Make your own card games to teach pre-reading skills.

There are many card games that you can adapt for teaching reading to young children. To begin, you need to create your skill-specific deck of cards. If you make multiple sets in the same colors, you will be able to interchange cards depending on the skill being taught.

Although very small or very large cards might look fun, I have found that they are too difficult for the children to handle as they play the different games. It is best to make your cards the standard 2 1/2" X 3 1/2" (or approximately 6 1/2cm X 9cm).

I have found that if you also laminate the cards after cutting them out and printing the letters on each card, that they will last much longer - many years, in fact.

You can then play any card game where it requires the players to match like cards. Some examples would be: Go Fish, Concentration, even a variation of Gin Rummy can be played where you only match cards. (A more advanced game would be to play the Gin Rummy game and in place of a "run" you would be spelling words, just be sure to select enough of each letter to accommodate the entire spelling list.)

You will need at least two complete sets of capital letters and two complete sets of lower case letters.

When teaching capital letter recognition, use two sets of the capital letters, 52 cards in all.

You can use the same games for lower case recognition, using two complete sets of the lower case cards, 52 cards in all.

As you progress to matching the capital and lower case letters, use one set of capital letters and one set of lower case letters, again 52 cards in all.

When it comes to matching the letter to it's corresponding sound, you can create another set of cards with pictures of objects for the initial sound that corresponds with each letter, but do not include the letter on the card. You will use one set of either the capital or lower case letters with one set of the picture cards.

You can also create another set of cards for the ending sound, and play beginning and ending sound matching (just discard the vowels for this game).

For sight words, again create two complete sets of word cards. It is best to play a game like "Go Fish" where the player must read the word as they ask for the match so they are not just matching the look of the words, but the words themselves.

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