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Jingle All the Way to Literacy!

As the holiday season approaches, what better way to spread cheer than by incorporating literacy activities into your family's festive traditions? Inspired by the Orton-Gillingham approach, known for its effectiveness in teaching phonemic awareness, we've crafted a set of holiday-themed activities for parents to engage in with their children. These activities not only add a touch of holiday magic but also contribute to essential literacy skills development.

Activity 1: Syllable Sorting

Objective: Develop syllable awareness


  • Choose holiday-themed words like "reindeer," "ornament," and "snowflake."

  • Say each word aloud, clapping or tapping for each syllable (rein-deer, or-na-ment, snow-flake).

  • Have your child repeat the process, clapping or tapping along with you.

  • Create a festive sorting activity by writing the words on cards and having your child categorize them based on the number of syllables.

Activity 2: Sound Matching

Objective: Practice phonemic awareness


  • Select holiday words with distinct beginning sounds, like "candy cane," "gingerbread," and "mistletoe."

  • Say each word, emphasizing the initial sound (c-c-candy cane, g-g-gingerbread, m-m-mistletoe).

  • Create stockings with corresponding initial sound pictures or letters.

  • Have your child match each word to the correct stocking, reinforcing their understanding of initial sounds.

Activity 3: Rhymes

Objective: Enhance phonemic awareness through rhyming


  • Gather holiday words that rhyme, such as "bell," "jingle," and "well."

  • Say the words aloud, asking your child to listen for the rhyming sounds.

  • Create a sleigh ride by drawing or printing sleigh shapes with rhyming words.

  • Have your child match the sleighs based on the rhyming pairs, reinforcing their ability to identify and produce rhymes.

Activity 4: Phoneme Puzzles

Objective: Build phoneme manipulation skills


  • Choose holiday words with similar sounds but different initial, medial, or final phonemes (e.g., "tree," "treat," "trim").

  • Say the words, emphasizing the targeted phoneme (t-r-ee, t-r-ea-t, tr-i-m).

  • Create puzzle pieces with the words, separating them by their targeted phonemes.

  • Challenge your child to rearrange the pieces to form new words, promoting phoneme manipulation and understanding.

By infusing holiday spirit into literacy activities inspired by the Orton-Gillingham approach, parents can make learning enjoyable and effective. These phonemic activities not only engage children in festive language play but also contribute to their foundational literacy skills. So, jingle all the way to literacy success with these holiday-themed phonemic adventures at home!

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