Penny Pinching Peach

For the semi crunchy, homeschool friendly and totally frugal!


Phonics Hunt Game

Phonics Hunt

Phonics Hunt

My oldest daughter is currently learning to read. She is doing an amazing job with her schoolwork, and has inherited my voracious love of learning. However, when we did our review work today, I spotted a couple of letters she was having trouble matching with their phonics sounds correctly. I decided that- instead of doing math today (which I don’t do daily with a kindergarten student, since she likes to do a lot at a time, anyway)- I would make up a fun game with multiple parts to help her get a better grasp on the sounds she was struggling with remembering. We needed some outside time to burn energy and get some fresh air, so I incorporated that in with our school time. (Gotta love homeschooling!! Learning happens everywhere!! Since I’m a second generation homeschooler, this is natural & normal for me, but I am seeing a whole different side of it now. Love it! 🙂 )

My Princess Pennypeacher was having trouble with the letters H and N. I handed her a grocery bag, and explained that we were going hunting for things that start with those letters, making the phonics sound for her. Our goal was to find at least three items with each phonics sound. She is very goal oriented, so she loved this!! As we went walking together, searching for objects, I kept repeating the letters and sounds and helping her come up with words starting with those sounds. We found a few things outside, then continued our search in the house. This kept her busily searching for a while, having a good ol’ time all the way, with her little brother following her around shouting the sounds with her without having any idea what he was talking about. 🙂 Once she found three items starting with the H and N sounds, we moved on to the next part of the game.

I had her sit down and choose two pieces of paper to write the uppercase and lowercase versions of each letter at the top of each sheet. Once she did that, I had her pull one item at a time out of the bag, tell me which sound and letter that item started with, set it beside the correct letter sheet and then I helped her write the words by breaking down the sounds in each word to see if she could tell me the matching letter. This was mostly to reiterate the sounds she was working on, but also to check for any other sounds she might be struggling with. This part was less of a hooray kind of fun for her, but she still enjoyed the challenge.

To finish up, we took a silly photo of my kindergartener, her project, and her loyal assistant! 🙂

Do you think your little ones would enjoy this game? It cost nothing whatsoever, so that made my pockets happy. It definitely helped her get a better grasp on the letters she was getting confused on, although I think we will need to do a couple of more fun reviews to make sure she really has it. I love having fun learning with my munchkins! 🙂

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Newspaper ABCs

Hunting and Clipping

Hunting and Clipping

With the holiday season over, and the Christmas themed crafts no longer an anchor for our preschool activities, it’s back to ordinary projects for us. I decided to have my 4 year old review her alphabet a little differently, using random things from around the house, to make sure she really recognizes and can write each upper and lower case letter well.We’re a few letters in now, but I’m sharing what we did for the letter A, as well as what Baby Boy did for “baby school” while she was hard at work. 🙂

My hubby had brought home a newspaper with all those lovely coupon inserts, and there were some advertisements in there with large, classic block letters. I got out Princess Peach’s current preschool book and had her look at the letter A pages she had done previously. She then filled her dry erase board with as many upper and lower case (also known as mommy and baby) letter As as she could. After that, it was on to her fun project, with her book and dry erase board as her guide…

I gave her the advertisement page, and told her to find and cut out as many of the letter A as she could find. For every five letters, she would get a sticker. She had a blast hunting for and cutting out her letters and cashing them in for her stickers! 🙂

Of course, little brother wanted in on the fun as well, so Mommy pulled out some extra large animal flash cards for

Animal Identification and Sounds

Animal Identification and Sounds

him once sister was to the cutting stage. I set him up in the high chair next to her, gave him the flash cards and had him hold each one up and I’d tell him the animal and animal sound. He’d repeat them to me with interest, and sometimes tell me what sounds they made before he even held them up to show me. This kept him stimulated and happily learning with sister instead of trying to steal all of her letters. 🙂

All of this took place in our kitchen while I was doing dishes, by the way. I can’t get anything done if I can’t multi task at least part of the time! 🙂

Does anyone else use random household items for educational activities? It definitely appeals to the penny pinching, hate-to-waste-anything side of me, I have to admit! 🙂