Identifying the first sound in a word is an important skill for children to master. The first sound in a word is often the easiest for children to hear; however don't be surprised if your child answers the question "what does WORD start with" by repeating the last sound of the word rather than the first.
To help your child separate and identify the sounds in a word, there are several activities you can do. One of my favorites involves using scissors, old magazines, catalogs, and coupons. If you're attracted to the word "frugal" in the blog title, chances are you are a coupon clipper. Children love to cut, as many a mom has found out too late to save an unread copy of her favorite magazine!
The next time you are clipping coupons, give your child some safe scissors and a catalog or old magazine. Choose a sound, and have your child cut out pictures that start with that sound. Use a glue stick (another favorite of preschoolers) and glue the pictures to the back of a sheet of recycled paper.
Remember, the focus is sound, not letters. When we were cutting out pictures that started with the sound usually represented by J or "juh" recently, my daughter's page included a picture of a gymnast. Perfectly fine!
The first few times you do this, your child will probably need significant guidance. Choose more common sounds at first (k, s, m, b, d) which might mean not using your child's "special letter." After a few times, you'll find your child will become more independent, leaving you more time for efficient coupon clipping!
This activity is also an opportunity to develop your child's vocabulary. If your child is frustrated looking for pictures that start with the P sound, point out a picture of a dog and remind your child that a dog is also a pet.
So, tomorrow is Sunday, grab those coupons and start looking for sounds!