It can feel like an immense task to teach your children to read and write. However, the importance of this cannot be overemphasized. A good understanding of the English language is necessary for almost all interactions, especially now that we live in the age of globalisation and social media. The use of correct spelling and grammar is essential for this.
That’s why apps like Grammarly are so important. Mistakes will always occur, but the more you understand the basics, the smaller the chance of mistakes. However, teaching the basics of the language to your children can feel overwhelming. Fortunately, there are some good and fun solutions.
Children love to play, of course. But why not combine this with Lego; toys that almost all children have a click with. This works as follows:
- Give the red Lego cubes (2×2) a vowel
- Give the non-red Lego cubes (2.2) a short consonant
- Give the larger Lego blocks (3×2) a longer consonant
Then make multiple blocks of the vowels, as these will of course be used more often. Of the consonants, you can often get started with 2 or 3 pieces of Lego. Once you’ve done this, you can start building.
Start building in a simple way, for example, by first letting your child distinguish between the three different Lego blocks. Distinguishing between vowels, short consonants and long consonants will make your child aware of the different possibilities.
For example, you can start by making a distinction between the Lego blocks of 2×2. These are both short consonants and vowels. Because of this, your child will soon see that there are many more of the red Lego blocks (the vowels). This makes it clear that the vowels also occur more often in words and are necessary to make words.
Then the distinction between short and long consonants can be made by the shape of the cubes. The short consonants have a 2×2 block, while the long consonants have a 3×2 block.
If your child has mastered this, you can start teaching them new words. The best way to do this is by first drawing a picture, with the word your child is going to spell. This allows your child to make the word in a visual way, as well as on the basis of letters. You can choose to start with very simple words and expand this further.
Then you can choose to remove the visual blocks and just put a word there. This will force your child to make the connection between the vowels, short consonants and long consonants in the word. If your child has mastered this too, you can even choose to have your child spell words based on speech.
This is just one example of how you can use Lego blocks to teach your child language skills. If your child is a bit older, you can also use them to teach diminutives, for example.