Early memory about language

My earliest memory of consciously exploring language is a child’s activity called (I think) ‘Mix and Match’, which I had when I was about 5 or 6. Searching on the internet earlier today, I couldn’t find any reference to this. There were about 12 large cards, each with nine beginnings of words (one or two consonants – I now know the technical term ‘onset’) in a 3 x 3 grid, and about 50 small cards, each with one end of a word (one or two vowels and one or two consonants) (technical term ‘rime’). The letters on the large card had a thick coloured border around the left side and half of the top and bottom, and the letters on the small cards had a similar border around the right side and half of the top and bottom, in a variety of colours. After choosing a large card at random, the task was to form words using the small card, chosen at random. The first time through, you also had to match the colour (which cut down the number of possible combinations). The second time through, you were allowed to mix the colours. I remember being fascinated that the pronunciation of the ends changed as you joined them to to different beginnings, eg ‘ear’ and ‘hear’ but ‘wear’.
I don’t know what happened to that. None of my sisters ever mentioned it, not even when their children were that age.


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