eeBoo’s Animal Spelling Puzzles is an activity that encourages kids to explore sound-symbol correspondence.
The activity is designed to be completed alone. Errors are averted because the complete animal and the puzzle pieces fit together only when correctly matched.
If you want to involve more children, you can set it up as a Rummy game. Each player gets 5 pieces to start. Then taking turns around the table, they can ask an individual for a letter (which they can see on the table across from them) or reach in an opaque bag and draw out a puzzle piece. In this version, kids have to name the letters they need. The child with the most completed animals when the cards run out is the winner. Because winners and losers are made by the luck of the draw, there is an element of excitement in the materials used this way.
These cards work well for exploring sound substitutions. Kids can make imaginary animals and sound out their names. A first step in this process places the adult in the roll of mad scientist. The adult says, “That’s a hen. Let’s see what a fen would look like,” etc.