outdoor learning activities

Garage Door Making Words – Learning Fun that Kids will Love

As the days get warmer, asking kids to sit and work on school work in the confines of the home can be difficult. Whenever possible, I like to take our learning outside. Recently I came across a brilliant idea to build with magnetic building tiles on a garage door. My kids loved it! Since that was such a success, I decided our next garage door activity would be a word work activity called making words.

Word Work is a hands-on way for kids to learn about letter sounds, phonics patterns, sight words and spelling. When children participate in word work activities, they are improving their phonemic awareness and fluency in reading and writing. As our time away from traditional classroom settings continues, it is crucial for our early readers to work on letters and letter sounds at home.

These word work activities are simple and can easily be accommodated for different ability levels. Early readers are learning letter sounds, word families (-it, -is, -ad,) digraphs (-th, -ch, sh, wh) blends (-st, -sl, -bl, -dr) and sight words. As children become more fluent in reading and writing, making words will involve the more complex word patterns (-ouse, -ight, -tion), prefixes & suffixes, and vowel teams (-ea, -ou, ie, & silent e).

Word Work Kindergarten – 1st Grade:

  1. Put different word families on the garage door (-an, -it, -ug, -op, -en)
  2. Read each word family and have your child repeat them
  3. Then have your child place different consonants at the beginning of each word family to make a new word
  4. Have your child sound out each word
  5. Then have them write the words that they made

Questions You Can Ask:

  • What word would I have if…
    • If I took the V from Van and changed it to M what word would I have?
  • What word rhymes with…
  • What sound is the same in…
    • beginning sound – car and can
    • vowel sound – jet and hen
    • ending sound – cat and hit
  • Practice long vowel sounds with magic e –
    • fin – fine

If your child makes a nonsense word, you do not need to correct them. It is important to remember that the focus should be on recognizing letter sounds and decoding words.

Word Work 1st – 3rd Grade

Not only do older kids like to play this making words activity, it is also a fun challenge for them.

  • Begin by picking a word that will be the secret word.
    • Words to use – sunshine, magnetic, weather, sandwich, flowers
  • Then mix up the letters and let your child move them around to create new words.
  • As the create words they can write them on a chart or white board.
  • Challenge them to see how many words they can create using those letters.
  • Finally, see if they can figure out the secret word.

Things to focus on with your child:

You can use this free printable Making Words Worksheet or use a whiteboard for your child to write the words that they make.

Magnetic Letters and Toys

There’s a lot of fun toys for garage door playtime. Take advantage of your new outdoor toy area with these magnetic toys.

Magnetic Letters

If you don’t have magnetic letters, this is a great set that you can order from Amazon. It has upper and lowercase letters and also comes with a dry erase board and marker!

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