Children learn a great deal from other people. As parents and carers you are the child’s first teacher and have a power influence on their learning. Your child needs to experience a wide range of activities with you to develop their early reading and writing skills. By singing, saying rhymes, holding conversations, painting, and listening to music you are already supporting them in their first important steps to reading and writing.

At Allsorts we follow a phonics teaching programme called ‘Letters and Sounds’. This encourages children to learn through play and activities with the support of those around them.

The Letters and Sounds Programme

Environmental Sounds –

  • Go on a Listening Walk – what can you hear?
  • Make sounds using a range of props such as running a stick along a fence
  • Play sound lotto
  • Playing with a collection of toys and says sounds they might make as you play


Instrumental Sounds –

  • Make musical Instruments from boxes, rice, elastic bands
  • Play music loudly, softly,
  • Sing well known songs in different voices
  • Listen to a range of music from rap to classical
  • Encourage your child to move to a range of music


Body Percussion –

  • Sing Action Rhymes such as Happy and you know it
  • Listen to sounds feet make when walking/running/skipping: slowly, softly, fast, stomping, in flip flops, high heels, boots
  • Try other ways hands, tongues, nails etc. can make sounds


Rhythm and Rhyme –

  • Bounce your child on your knee to the rhythm of a song
  • March or clap to a chant or poem
  • Emphasise rhyming words in poems songs and stories
  • Try rhythm and rhyming chants such as ‘2,4,6,8, hurry up or we’ll be late’ or bee bop boo, where are you?’


Alliteration (words that begin with the same sound) –

  • Start by using your child’s name ‘Milo makes music’, ‘Sam’s Socks’, ‘Gilbert gets the Giggles’
  • Encourage other family members into the games ‘ Mummy munches muffins’, ‘Daddy is doing the dishes’
  • Make up nonsense stories with alliteration
  • Identify the odd one out i.e. cat, cup, boy, car.
  • Find things at home that start with the same sound or when you are out shopping


Voice Sounds –

  • Make nonsense noises both high, low, fast and slow
  • Sing the tune of a song using la la la and allow your child to guess the song
  • Vary your voice when reading a story especially for characters


Oral Blending and segmenting –

  • The child will not be expected to do this but is an important skill to hear to help with later spelling, reading and writing.
  • Break down simple words when you give an instruction or ask a question ‘where is your h-a-t hat?’, ‘ sit on the s-ea-t seat’, ‘eat you f-oo-d food’


Ways you can support your child at home:

  • Make time to listen to your child talking – as you meet them from the setting, as you walk, in the supermarket, at mealtimes, bath times etc.
  • Switch of the TV, Radio and Mobile Phones – and really listen! Show that you are really interested in what they are talking about – look at you child, smile, nod your head and make a response that shows you have really been listening.
  • Use puppets and toys to make up stories or retell known ones. Record your child telling the story and play it back to them
  • Use arms and hands to build muscles for writing and mark making such as digging, painting, hang out the washing, thread beads and using tweezers to pick up small objects such as grains of rice