Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Vowel-a-Lot Castle

This is a fun way to drill short and long vowel sounds. 

This is one of the very first board games I made back in the 1980's...

This is an OLD game and the file folder shows its wear. However, it is still a loved game. Wesley and Diana love to play a game on a board that was made for their mother almost 30 years ago. It has been played by many children (including use while I was teaching a few years in a classroom). It has also been packed for many Games For Learning Workshops.

Wesley draws a card.

 He looks at the picture and identifies the vowel sound he hears. Since it is a long /e/ sound he moves to the next long /e/ space on the board. Anyone recognize the car piece from an old Monopoly game?
 The Cards:

The cards are pictures of a variety of easily identified objects. The children simply say the object and identify the vowel sound. Later I added written words on some of the cards so they would recognize the difference in the sound of /a/ in words like mad and made or back and bake for example.

 Diana moves her turtle.

The Board

The gameboard was simple to make. I cut the pictures from a children's workbook (the kind you can find at most stores). The castle was found in a children's book. Yes, I cut a book. I often did. A picture cut and put into a game often has much more value then in a book. In fact, I later started buying books (usually at garage sales) to put into my cutting box.

The spaces are 3/8" Avery stickers. I like these as they come in a wide variety of colors and make easy spaces for paths.

The board is designed around a princess/knight theme of getting to the castle. The pink board was because it was Mom's favorite color as a little girl. Like Mother, Like Daughter...Diana loves pink and princesses so she loves the gameboard. Wesley loves to play games (like his brothers) and also loves stories of knights and castles. He doesn't mention the pink board.

Vowelalot Castle has stood the test of time and two generations! Maybe I will make a new gameboard before the next little girl (to be born soon) is in the need of a vowels game. But I will also keep this one to show how well these games can last.


  1. Dear Mary,

    Your dedication is such an inspiration. Thank you so much for sharing such wonderful ideas and priceless memories. :) I have been on the yahoo group and love how you have continued your passion through your blog. I will be linking back to you when I make this and other games you have shared. :)Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  2. I LOVE these ideas! Your blog is going to help my homeschool SO MUCH! Thank you!!

  3. Your game ideas are pretty impressive. I like the idea of learning through games because even preschoolers can learn school-aged skills with a game. I find the biggest hold up to learning some of the more advanced skills for preschoolers is being able to write, but with a game it eliminates that hurdle.