Inside: Grab these free printable veterinarian letter sound matching puzzles to help your preschoolers and kindergartners work on phonological awareness.
Are you planning a community helpers or pets unit? Need to work on important early literacy skills? Grab a toy stethoscope and a stuffed animal dog or cat to help put together these free printable sound puzzles.
This activity is specifically designed to help little learners develop their phonological awareness skills. It focuses on listening to initial sounds without requiring children to recognize specific letters yet. The veterinarian theme makes it fun! The picture of a vet with a stethoscope emphasizes the importance of listening closely.
Veterinarian Letter Sound Matching Puzzles
The free printable includes a puzzle for every letter of the alphabet (the words are printed to help grownups decipher the pictures – not for the kids to read). I went with short vowel sounds and skipped phonemes like /sh/ and /ch/.
You’ll also get a recording sheet that children can mark with a dot marker as they complete each puzzle.
Preparation and Materials
Here’s everything you’ll need or want for this activity:
- Puzzles printed on cardstock
- Recording sheet for each student
- Dot marker or crayons for the recording sheet
- Toy stethoscope (optional)
- Toy pet, such as a stuffed animal cat or dog (optional)
- Pocket chart or floor mat for laying out completed puzzles (optional)
To prep, cut apart all the puzzles and laminate if desired. You may want to select a subset of puzzles for students to work on at one time – all 26 puzzles at once may be overwhelming.
How to Play
First, scramble the puzzle pieces and lay them out face up, with all the left-hand pieces in one group and the right-hand pieces in another.
Then, pick up one piece and say the name of the animal or object on the heart. Then, isolate the initial sound and just say that.
Next, repeat the sound while picking up the other pieces, searching for a picture with the same initial sound.
As each puzzle is completed, mark it off on the recording sheet.
Make it Fun!
You can make this activity more fun by incorporating some dramatic play elements. Have students wear a toy stethoscope and “listen” to each puzzle piece. They can also “listen” to a stuffed animal’s heart and pretend they hear it repeating the letter sound.
In addition, students who thrive on a challenge can play with the pieces turned upside down. Turn over one card at a time and play it as a game of memory (aka concentration).
Download the Puzzles and Recording Sheet
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