Henry Finds His Word


Henry Finds His Word written and illustrated by Lindsay Ward (2015)

Henry didn’t know why his parents were so excited about when he would say his first word. He’d been saying lots of stuff already. He said, ‘rah rah rah’ to the dog. He said ‘woo woo woo’ to his train. And he said ‘bbghsh’ all the time, but his mama took forever to figure out that he wanted his bottle. He actually used that word for just about everything else, ‘no’ ‘book’ ‘ball’. So Henry decided to find his word. He just didn’t know war it looked like. At the park, Henry went in search of his first word. He asked the bird and the bunny and the cat, but no one could help him. Then Henry realized he was all alone. Suddenly something rumbled deep inside him… “MAMA!”

Henry found his first word, and he wasn’t afraid to use it!

Mama! Mama! Mama! Mama! Mama! Mama!


Words! Words! Words!

Play a word game with your preschooler or kindergartener. Start with syllables (the easiest parts of a word to recognize) and move up to letters (the most difficult and abstract part of a word).

SYLLABLES: If you don’t have picture cards, play this game orally. Clap out the syllables of a word. Count them. Add them to a tub or separate into groups on a table. 1c23d10b9a6b553c5df8a19b15bd0763

This is fun… tap the lights for each syllable!


Use musical instruments to count out syllables.


LETTERS: When introducing letter sounds it’s easiest to start with hard consonants before vowels or letter blends. Also, start with the beginning sound of a word since it’s the first sound a child hears and makes. Work on ending sounds before middle sounds, as those are usually consonants also. 

You don’t need to buy a lot of flashcards or worksheets like the ones shown here. You can play simple games like “I Spy”. I spy something that starts with bbb…


WORDS: When your child has a good mastery over individual sounds, you can move onto complete words. Play with rhyming words or compound words. 

 Thumbs Up/Thumb Down

Say two words, have your child repeat the words and give you thumbs up if they rhyme, thumbs down if they don’t. Or if you’re practicing compound words, thumbs up if the two words can become one word and thumbs down if the two words cannot become a compound word.

                    mouse   house                                                  car   truck

                      cup   cake                                                      table   chair

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