Your preschooler will love going on a vowel hunt with you! Build letter sound recognition and boost early reading skills with this low prep scavenger hunt.
Vowels are the glue that holds words together! Being able to recognize vowel letters is an important early reading skill.
This simple, fun vowel hunt will help your child read sight words and work on decoding letter sounds.
Go on a Fun Vowel Hunt to Build Early Reading Skills
Work on sounding out short three and four letter words with a fun, low-prep vowel scavenger hunt. Your early reader is sure to love this fun game!
Here are 12 Phonics Activities to check out as well!
Before you play this game, make sure your child knows the different vowel sounds — long and short.
Remember, long vowel sounds say the letter’s name. Short vowel sounds are trickier.
If your child isn’t quite there yet, you could focus on sorting words by vowel letter.
For our vowel hunt, we needed:
- Post-it Notes (or pieces of paper and tape)
- Three colors of markers or crayons (black, red, blue)
On your Post-It Notes, write ten different words. Five should have short vowels and five should have 5 long vowels.
Make sure one of each type of word — long vowel and short vowel — has one of each vowel letter.
Pictures can be included on sticky notes as well to help with word recognition. If you go this route, make sure that your words are very clear nouns
Hide the words around the house for your child to hunt and find. Stick the words on the backs of chairs or along the walls.
Be creative! Hide your words in unusual places, too.
Adjust the difficulty of the hiding spots based on the age of your child.
Go on a Vowel Hunt!
Watch the fun as your child runs around searching and hunting for vowel words. My children had a blast!
As they find the words, have them stick them to a designated location, like the sliding glass door or a window.
Build a little math into your vowel hunt. Tell your kids how many words you’ve hidden, then ask them to count the words they find to figure out how many are left.
Sort Your Vowel Words By Type
Once all of the ten Post-its or papers have been found and stuck to the door, it’s time to sort by color. Remember, red vowels are long sounds and blue vowels are short sounds.
Click here for an additional math-based sorting activity.
Have your child sort the words based on the color of the vowels. One section for blue vowels and one section for red vowels.
Then read the words in each group. You can read them or challenge your child to give it a try.
Once the words have been read aloud, have your child think about which group of words might be long or short vowels. If they need a hint, remind your child that long vowels say the letter’s name.
Picking out long and short vowels can be tricky for really early readers, so it’s okay to switch it up.
You could invite your child to sort by vowel letters. Make groups for each letter — a, e, i, o, and u.
If the short/long vowel sounds are confusing, stick to just short vowels and three letter words. Make more Post-It notes to create bigger letter groups.
Another idea is to use sight words that follow different spelling patterns, rhyme, or another type of group. Pull from Fry’s word lists or use lists from your child’s teacher.
Check out these 32 additional scavenger hunt ideas!
This activity is great for those pre-reading skills, getting moving, and having fun learning together.