As kids learn letter sounds they can start putting those sounds together to read words. This super simple word slider is an awesome visual showing them how to do just that.

It’s one of those teaching tricks you’ll never want to forget.  For more reading fun for your beginning reader, check out our Emergent Readers Bundle in our shop!

Getting Ready

To make the word slider, I gathered a few supplies:

  • A stack of blank index cards
  • Markers
  • A roll of tape
  • And an 8 1/2 X 11 inch piece of cardstock (construction paper would work well too).

On each of the index cards, I wrote a different three-letter word. I picked the words (bus, ant, cat, rug, fat, pop, sad) but the possibilities are really endless.

Simple activity to help children learn to blend letter sounds together. {Playdough to Plato}

Then, I folded the cardstock to make an envelope (below) and stuck a piece of tape on one end to hold it down.

Once I placed an index card inside the folded cardstock, our word slider was ready for use and we were ready to play the game!

See?! I promised it was easy.

Word Slider in Action

I invited Middle Brother (age 5) to join me. Then, I slowly pulled a card out of the envelope one letter at a time and asked him to sound out the letters that appeared: s – u – n

Once all three letters were showing, I asked him to repeat the three sounds again faster and faster until he figured out the word on the card.

“Sun!” he called out excitedly.

With a quick thumbs up, I took out the card and replaced it with a new one so our fun could continue.

Early Reader Books

Make reading practice fun for kids with a batch of motivating early reader books with our Emergent Readers Bundle!

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  1. I love this idea! I am a Literacy Coach and I work with teachers who often struggle to help their students to blend sounds together to make the words they read. This activity will be very helpful. Thanks!

    1. Hooray! I’m excited to hear that the word slider is helpful, Angela. Thanks for saying “hello”.

  2. Do you have any ideas for middle school level ELL’s that are struggling with reading? I would sure appreciate it. Thanks

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