We are "unofficially" starting the Pink Series (read below) with these CVC Word Cards and clothespins (buy here). I do not call the reading "official" just yet since Adrian is seeing the pictures on the cards. But, I cannot wait to give it a try since some words he might not know or remember.
I like that the cards (36 double-sided) came laminated, and the only thing I did was rounded the corners. The clothespins, however, were too stiff for Adrian (at 39 months old) to manipulate. So, I made my own CVC clothespins from these child-friendly mini wooden ones. To prevent color-bleeding, I primed the area of the clothespin where I would write the letter with clear nail polish, and used ultra-fine -point Sharpie (buy here) to write the letters. In the Montessori curriculum, the vowels are color-coded as blue, and consonants as red.
This activity is a great introduction to Pink Series, as well as a wonderful fine-motor exercise.
With some words, Adrian was familiar with, so rather than "true" reading it was more of a recollection of the name of the object on the picture. But some words, he did not know/remember, so he had to read! For example, on the picture above, Adrian thought that the vehicle is a "car", so he really had to read "van", and put the sounds together. Similarly, with the word 🛀 "tub" in the video below – initially, Adrian thought it is a "bath", so he had to really read the word, and not guess what he thought💭 the picture is.
https://player.vimeo.com/video/203020502 Even if the child knows the objects on the pictures, this activity is still a great exercise to get used to combining the sounds together, which is the hardest. Granted, Adrian can sound out the individual sounds like for example in "b-a-t" (the word he knows), but to pronounce "ba" together takes some practice.
A Note 📝 on Pink💗 Series:
In Montessori literacy curriculum, Pink Series (or pink boxes) is the first step in teaching a child how to read. (A child usually writes before s/he learns to read). After a child is familiar with sandpaper letters (buy here) and knows about 15 letters of the alphabet, s/he can start working with Movable Alphabet (buy here), while slowly incorporating the Pink Series boxes. Pink Series are 3-letter phonetic words with the same pattern: CVC = Consonant -Vowel -Consonant. All of the vowels at this stage are short vowels: such as "a" in 🐱 cat, "e" in 🖊 pen, "i" in 🐷 pig, "o" in 📦 box, and "u" in 🌞sun. (The letter "y" is not included in this stage.) All the words in Pink Series are phonetically decodable, that is all of the letters used retain their phonetic sound that the child recognizes and is used to it. As the child learns to "build" words with Movable Alphabet, s/he will learn to read them using Pink Series, at first using visual clues of pictures, and then just reading letters. Once the child has progressed as far as reading phrases and sentences, you may start introducing the Blue Series.