Adam loves playing with his Orchard Toys Match and Spell game. He started playing it at the end of Pre-School and it is a fun first reading and spelling activity that encourages letter recognition and word building. The game focused on single letter sounds and worked up towards four letter words. Now that Adam is in Reception and is learning digraphs (two letters make one sound) and trigraphs (three letters make one sound) it was time to introduce Orchard Toys Match and Spell Next Steps.
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Match and Spell Next Steps develops more advanced reading and spelling skills using both sounds and blends. It consists of 18 double-sided word boards. One side the letters and sound buttons are visible whereas on the other side just the sound buttons can be seen. Single dots represent single letters whereas a long line indicates a digraph or trigraph.
The pack also comes with 78 cards, which include 10 spare letter cards with red borders. Each single phoneme has a dot underneath. This helps with letter placement so there isn’t any confusion between letters such as d, b and p. Digraphs and trigraphs have a long line underneath to represent the join of the two letters to make one sound.
There are two ways to play with Match and Spell Next Steps. The first game involves sounding, matching and reading. The word cards are laid out face up and you collect letters in the order the word is spelt.
The second game involves turning the word board over and identifying the missing sounds.
Adam also developed an alternative version of the game. He laid all the cards face down and we took it turns to turn over a letter to see if it was in our word.
Match and Spell Next Steps certainly stretched Adams phonic knowledge. It raised discussions as to why the two digraphs in “burger” (the ur and the er) were spelt differently as well as unusual sounds such as ph in photo and kn in knight. Adam thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and loves the sense of achievement of completing the activity.
The Orchard Toys Match and Spell Next Steps Board Game is designed for children 5+ years old. It is available directly from the Orchard Toys website and Amazon.
Disclaimer: We were sent the Orchard Toys Match and Spell Next Steps to review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.
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