M week as include lots of mud (more about that in the toddler and bay blog), matching, minbeasts and marbles.
In order to learn to blend fluently enough to read children needs lots of opportunities to practise. Making blending games makes it a bit more fun! In this game we had four words with a matching picture. The boy sounded out m-a-t the word and then m blended it (mat). He then tried to find the matching picture. At this early stage of his reading career he says the sounds aloud (and I help him with any he is unsure of.) I then give him opportunity to blend independently. However, he sometimes says the sounds so slowly they don't sound like a word at all so I repeat the sounds and let him blend the together. This builds his confidence and makes him feel like a reader rather than a four year old stumbling over sounds.
Not wanting to gender stereotype but up until recently my boy did not, would not, put pen to paper. He has softened his stance on this of late and I believe this is primarily down to the many many mark making opportunities that we have explored that aren't simply pens and paper. The list is endless but mark making with fingers in sand, paint, gel and salt. Carving out letters in the sand at the seaside and making marks with chalk on the pavement have all helped build his confidence (and fine motor skills) and made him believe that he is a writer. Beaming with pride when he has written marks to be words and letters that don't remotely look like what they should has all contributed to the writer he is now becoming!!
My little boy LOVES magazines. Generally he's drawn to the one with the best looking toy but I can usually steer him to a good old CBeebies one. We often pop to buy one from the local shop and then devour it together while his sister naps. It is wonderful quality time together. The CBeebies magazines have a wealth of activities which he loves working through and I love him doing activities that he is so motivated to do. This week we shared an Andy's Prehistoric Adventures magazine and we read stories and he made marks, peeled stickers, counted and coloured We were even inspired to make a mini beast hotel. Although they can be a bit pricey every now and again it's a lovely treat (both for him and me) and worth the money.