Spiders, slugs and snails

A minibeast hunt is a great way to get children outside, active and talking!

Children may not be at school at the moment but the weather is good and while outdoors there are plenty of opportunities to learn lots of new words and get ready for phonics. Our free Early Soundplay Together Activity Packs are full of ideas to help you.

Minibeasts are a source of endless fascination for children so they’re a great topic to talk about. Children learn new words best in their context so introducing new words during an outdoor activity is effective. Minibeasts provide lots of opportunities for sound play too!

Sound play helps children develop an awareness of the building blocks of words – rhyme, syllables and individual speech sounds. It gives children the foundation skills for phonics.

Busy bees, bzz bzz bzz

Where better to start than with a listening activity. Digby can hear a noise – can you hear it?

A listening walk is a great way to get children listening out for and idenitfying different sounds.

Create a ‘listening scavenger hunt’. Make a list together with pictures of things you might hear on your walk.

  • Cars, buses, motorbikes or maybe a helicopter
  • Dogs barking, birds singing or bees buzzing
  • People talking, laughing or shouting.

When you get back how many different sounds can the children remember?

Something black and scary …

A minibeast hunt can be a great activity for letting the children hear and practise saying words with ‘s’ blends.

When Tess and Bess go on a minibeast hunt in the park they spy a:

  • spotty ladybird
  • spinning spider
  • small snail
  • sleepy slow worm
  • slimy slug
  • scary stag beetle

A wriggly wiggly worm

Rhyme and syllable awareness are both essential skills for learning to read and spell.

There are lots of lovely rhymes that appeal to young children featuring wriggly wiggly worms or spiders.

We can have fun clapping syllables as we introduce wriggly wiggly centipedes and spotty ladybirds. Or much to children’s delight stomping them out too!

Whatever you do make sure you have fun hunting for and talking about minibeasts. Our free Early Soundplay Activity Packs are full of ideas to help you.

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