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Beginning Sounds Activities for Kindergarten

When learning to read, there are many phonemic awareness and phonics skills students must master. Learning letter names, letter sounds, and beginning sounds is key in helping students quickly decode and read texts. To give your students the exposure and practice they need, check out these beginning sounds activities for kindergarten.

Free Beginning Sounds Assessment

Why is it Important to Teach Beginning Sounds?

When teaching students to read, it's important for them to understand that words are made up of letters and sounds. This knowledge helps them read and write more fluently.

Phonemic awareness and phonics skills are key in kindergarten. Phonemic awareness skills are when students understand that words are made up of various sounds. Phonics skills are what correlates the sound of a letter to the written letter itself.

Begin with teaching phonemic awareness skills so students learn to listen for and differentiate the sounds in words.

It can be tricky for students to hear the middle and ending sounds in words at first, which is why starting with beginning sounds is so effective.

Digital Beginning Sounds Activities

Since it's important for students to first understand what beginning sounds are and learn to listen for them in words, you need a variety of beginning sounds activities for kindergarten for them to practice with.

A great way to engage your students is with interactive digital phonemic awareness activities like beginning sounds Boom Cards. These Boom Card decks give students a variety of opportunities to practice listening for the same beginning sounds in words.

Plus with audio directions, audio picture names, and the self-checking feature, your students will be able to work independently with success.

Hands-on Beginning Sounds Activities

Mastering beginning sounds takes a lot of practice and exposure. Therefore, you need a wide array of hands-on beginning sounds activities for kindergarten that your students can work with.

You can incorporate these hands-on activities into your morning tubs, literacy centers, or fast finisher activities. This is a great way to keep your students practicing their skills throughout the day.

Letter Sound Mats

One of my favorite ways to practice beginning sounds is with letter sound mats and magnetic letters. Students will say the picture name aloud, identify the beginning sound, and match the correct magnetic letter to the picture.

If you have a set of picture cards and magnetic letters, you can simply have students flip a card, identify the beginning sound, and match the letter.

Letter sound mats with magnetic letters

Build the Sound Mats

Another great beginning sounds activity for kindergarten is build the sound mats. This activity allows students to identify the beginning sound in the picture and build the letter using manipulatives.

Students will get extra fine motor practice as they work on both phonemic awareness and phonics skills.

Build the sound mats with mini erasers and jumbo tweezers

Beginning Sound Mazes

Another fun way to switch up the learning is to use beginning sound mazes with your students. As they cover the letters that make the focus sound on the mat, they'll work their way through the maze.

This makes learning feel like a game for students, which is a sure way to keep them on task, engaged, and motivated.

If you loved these hands-on beginning sounds activities for kindergarten, you can grab them all plus more in my Beginning Sounds and Letter Sounds Bundle!

Letter sound mazes

No Prep Beginning Sounds Activities

While using digital and hands-on beginning sounds activities is key, it's also nice to keep a good stash of no prep activities on hand.

Add these no prep beginning sounds activities to your morning work, independent literacy stations, or keep them in a sub tub. They also make great time filler activities if you have a few minutes between activities.

If you need a quick way to assess your students on beginning sounds, you can use these no prep activities as an informal assessment as well.

How to Assess Your Students on Beginning Sounds

As your students learn and grow their beginning sounds skills, you want to assess them frequently. This allows you to see which beginning sounds they are mastering and which sounds they need help with.

Using beginning sounds picture cards and a checklist is a great way to gauge your students' understanding. You can monitor students quarterly, monthly, or every 2 weeks if they need more support.

Beginning Sounds Assessment Freebie

To make assessing your students on beginning sounds and letter sounds easy, I created an assessment freebie for you.

This freebie includes a beginning sounds assessment checklist and beginning sounds pictures. There is also a letter sounds assessment page and checklist to help you assess your students' uppercase and lowercase letter sound recognition.

You can fill out the form below to get the beginning sounds and letter sounds assessment freebie sent directly to your inbox!

I hope these beginning sounds activities and assessments for kindergarten make learning more fun and effective in your classroom!

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