fingers), the monkey has singers!
Instead of legs (point to or move your legs), the monkey has segs!
Instead of a tail (use your arm to make a tail-wagging motion), the monkey has a sail!
“Turn over another letter card to find out what new sound we will hear next that makes the monkey wiggle.”
Say the chant again with a new letter sound on the card.