In this game, your child will listen for where they hear a common letter combination in a word.
Before you play, make a Sound Train game board for each player by printing the template or making your own by sketching a simple train with three parts on a sheet of paper (see Tips for other options). Next, print the picture cards, which include the letter combinations above each picture, or make your own. If making your own, you will need eight pieces of paper or cardstock cut to the same size. Print the letter combination (not the words) on the cards like this: sh on two cards, ch on two cards, th on two cards, and ph on two cards. Mix the cards and place them face down for play.
Begin by telling your child that they are going to play a listening game. They have to listen carefully and decide where they hear a sound in a word. Show any picture card and say, for example, “We will take turns drawing a card and saying the sound for the letter combination at the top. This card has the /ch/ sound. Then we’ll say the word for the picture, chair, and decide if the /ch/ sound comes at the beginning, the middle, or the end of the word. In the word chair, do you hear the /ch/ sound at the beginning, middle, or end of the word?” Point to each section of the train as you say “beginning,” “middle,” and “end.” Then invite your child to say the word, help figure out where they hear the sound, and place a token in the corresponding section of the sound train.
If you are playing with homemade cards, have your child say the sound on the card that they turned over. Then call out a word from the letter combination word list. Have your child repeat the word and decide if they hear the sound at the beginning, middle, or end of the word, and place their token in the corresponding window of the train.
Play until each player fills all of the windows on the train cars. If a letter sound on a card matches a section of the game board that has no spaces open, place the card at the bottom of the deck and draw another card. If playing with a group, the play advances to the next player. When cards run out, reshuffle and continue.
Letter combination word list: