Teaching Phonics : Mystery Bag Game

  1. Get a plain coloured mystery bag. Preferably black or dark blue/red. Mystery mah…. Why not bags with polka dots or stripes, you may ask? Answer is…. so as not to distract the child’s concentration from the task at hand. Mystery bag should ideally be a large cotton drawstring bag, so items of multiple sizes would be able to fit nicely without giving hints of content (in the bag)?
  2. If you are teaching letter a, put in apple, apricot, aeroplane into it.
  3. As child dips hand into the bag, ask child to guess what the item is by the feel of the item shape.
  4. When child removes item from the bag…. say the word of the item. If its aeroplane…. linger on the aaaaaaa… sound and say, aaaaaaeroplane…
  5. Show child the card of letter a and say – a for aaaaaeroplane.
  6. Repeat steps for the other items – ie. a for aaaaapple…. a is for aaaapricot.
  7. End the simple game by re-emphasizing that – aaapple, aaapricot and aaaaeroplane begins with letter a.
  8. Play the game again with the same items and the same letter until the child can manage the words introduced and gets the concept of the game. You may include more items into the bag if your child likes the game and enjoys the guessing game.
  9. Don’t be too quick to skip to following letters. Repetition is encouraged.
  10. .Work with say… one whole week dedicated for letter a items and so 3 weeks to associate letters a, b and c with items beginning with corresponding letters. Vary the items in the bag for the week you’re doing that same letter.
  11. 4th week – Try to place all or some items done during the past 3 weeks into the mystery bag. Now is truly the mystery moment… Ask child to place the item picked out and place it under the letter card that starts with its beginning letter. For example if child picks out aaaaeroplane… Guide the child, "Where should we place the aaaaeroplane? Hmmm… Now which letter does aaaaeroplane begin with?"
  12. Continue until all the items in the bag have been placed under the corresponding letter cards. If child does wrongly, it’s ok. Just play the game again.. Wink
  13. At any time if the child seems to lose concentration or is tired, just stop the game and continue another time. Pushing ahead may not conceive positive results. Patience and practice makes it perfect.

Thanks for the tips

This is really useful for young kids who like to learn through play. I will definitely try it on my 3 yrs old kiddo. I need to start collect items that starts from A-Z… Thanks for sharing. And KSP website is one of the most helpful/useful/informative website!

Thank you for sharing!!

Thank you for sharing!!

thanks for the tips

thanks for the tips

Thank goodness!

Heyya mathsparks, thank goodness i’m not too late to find out more on my DDs’ on-going primary education insights by coming here. As the standard of education in Singapore keeps soaring, there are more and more things… new things… that parents need to get themselves updated with. Models… diagrams… use of scientific terms for Science exams… GEP… *gulp*… DSA… *gulp gulp*… PSLE… *gulp choke gulp choke* …. *faint*….

I just hope there’s enuff time for me to learn more about them so that i can help my DDs learn too.

 bÜds

Many years too late!

Hi buds,

for me, but very useful for young parents. wished there were such forums with fab contributors like yourself many years ago. it would’ve helped lots more clueless parents. back then, my source of info came from colleagues, friends and relatives…very limited compared to the more than 13k parents here.

Wow. Thanks for your great

Wow. Thanks for your great sharing.

The pleasure is mine...

Just wanna say thanks much for sharing.  The mystery bag game and also the intro to single letter sounds (montessori phonics) – I actually printed out the info a while back.  Will be bringing them along when we are on holiday in Thailand for a week.  Although I am not using the montessori materials, your input has definately given me some ideas as to how to adapt from yours.

The mystery bag game and some others aren’t adapted from Montessori per se. Some of it are just ideas on how to reinforce letters and letter sounds to young children. As an educator, i personally prefer hands-on to worksheets when inspiring young kiddies to work. Learn through play they call it. Children have fun and do not realize that they are actually working on something or learning something for that matter. And this is a no-stress kinda activity. With any subject or topic we introduce to children, there must be a million ways to reinforce rather than simply just repeat games. Re-invent… and re-create… with things that you already have and work around them. And as a parent, a stay-home one at that too, i just wanted to share with others that games need not be expensive to be interesting. Games can also not cost anything if one puts in effort to DIY. 

You’re so ONZ, go holiday oso bring homework. Hehee.. 😉 Do share with us how it pans out for your child yeah.. join in my threads and update. Will be happy to hear from you on your development with yer kiddie.

 

You know, the kiasu forum has been a wonderful learning experience for me, apart from the KPO side of me reading into other threads that may not be relevant to me.  I have learnt so much abt pre-school education from yours and Tamarind’s blog and of course the others as well.  My gosh, I never knew there were so many creative teaching methods to get a child engaged!!  In fact, when I first started pre-sch searching for my son, I was totally bowled over by the diff approaches adopted by them.  Think it took me a good 6 mths b4 I really decided what to look out for.  At one time I had like 20 schs shortlisted!!!  And this is only presch education!!  My DH taught I was mad.  But I just want the best for my son, I know evry mother does.  This learning experience also made me realize that not all ‘premium’ preschs may be good (which i admittedly, had been under the impression at first), because I was thinking along the lines of RI, RGS etc.. and I have finally narrowed down to a few church kindys and also a PCF run kindy which I initially kind of snubbed until I learnt what to look out for.

Good to know this. It is a learning portal for me too. Most importantly, it keeps this auntie’s brain of mine to be stimulated with all the fun chats we have here, not just the sharings. Yes, there are a million and one things we can do with our children if we only know how. It’s not just time you need. It’s also the "how". So i was hoping to help out in that area coming from the industry myself. Sharing feels good. Yes, tamarind is passionate about sharing her journey with others from her personal experiences with her first-born daughter. With just a little know-how, she re-created the methodology to make it fun for her second-born… her son. And i salute her untiring spirit and diligence being a FTWM and also making time to teach her own and BLOG too. I’m not into the Blogging. Mebbe not yet. Hehehee..

 

What I really love the pre-sch education part is how the teachers come up with fantastic/creative teaching materials which they painstakingly created.  Never been a creative person (ie handycraft, art) myself, but for my son, I am ‘giving it a shot’ and can be ‘gungho’ when doing crafts or drawing with him.  

Thanks, once again.  Looking forward to more inputs from you.wait 2 secs to reload the image

It’s not just pre-school really. Enrichment programmes are also designed to enrich older kids as well and in early primary years, children are still very visual. So, it does help to have fun ways to work around the normal rote learning stress they have to go through in school where most times it usually is just whiteboard, textbooks and worksheets. Give yourself and your child all the shots you want and all the time you need. Learning is a lifelong journey. I am learning new things everyday as well. If we take time to listen and observe our children, we can learn a thing or two from them too… they’ll just show us.

You are most welcome, autumnbronze. And buds definitely have more ideas to share. Keep in touch!

Cheerios.

 

 

 bÜds

Thanks

Hey buds,

Just wanna say thanks much for sharing.  The mystery bag game and also the intro to single letter sounds (montessori phonics) – I actually printed out the info a while back.  Will be bringing them along when we are on holiday in Thailand for a week.  Although I am not using the montessori materials, your input has definately given me some ideas as to how to adapt from yours.

You know, the kiasu forum has been a wonderful learning experience for me, apart from the KPO side of me reading into other threads that may not be relevant to me.  I have learnt so much abt pre-school education from yours and Tamarind’s blog and of course the others as well.  My gosh, I never knew there were so many creative teaching methods to get a child engaged!!  In fact, when I first started pre-sch searching for my son, I was totally bowled over by the diff approaches adopted by them.  Think it took me a good 6 mths b4 I really decided what to look out for.  At one time I had like 20 schs shortlisted!!!  And this is only presch education!!  My DH taught I was mad.  But I just want the best for my son, I know evry mother does.  This learning experience also made me realize that not all ‘premium’ preschs may be good (which i admittedly, had been under the impression at first), because I was thinking along the lines of RI, RGS etc.. and I have finally narrowed down to a few church kindys and also a PCF run kindy which I initially kind of snubbed until I learnt what to look out for.

What I really love the pre-sch education part is how the teachers come up with fantastic/creative teaching materials which they painstakingly created.  Never been a creative person (ie handycraft, art) myself, but for my son, I am ‘giving it a shot’ and can be ‘gungho’ when doing crafts or drawing with him.  

Thanks, once again.  Looking forward to more inputs from you.

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