Make a Rhyming Word Garden!


This is a great game for practicing rhyming words.  You and your child can practice reading and spelling while reinforcing their rhyming skills.  


  • 1 large piece of construction paper for your background. (11″ x 17″ or bigger)
  • 4 pieces of different colored paper to make your flowers. (bright colors)
  • 1 piece of green paper to make your stems.
  • Scissors.
  • 1 marker.


Cut out 4 flowers ( with 4-5 petals) and 4 circular centers from your colorful construction paper. Glue a different color circle on the middle of your flower.

Now it’s time to write your words.  Let’s start with

1. Cat – Write the word in the circle in the center of the flower.  Ask your child to underline the ending “at“.  Explain that we’ll be looking for rhyming words that have the same ending.  Ask them to help you think of some.

2. When they think of a rhyming word have them write the word on one of the petals.  Then underline the ending. Here is a list of some rhyming word families you can use:

                        Cat: hat, mat, pat, bat, that, sat

                        Man: pan, ran, tan, van, can, plan

                        Den: hen, men, pen, ten, then, when (explain wh is an old spelling for w)

                        Cub: rub, sub, tub, club, stub, scrub, shrub

                        Bin: chin, in, pin, tin, grin, thin, twin, skin

                        Ball: fall, tall, mall, hall, wall, small (explain that there’s more than 1 way to spell the unit all, and help them choose correctly)

                        King: wing, ring, sing, ping, bring, thing (remind them that ing is a unit and has a unique sound)

                        Cake: bake, wake, shake, make, quake

3. When you’re done making your flowers glue your garden together.  Remember to put your beautiful artwork on the fridge and show anyone else who’s around.  Your child is on their way to being the best reader and speller EVER!


This activity is recommended in conjunction with the educational therapy your child is receiving at The RSS Learning Center, formerly Reading & Spelling Solutions, for more information please visit our website:

Play Post-it Bingo! (With Your Spelling Words)

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Teaching your child to study can be challenging for anyone,  especially for a student who is struggling in school.  So let’s make it fun! Who wants to study when you can play a game instead?

Next time your child is studying for a spelling test try this bingo game for a fresh perspective.

What You Need:

  • pad of Post-It squares (3×3 or smaller)
  • set of index cards
  • pencils
  • set of 9 or 16 spelling words
  • one piece of paper per player
  • a set of bingo markers, about 10 per player (plastic chips, bottle caps, paper clips, coins, macaroni, M&Ms… be creative and have fun!)

What You Do:

To make the game:

  • One player writes the spelling words on Post-It notes, one word per note; (check each other’s notes for accurate spelling).
  • The other player writes the words on the index cards
  • Arrange your post-its in a square on the paper or any flat surface. (3 rows of 3, or 4 rows of 4)
  • Put the stack of index cards in the center of the playing area, face down.

Let’s Play! 

  • The first player turns over the top index card and reads the word aloud.
  • Players mark their matching Post-It note with a bingo marker.
  • When the first player is done calling they can flip over the card and place it on the table to make sure everyone chose the right word.
  •  Continue playing until a player has marked an entire row on their Bingo “board”. The winner yells “Bingo!”
  • For Bonus Points: They winner must close their eyes and spell each word in their winning row.  They are allowed to try twice, and spell one at a time.

To start a new game, simply pick up the Post-Its and rearrange the playing grid! 

This game is recommended in conjunction with your educational therapy program at The RSS Learning Center

Play a Sight Word Water Game!

DSCF3124  water_bucket

Every child loves water games, and your child will enjoy practicing reading, spelling, and writing  in a fun and casual way.  To make it even more appealing you can also make the sponge balls seen above.  Top find out how, please see the bottom of this post.

Sight words are common short words that don’t follow typical reading rules. They need to be memorized in ordered to be read and spelled correctly. A fun way to reinforce this with your child is to use fun outdoor activities. This game uses chalk and a wet sponge to help memorize the reading and spelling of common sight words. This is a great game for a hot, summer day and a great way to build their skills!

What You Need:

  • Sidewalk Chalk
  • Pail of Water
  • 2-6 damp sponges or balls
  • Stopwatch
  • Several energetic first graders

What to Do:

  1. Find an empty, clean spot of pavement.
  2. Have your child help you write out some common sight words with the chalk. Spell words like: who, how, the, are, they, and, you, that, was, said, what, & your (check their spelling words too)
  3. Dunk the sponge in the pail of water, and take turns throwing the wet sponge at each the word. See how long it takes to “melt” away the sight word.
  4. For an extra twist, you can challenge your child to some “selective” melting too—for example, only vowels, or only first letters. Mix it up any way you want as she starts getting better at reading.
  5. Once the word is completely gone, have a little contest to see if your child can remember how the  word was spelled. If she’s not sure, pull out that chalk and those sponges again and be prepared to try again.

To Make Fun Sponge Balls (Shown Above)

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1. Buy 3-4 colorful soft sponges (per ball)

2. Cut each sponge into 3 strips going the long way

3. Stack the sponges with alternating colors

4. Take a long string and wrap it around the middle of the stack

5. As you pull the string tight to tie it, the stack the sponges will form into a ball

Have Fun! Enjoy Your Summer!

This reading activity is recommended in conjunction with your educational therapy program at The RSS Learning Center,

Make Your Own Photography Alphabet Book!

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Camera’s are magical and anyone can learn to use one with guidance.  This activity is great for a budding photography expert and will make a great keepsake for years to come.  However, if you’d rather not use a camera, feel free to use old magazines to find objects, search and print pictures from the internet, or draw ones that you think of with markers.

What You’ll Need

  • 14 sheets of 8.5-by-11-inch construction paper (any light colors)
  • markers
  • Glue or glue stick
  • A digital or disposable Camera
  • scissors
  • Three-hole punch
  • Three pieces of yarn

Here’s How to Do It

1. Grab your camera and go on a hunt for the alphabet in your neighborhood.  Look for objects that start with different letter sounds (an ant for a, or a baseball for b), or find letters in everyday places (the s on a stop sign) and take a picture of each one.  If you get stuck, try making the letter out of leaves or branches and twigs ( for Q, X, or Z).  Be creative! Take your time! This may take a few days to complete.

2. Print out your photos

3. Line up the construction paper and punch three holes on the left side. Thread a piece of yarn through each hole and tie a knot to secure the paper. On the front page write the title, My Alphabet Book and your child’s name as the author. At the top of each page print a capital and lower case letter. Make sure to leave room for pictures below. Show the book to your child and explain that you are going to make a book with all the letters of the alphabet.

4. Staring with the letter a, find your picture of an item that begins with the letter sound, or the letter itself.  Ask your child to say the first letter of the item in the picture and the initial letter sound. Take the picture and help your child glue it onto the page underneath the letter. Continue with the rest of the letters. You can use the completed book to help your child practice the alphabet.

This activity is recommended in conjunction with the educational therapy your child is receiving at The RSS Learning Center, formerly Reading & Spelling Solutions, for more information please visit our website:

Make Alphabet Cookies!!!

Image Image

Everybody Loves Cookies! It’s a proven fact 🙂 That’s why making alphabet cookies is a great solution for even the most reluctant learner, and a great way to teach your child math, reading and spelling is an open and friendly environment. Some people will tell you to buy alphabet cookie cutters, but as an educator, I prefer that you help your child shape them.  The interaction of touch when molding the shapes will actually help increase their memory and it gives you a little more time to discuss what sound it makes, or funny words that start with it’s sound. This does take a little more time so choose a good day where you have enough time to enjoy the activity without feeling rushed.


1/2 Cup of flour

1 Egg

1/4 Cup Sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

4 tablespoons of butter

2/3 cup of powdered sugar

5 tablespoons lemon juice

Food coloring or sprinkles (optional)


1. Let you child help measure out the ingredients while explaining to them what the measurements mean.

2. To make cookie dough, sift flour onto a pastry board or into a large bowl.
Add egg, sugar, vanilla and butter; knead to a dough.

3. Press into a ball and wrap in foil or plastic wrap. Refrigerate 2 hours.

4. Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C).

5. Grease a baking sheet.

6. Cut small pieces from cookie dough; form into sausage shapes about 1/2 inch (1 cm) thick.
7. Make a letter from each sausage and flatten slightly.

8. Place on greased baking sheet.

9. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until golden.

10. To make frosting, put powdered sugar into a small bowl.
Beat in enough lemon juice to give a spreading consistency.

11. Frost warm cookie letters. To make it more fun,  add sprinkles or food coloring to your frosting.

Enjoy! Make sure to show off your creation to the entire family & share with everyone.


This activity is recommended in conjunction with the educational therapy your child is receiving at The RSS Learning Center, formerly Reading & Spelling Solutions, for more information please visit our website:

Make an Alphabet Memory Game!

alphabet-cards-preview         IMG_7117

Helping your child strengthen their early reading skills is essential to their success in school.  You can make learning fun by playing this great game with them.

Learning the alphabet and letter sounds is extra fun if you play a game that you and your child made together! This game also allows your child to practice using scissors and glue. If you’re worried about that part invest in some inexpensive pre-school or kindergarten scissors that you can find at a craft or teacher store.

There are two versions of a memory game below. One is for upper and lower case matching, and the second one is for matching the picture with its beginning sound.

What You Need:

  • 78 blank index cards (any colors)
  • Markers
  • Glue stick
  • Scissors
  • Old magazines

What You Do:

  1. Using markers, have your child write each of the upper case letters on each index card. If he has trouble with this, write the letter lightly for him or with a dotted line, so he can trace the letter onto the card with marker.
  2. Now do the lower case letters! Draw a line under letters that can be read upside down, such as n and u, b and p, etc.
  3. Have your child flip through old magazines and find small pictures to cut out. Ask her what letter sound each picture starts with. Look for pictures for each letter of the alphabet. Monitor her as she cuts out the pictures and show her how to glue each one to an index card. (Keep track of which letter sounds you need to find by putting the completed picture card next to a corresponding letter card. If you cannot find a picture for a certain letter, try drawing one with the markers.)
  4.  If you don’t have old magazines, help your child write the letters and discuss what sound they make as you’re doing it.  Try to think of a fun phrase as you do it “Larry the leopard”.
  5. When the glue has dried, your child is ready to play a game! There are two games (below) that he can play with these cards.

Game 1: Alphabet Memory Game

  1. Put the picture cards aside. Mix up all of the uppercase and lowercase cards.
  2. Place them face down on the table or floor in a grid-like pattern.
  3. Have your child choose two cards anywhere on the grid.
  4. Are the letters a match? Big A with little a? If so, you your child gets to remove those cards from play and keep them. He also gets to go again!
  5. If they don’t match, turn them back over, and the next person goes. Even if the cards don’t match, encourage your child to remember where those cards are in case he needs to find them again!
  6. Keep playing until all of the cards have been matched. The person with the most matches wins the game.

If your child does not know which letters match, you may want to have a piece of paper with upper and lower case letters available for reference.

Game 2: Letter Sounds Memory Game

This game is played the same way except you use one set of alphabet cards and the picture cards. Try to make a match by finding the picture’s beginning letter!

Your child can play this game with you, with friends or siblings, or even by himself! Set a timer for a few minutes and see how many matches he can get.

This activity is recommended in conjunction with the educational therapy your child is receiving at The RSS Learning Center, formerly Reading & Spelling Solutions, for more information please visit our website: