Teaching Resource

SMASH IT! Beginning Sounds

PDF, Google Slides | 14 pages|Grades: K, 1 - 1

Practice applying beginning letter sound correspondence with this set of 16 game boards and letter cards.

Turn every one of your students into confident readers with our letter sound recognition game! 

To play, students will identify the letter sound on each card, find a picture with the same beginning sound on their mat, and use molding clay to SMASH IT! 

Get “Hands-on” Practice Identifying Letter Sounds 

This resource can be used as a reading center activity, or with your guided reading group to practice beginning sounds.

This game can be played independently, or with multiple players. Add more players by using different colored molding clay and taking turns to SMASH IT! 

To play, students will need molding clay and a word mat. Shuffle the letter cards and place them in the center of the player area. Students take turns flipping over a letter card and identifying its sound. Then, players look for an object on their mat that begins with the same sound, using their molding clay to SMASH IT! When no more things start with the same sound, the next player chooses another letter card and continues smashing words. Continue playing until one student has SMASHED all of the objects on their card. 

Even More Ways Practice Identifying Letter Sounds with Your Whole Class

Take letter-sound recognition even further with additional activities to help familiarize your students with identifying letter sounds! 

Group Play 

Divide your class into pairs and give each a word mat. Using your smartboard or another projection device, present letters. Students will work together to identify the letter sound and look for words that start with that letter on their board. The first pair to cover all words on their card wins! 

Warm-Up/Exit Activity

This activity can also be used as a formative letter identification assessment. Pick a word mat and project it on the board for the whole class to see. Read each of the words as a class, and have students write the beginning letter on a separate sheet of paper.

Change the Difficulty Level if Needed

After students have completed their letter-sound correspondence mats, have them put the letter cards in alphabetical order.

If you have students who are struggling with the concept, encourage them to use a visual reminder, like an alphabet display

Easily Prepare This Resource for Your Students

Print the task cards on cardstock for added durability and longevity. To make this game more sustainable, print a few recording sheets on cardstock and slip them into dry-erase sleeves. The dough will be less likely to stick to the cards and/or stain them. 

Provide students with molding clay. Place all game parts in a folder or large envelope for easy access. 

Before You Download

Use the drop-down icon on the Download button to choose between the PDF or Google Slides version of this resource. 

This resource was created by Lindsey Phillips, a teacher in Michigan and a Teach Starter Collaborator. 

We’ve got more beginning sound games and activities we know your students will love! 


  Common Core Curriculum alignment

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