Toddler Word Dictation Game

Toddler Word Dictation Game

Looking for a fun pre-reading activities to get a small child ready to read? Here's an easy one to prepare them for understanding that words are made up of individual sounds, and that those sounds are represented by letters.

Now, because they're a toddler, it would be a bad idea to sit them down and have them do worksheets... because, you know, they have the attention span of a two-year old. And you can start this game as soon as they can say a few words!

Toddler Word Dictation Game

Materials: paper, crayon or marker, sense of humor

Ask your toddler: "Hey Timmy, what word do you want me to write?" Timmy will probably start off by asking you to write his name. Write in nice, big, tidy letters with proper capitialization. The key is to say each sound (phoneme) in the word as you write.

If a sound is spelled using more than one letter, keep saying the sound as you write both letters. For example, keep saying /m/ as you write the two m's in Timmy.

Do NOT say letter names. I'll know that you did, and I'll be disappointed in you. If you are unsure of how to pronounce the sounds in a word, check our Phoneme Reference Guide or Word Mapping Tool.

After you've written the word, run your finger from left to right underneath and read it. This also helps teach Timmy that we read from left-to-right in English.

Just Keep Going

Then ask Timmy what word he wants you to write next. He'll probably want you to write the names of everyone else in the family. At some point, ask him to look around the room for ideas for other things he'd like to have you write. Once Timmy gets the hang of the game, he'll ask for more and more words.

Whenever he feels like he's done, give him the paper with the words to keep. Don't ask Timmy to try to read the words on his own. That will come later.

Inevitable Words

Let me warn you, at some point Timmy will ask you to write the word 'poop' or 'butt'. Take it in stride and write the word. He'll get a kick out of it, which will just make him want to play more.😜