As young children begin to identify letters, practice making letter sounds, and using those sounds to come up with initial letters in words, they are building many pre-reading skills. Simple ideas, like this identify and stamp activity, can help strengthen these skills in a fun way!
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Getting Ready to Stamp Beginning Sounds
Prepping this activity take just minutes! Gather these supplies from around your house:
- play dough
- cookie cutters
- wooden stamps
Between the great big sets of 100 cookie cutters that are available (we own this one) and the options at the dollar store throughout the year, building a collection full of variety isn’t hard. We picked 10 different, easily identifiable cookie cutters to use for this activity.
Squish or roll out the play dough to get it ready to cut with cookie cutters.
We used different colored play dough because we had it on hand, but using just one color would work too!
Spread the wooden stamps out around the play dough cut-outs. This is where the activity can be individualized according to the skills that your own child is working on. If your child has mastered all the letter sounds and can easily identify the letters in the alphabet, you could try offering all 26 letter stamps to choose from.
If your child would feel overwhelmed by 26 options to look through to find the correct stamp, limit the number of stamps. If you choose 10 play dough cut-outs to play with, maybe even choose just those 10 corresponding stamps to set out.
Choosing to limit the number of stamps for the activity gives you the option to play again with all different cookie cutters and stamp letters. This gives your child the opportunity to play this activity a variety of different ways!
Identify & Stamp Beginning Sounds
Now that the activity is set up, it’s time to play!
The object is to stamp the correct beginning letter on to the play dough cut-out. Some of the cookie cutters we used were an umbrella, bear, hand, tree, football, flower, star, person, and egg.
The S stamp was stamped on to the play dough star. The F was stamped on to the football and flower. The U was stamped into the umbrella. The B was stamped into the bear. My preschooler went through all of our cut-outs and chose the letter that represented the beginning sound.
We use the Melissa & Doug wooden stamps. In this set, the upper and lower case letters are included. We had out all of the upper case letter stamps for this activity. It would have also been fun to stamp BOTH the upper and lower case letter into each play dough cut-out.
To add an extra challenge to the activity, I asked my preschooler to also stamp the ending sound of the word on the cut-out. For the football, she stamped the F and then the L on to the play dough.
When all of the play dough cut-outs are stamped, you can simply flip the play dough over and play again with the same shapes!
I just love how this identify and stamp beginning sounds activity can be adapted for each individual learner! This activity could be great practice for preschoolers and kindergarteners!