I’ve got a simple and fun St. Patrick’s Day beginning sounds matching game for you. Don’t forget to save this one when you’re planning St. Patrick’s Day activities for preschoolers.
Related: St. Patrick’s Day Tracing Printable
St. Patrick’s Day Beginning Sounds
Practicing beginning sounds frequently, and in different ways, is paramount to giving kids a solid head start for reading. This can be a tricky concept at first for preschoolers, so the more you can practice and find the methods that click with them, the better.
Visual cues like those found in this beginning sounds printable are engaging for children. So pairing visuals with a game-like activity ensures your kids are interested and having fun while learning.
The St. Patrick’s Day beginning sounds game doesn’t require much. As long as you have a printer, some paper, and scissors, you are good to go!
However, I love to use printables a multitude of ways – for different activities and for practicing various skills. With that in mind, I make sure to have extra supplies around. Sometimes these items give me new ideas for using my printables! I also wanted to share a few St. Patrick’s Day themed books to enhance the whole St. Patrick’s Day literacy experience.
Here are some items to consider alongside the initial sound cards (I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post):
- Paper cutter (if you don’t want to use scissors for the straight cuts)
- Magnetic letters (or comparable letter manipulative)
Using the magnetic letters is optional for have students who would benefit from moving into a more phonics-based activity.
Related: Spring Activities for Preschoolers
How to Prep the Free Beginning Sounds Printable
To get this activity ready, print out the St. Patrick’s Day beginning sounds cards. (The free printable is available at the bottom of this post). I’d suggest printing everything on cardstock for extra durability, but regular printer paper works just fine too.
Either laminate the cards or place them inside a reusable dry erase pocket. Cut the alphabet cards apart and laminate those, as well. This way, you’ll be able to use the activity over and over again with the children.
Then gather your other materials, and you’re ready to go!
Related: Beginning Sounds Activities
How to Use the St. Patrick’s Day Beginning Sounds Matching Cards
The two main reasons I created these initial sound cards for are:
- To give kids picture cues as they practice isolating beginning sounds
- To provide a matching game that corresponds with matching initial sounds
First, quickly explain and model how to isolate the first sound in a spoken word. Use your name or one of your students’ names as an attention grabber.
Then walk the kids through a few guided practice words, helping them to isolate the sounds with you. This can be done in just a few minutes. As with most phonemic awareness activities, you want this step to be quick and engaging.
Next introduce the St. Patrick’s Day beginning sounds cards to your kids. Tell them they get to play a matching game! It’s their job to place the coins on the pots of gold. They’re going to do this based on the first sound they hear in the words on the coins and the gold pots.
First you will model how to do this, by demonstrating how to pick a coin and a gold pot to compare. Emphasize the beginning sounds of the words as you say them, and ask the kids if they sound the same or different.
Show them a few examples of matching sounds and non-matching sounds so they get a feel for how this works.
Then you can move on to letting your students match the initial sounds on their own. If this is the first time they are working with beginning sounds matching, you can give them just a few of the cards to practice with. It can be helpful to use cards with the beginning letters of their names, or their peers’ names, first. These are more meaningful to the kids.
Related: St. Patrick’s Day Math
More Ways to Use the Beginning Sounds Cards
Here’s where you can get creative! One of the reasons I love printables, rather than preschool worksheets, is that most printables can be adapted to students at different levels AND used in a variety of ways. Here are just a few ideas:
Have the kids look around your room for items that match the St. Patrick’s Day beginning sound cards.
Alternatively, set out baskets full of objects and let the kids sort them by the beginning sound onto the printable cards.
Add the pot of gold sound cards to a St. Patrick’s Day-themed sensory bin, leaving the coin cards nearby. Hold up one of the coin cards and determine its initial sound. Then challenge the children to find the matching pot of gold card by digging through the sensory materials.
You can also simply ask the children to think up other words that start with the same sounds. Some kids might even want to draw their own cards with new matching sounds!
For the children who are interested, toss some alphabet manipulatives into the mix. Have the children focus on matching the cards based on initial sounds first. Then say, “Astronaut and apple both start with the sound /a/. What letter represents the /a/ sound?” Help the children locate the letter A (or a) to match with the cards.
These St. Patrick’s Day beginning sounds cards are such a simple way to teach initial sounds. Soon your students will be noticing beginning sounds everywhere! Let me know in the comments below how YOU use them with your students.
What are the Children Learning?
Phonemic awareness is such an important literacy skill! It’s the precursor to learning how to read and write when children are older. Even children who are already reading can benefit from phonemic awareness activities like this one. Plus, it’s an important part of a child’s language development process.
I know the St. Patrick’s Day beginning sounds cards seem pretty simple. But they really pack a punch when it comes to learning. Here are a few of the concepts this matching game covers:
- Pictures can represent spoken words
- Isolating beginning sounds
- Matching initial sounds
- Letters represent the sounds in spoken words (if you incorporate alphabet manipulatives with the printable cards)
And, very importantly, the children are learning that they can manipulate their words. Some children won’t really care about this, but to others it’s a very powerful concept.
Grab Your Free St. Patrick’s Day Printable Here
If you want to print out the St. Patrick’s Day beginning sounds activity, I have a printable available to members of Fun-A-Day’s free email community. Enter your email in the form below to have it sent to your inbox.
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Preschool Spring Lesson Plans
Planning meaningful lessons for students week after week while balancing other teaching responsibilities and your personal life can be a daunting task. That’s where Preschool Teacher 101 comes in . . . to save you time!
Grab a fully-developed, done-for-you set of St. Patrick’s Day lesson plans for your preschool classroom. It comes complete with book suggestions, weekly plans, detailed daily plans, related printables, and more. Tons of St. Paddy’s Day goodness in a little over 250 pages!
Related: St. Patrick’s Day Crafts