These ideas are not-only great for kids with dyslexia or other reading/spelling difficulties, they work well to enhance the learning of any child!~
Ideas for dyslexia letter fun-
Choose a different activity each day! (let your child help choose which ones to play)- <em>*this was written when my kids were younger*</em>
1. Writing in a tray of salt, shaving cream, sand.
2. Use clay to make the word. Then make a model of the word. (make the letters 'c-a-t', then make a little cat from the rest of the clay)
3. Use finger paint to spell words or practice letters, alternate hands, spell with toes, use you nose!
4. Use dry erase markers on the window. It is perfectly safe and wipes right off and kids LOVE IT! (though you may want to test beforehand)
5. Before starting the writing or spelling lessons, have the child make large infinity signs with their finger or on the chalk board. Have it so they cross the infinity sign in front of the middle of their body. (Brain Gym Lazy 8s http://www.witchhazel.it/braingym.htm -it is not dangerous to teach your kids this stuff without 'proper training')
6. Use plastic textured letters. Have the child hold one letter at a time to get used to the feel. Have them close their eyes, place the letter in their hand (the correct direction/position), have them figure out what letter it is. After they can recognize the shapes well, hand the letter to them upside down or backwards. Then do the same with simple words or sight words. Hand them the letters all at once, (while eyes are closed) have them figure out how to lay the letters in the right direction (not upside down or backwards) then open their eyes and move the letters ion the right order to make the words., when they can do that, have them figure out the words while their eyes are closed still.
Some kids with dyslexia often see words in jumbled order or letters backwards, upside down. It helps when they can recognize letters and words no matter what direction or jumbled order they are in. It helps the brain learn how to process the information.
7. Games like Scrabble and Boggle are good. But with your own rules or none at all. For Scrabble, get a list of words, set aside all the letters that go to those words, have your child spell the words out on the Scrabble board and find the best way to organize the words to get the most points. For Boggle, you may want to spend the first few times arranging the cubes to make sure there are some easy words there. Show the words to your child and have them write the words down. My middle son likes to arrange the tiles to make words and have me find the words. Then we make silly sentences with his words. The next time have them find the simple words (you previously arranged). Eventually you will be up to playing the game by the real rules.
8. The tiles and cubes can be used without the board. get letter tiles/cubes for an ending ( __ a t ) and take turns placing different tiles in front to make new words. Make 'cat', rat, bat..... Then ask "Which letter gets changed if we want to make 'bat' into 'bag'?" or “which part of the word gets changed; the beginning sound or the ending sound?” Don't ask what the new letter is yet, just work on having them identify which letter (beginning, middle, end) is different. You can tell them it becomes a 'g', if they can't figure it out yet.You can do this on paper, but the act of picking up and exchaging the letters by hand is great reinforcement for their brains! combining phsyical with mental helps to cement concept in the mind- check out this book- Smart Moves: Why Learning Is Not All in Your Head by Carla Hannaford http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0915556278/ref=wl_it_dp/104-7476516-9445511?ie=UTF8&coliid=I92ORN05TTNCD&colid=353EBBODBJDI2
9. HOPSCOTCH- Make a Hopscotch board (with chalk outside or colored paper inside, each sheet a different box). Write a different letter in each square. Have the child call out the letters or make the letter sound as they jump along. Use all vowels, or random letters. It's fun to use for spelling words, too. You can change around the amount and layout of the boxes to fit what you need.More mental+phsyical.
10. Throw/bounce a ball back and forth while you take turns spelling out words. Or Have the child bounce the ball to himself (against a wall or on the ground) while they spell out words. More mental+phsyical. I try to use both when I can , esp for my son with SID/Dyspraxia.
11. Spelling words-Use Index Cards- use 2 cards for each word on the list. write the word in all lower case on card #1, write the word in ALL CAPS on card #2. Use the cards to play "Memory Match". My son also likes to play other games. One is "Five in a Row" I put out a row of 5 cards and he picks up the words as I call them. "Make a Sentence"- Put out 2-4 cards (start with 2 and work up). Have your child think up a sentence using the cards. To put less stress on them. Both of you think up sentences for the cards. Another one we play is "Pick Up". I layout 6 cards and say four of them (making sure they are not in order on the table) and he has to pick up the cards in the order I called them. You can start with 3, or even 2 if needed and work up to 6 or more.
12. Write/draw on each other’s backs- have a guessing game. Keep score, if you want.
13. Make a photo/word book. Make words PERSONAL. Take pictures of your child’s mom, dad, pet, car, van, etc. rite the words LARGE under each picture (one per page). Take a picture of the STOP sign on your corner…….
14. Let your child use one of those Magnadoodle boards or a large dry erase board.
15. Use beads. Have the child line the beads up to form letters/words.
16. Grab Bag Spelling. Use letters (tiles, plastic, written on seperate pieces of paper) for their list of words they are working on learning. Get one brown paper bag for each word. Number the bags. Put into each bag letters to make one word. Write down which word is in ech bag for you to check them. Give them a sheet of paper and have them take the letters out of each bag (one at a time) and arrange them in the correct order. They can write the word down on the paper or just tell you.
17. Write individual letters on index cards (or squares or paper). Scatters the letters for a word on the floor. Have them use their toes to put the letters in order. For more advanced- use letters for TWO words or just add extra letters that do not belong in the word.
18. Make your own crossword or wordsearch or other words puzzles online. Print them out for your child. I use this site= PUZZLEMAKER http://puzzlemaker.discoveryeducation.com/
19. Teach your child the alphabet in sign language. Use this to spell words. (more physical reinforcement- plus b, p, d aren't similar and therefore confused) ASL ALPHABET CHART: http://www.iidc.indiana.edu/cedir/kidsweb/amachart.html
ASL ABCs COLORING PAGES : http://www.dltk-teach.com/alphabuddies/asl/
ASL Alphabet Font for printing worksheets: http://simplythebest.net/fonts/fonts/gallaudet.html
20. WORD SHADOWS! I used plastic letters. Cut out squares (the size of a simple letter, a, e, n, o s) and rectangles for the bigger letters (h.b.g.p...). use these to make words from your child's spelling list. so if the word is 'lamb'- you;d have a rectangle, a square, a square, a rectangle. Have the child try to guess which word from his spelling list you are showing in 'shadow squares'.
** from our Occupational Therapist- Spelling. Write each letter of the word on a separate 2-3" square of paper. Tape them out-of-order and jumbled on the wall about a foot above the ground. Have child be barefoot and 'crab-crawl' to point to the letters in order (pointing with their toe)
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