Sometimes people ask us, “Why do you use different fonts in your products? If my child learns SnapWords® with one font, will she be able to read books which utilize a different font?” We do this strategically. By exposing children to different fonts while they are learning to read, we are teaching them to recognize the pattern of each letter. We want them to be prepared to read and recognize letters in every font. Putting children in contact with different fonts right off the bat prepares them for the different variations they will see in further reading. This will help them succeed! This blog contains an activity that you can do with your child to help them recognize letters in different fonts.
Below is an example where we use different fonts. The SnapWord “got” comes from list B and has a soft curved edge at the bottom. However, if you look at our Easy-for-Me Children’s Readers, you will notice the font is different. The “G” used in the Children’s Readers has an enclosed circle at the bottom of the letter.
If your child is struggling with font differentiation we have developed some activities to help!
Take a letter your child is struggling with and have them find it throughout the magazine. Then, cut it out and glue it to the paper. When they are finished, they will be able to see that it is the same letter, but it may have slight variations to the overall shape. Have your child tell you the similarities and the differences between the different fonts. This will help them recognize all of the letters. Continue to do this will all of the letters you find them struggling with!
A great follow up for this activity is to separate the capital A’s from the lower case A’s and have your child identify what is the same and what is different between the various fonts.
For example, the capital A’s all have two sides, a point at the top, and a bridge from side to side.
Lower case A’s are very different from each other, but in every case, there is a round portion with a straight vertical line or a curved vertical line to the right of the circle.
Upper and Lower Case A
You can also use this activity for children struggling with “B” and “D”. Have them go through magazines and cut out upper and lowercase B’s and D’s. Then, have them separate the letters on the board and put the B’s on one side and the D’s on the other. This will help them with both font differentiation and recognizing the difference between B and D.
Notice that all the B's have their bellies pointing to the right. We say, "The Bbs like to walk (all going the same direction), while the Dd's like to talk (bellies facing each other).
Another variation of this activity is to have children find commonly used sight words throughout the magazine and have them cut them out. Examples of this could be to have them find the word an, at, as or and! This will help with overall word recognition.
Lastly, this activity can also be used to help children learn word patterns. Select a pattern and have children go through the magazine looking for it. They will have to search through words to find the pattern and cut it out. Examples of sound spellings include: OW, AI, EE, EA, CH, AY, etc.
You can keep the posters on hand for when you find your child struggling. Showing children the poster again can be a good refresher if they get stuck on a font they don’t recognize!