DIY Phonics Phones

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So the other day I was chatting with a friend who works with kids to help improve their reading skills. Our youngest daughter is in kindergarten and is learning to read.  She was born in Ethiopia and has been part of our family for two years.  She is the cutest little thing and so excited to learn! She still has the sweetest little accent that I never want to go away, But that cute little accent makes it extra tough for her to sound out words, making learning to read challenging.  Anyway my friend suggest using a little homemade tool using PVC pipe  shaped like a phone "phonics phone", they use them all the time in schools to help kids learn to read!   Kids speak into one end and hear themselves in the other end, thus hearing what they sound like and the pronunciation on the words. Great idea! Long story short, I thought this would also be a great tool for learning math times tables. My son would go nuts to make his own "tool" then repeat his tables to himself!  You can buy all the parts at your local hardware store and even get some art education in by having the kids paint them, sparkle them, write, ect... Make learning FUN!

Directions/Instructions for Making the Phones:
1) Standard elbow-straight pipe-elbow version:
Materials: For each phone you will need a section of straight PVC pipe and two corresponding diameter elbows
-Cut the PVC straight pipe ( ½”, ¾” or 1” in diameter) into the desired 3” to 5” length
-Place a 90 degree elbow on each end and push together

2) The larger connecting elbow phone:
Materials: For this larger size version of the phone you will need two 1.5” connecting 90 degree elbows.
-Purchase the female and male end and slip the two elbows together. (Connect the 1 ½" PVC 90 degree elbow to a 1 ½" PVC 90 degree street elbow). It cost just under $2/phone for this option. Some teachers prefer this larger size and ease of construction (no cutting).