Posted in Reading

2nd Step to Reading: Letter Sounds and Names

Master Phonics with these Letter Sound Activities

Unabashed Kids offers FREE Alphabet Flashcards but please make it fun. Do not just drill letters into a child’s mind, this will just build resentment to written language. There are plenty ways to make learning letter sounds fun. Try playing sound games (with or without flashcards) and sing songs (ABC song, Apples and Bananas, BINGO) and teach a child to recognize their name. Children will love learning to recognize and spell their names. It is unique to them and will make them feel special. Most children may be familiar with the song “BINGO was his name-o”, changing this song a little can make it an engaging letter sound recognition game. Use consonant sounds to replace the B and have the children tell you the new dog’s name. The Unabashed Kids BINGO Song Board teaches letter recognition, letter sounds, rhyming, and most importantly it teaches children that words are different if letters change. 


Letter Name and Sound Activities

Playdoh letter J

There are plenty of fun ways to get children to learn their letters. The pre-kindergarten class enjoyed making playdoh letters, finding things around the room that start with specific letters, and Q-tip letter tracing with paint. The more a child is exposed to letters and letter sounds the more they will learn. Below is a short list of letter learning activities.

  • Playdoh Letter Molding
  • Q-tip letter tracing
  • I Spy – Beginning Sounds
  • I Spy – Ending Sounds
  • Name a Friend who begins with (Letter)
  • BINGO Song Letter Rhyming

Straight Forward Letter Sound Practice (Video)

You know a child has mastered their letter sounds if they can name each letter and give its sound (out of ABC order). To test if my preschoolers know their letters and sounds, I start from the letter Z go backward to B, saving the vowels for last. After mastering the letter sounds, introduce syllables. Continuously emphasize to children that letters stand alone but when put together, they make words. 

Teach Syllables by Clapping

Build concepts of words and syllables. Try syllable games like clapping our syllables in words. This is a great activity to do with a class of students, by having them clap the syllables in their names. Clapping the syllables in the months of the year is also a fun circle time activity. Students will quickly begin to learn how to split words into syllables.


FREE Alphabet Flashcards, Letter Sound Game, & Letter Matching Worksheet.

Download our FREE letter learning materials. If you are interested in more fun learning materials like the ones below, consider purchasing Welcome to Kindergarten – an academic preparation workbook that covers beginning reading skills, counting, addition, math, pencil skills, matching and more.

FREE Alphabet Flashcards
ABC Flashcards
ABC Flashcards
FREE Interactive Song Board BINGO was his Name-O
BINGO song board
FREE 3-Page Letter Matching packet
Letter matching worksheet
Letter Matching worksheet
Posted in Books and Reading

Unabashed List of Easy to Read Children’s books

Build Reading Confidence with these Easy to Read Books (age 3 to 8)

This list is for all of the parents and teachers trying to build reading confidence in their early users. Many kids learn to read sight words and CVC (Consonant Vowel Consonant) words but do not have the confidence to read entire books. Either a new reader loves reading because of the adventure of discovering a new story or they fear reading. The fear stems from new readers coming across words they don’t know. I often hear reading is hard! I also hear reading is fun!

Publishers have different standards when it comes to reading difficulty and level. Some publishers look at the word count others consider the length of the story, but Unabashed Kids specifically chose books that use CVC and sight words for this list. Children who have been introduced to sight words and know their letter sounds will be able to decode words in the story. 

Easy reader books that limit word use to only CVC and sight words help build reading confidence. Children will be surprised that they were able to read entire books all on their own. This article contains real storybooks as well as books written to teach CVC reading skills. The CVC books are aimed at instruction and practice. These books are great; parents and teachers love them, but storybooks are what children love. Expose your early reader to both. 

Books with repeating phrases or words, assist kids who struggle to sound out new words. Even when a child struggles with one word on a page they will then see the same word or phrase on the next page. They learn these words by sight. Children will often go back to the same book as they learn how to read every word in the book. This is an amazing way to build a confident reader! Do not forget to praise children who are beginning to read. Encouragement will aid in making a happy reader. 

All book titles below have affiliate links for purchase through Amazon. Click titles to view on Amazon. 

10 Easy to Read Children’s Picture Books

Posted in Math

3 Interactive Counting and Subtraction Song Activities for ages 2 to 6

3 Interactive Counting and Subtraction Song Activities for ages 2 to 6

Ever tried to get a kid to sing or count along with you, but they were too distracted? 

Getting a little one to start counting when there are more interesting distractions around (cocomelon, classmates, toys, or kids playing games on youtube) can be a challenge. This list of 3 interactive counting activities and songs can help you compete with all of the distractions stopping the child you’re working with from counting along with you.

4 behavioral management tips for educational activities with young children.

  1. The first tip is to remove all distractions. Television, smart board, i-pad, and/or cell phones must be off and put away. 
  2. Remove the child from any toys that are not a part of the activity. 
  3. Before you begin clearly let the child or children know that it is time to count or sing. This is important because then they know what will come next and can be mentally prepared for what you expect from them. 
  4. Give signals that counting will be a fun activity. This can be as easy as a smile or happy voice. If counting has been a fussy or tantrum causing activity in the past, then the prior tip is of the utmost importance. 

Make Counting Songs Interactive 

There are plenty of children’s nursery rhymes that include numbers, counting, addition, and subtraction skills.  This article will highlight 3 of these songs. 

  • 5 Little Speckled Frogs
  • 5 Little Ducks
  • 5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the bed
Image of 5 Little Ducks interactive song board. Includes lyrics of nursery rhyme, mother duck, little ducks, and hills.

How to use the interactive Song boards in a Pre-K or Kindergarten classroom – 

Below you will find a FREE interactive board to go along with each song. It’s simple to use. Sing the lyrics on the board, while cueing the child(ren) to remove an animal as the number gets smaller. 

A full classroom can interact by taking turns pasting the frogs, ducks, or monkeys on the velcro board or an individual child can bond with an adult while singing the song.

“The children in the Pre-K classroom loved this interactive game during circle time.”

The printouts provided for FREE will be good for small groups or an individual child. Teachers can choose to write the lyrics of the song out on a poster board to make the activity more group friendly. Children can take turns pasting the animals on the board or removing them as the song goes on. The children in the Pre-K classroom loved this interactive game during circle time. Make sure you sing the song at least 2 times to give each child a turn or sing more than one of the interactive songs. 

Items Needed

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**** If you do not have a laminator or velcro you can store the pieces in a zip lock bag and do the activity at a table. Placing each piece on the paper as you sing the song. ****

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