106B. Waterlogged: Mixed Up Magnets

Activity Name: Mixed up Magnets

In “Waterlogged”, every time the ants pull out the letters L-O-G from the water, they think they have pulled out the wrong letters, since they are not in the right order to form the word log. Try this activity to have fun scrambling and unscrambling the names of some WordFriends™.

Related Episode: 106 B. Waterlogged
Age Range: 3-5
Skills: Learning the importance of letter order; Identifying the sounds of letters.
Subjects: Literacy and Language Development.


  • Pieces of paper.
  • Pen, pencil or crayons.
  • Scissors.
  • Magnetic Tape.

Note: Instead of making magnetic letters with the materials above, you can also play this activity with magnetic letters that you may already have in your home.


  1. Write down the name Frog on a sheet of paper. (Make sure to make spaces between the letters.) Note: If using pre-made magnets, find the letters F-R-O-G and skip to Step 4.
  2. Cut out the letters in the word Frog so that each letter is on a separate sheet of paper.
  3. Put magnetic tape on the back of each letter.
  4. Make the word Frog with your letters. Then move one letter in the word Frog to another place in the word to create a new, silly word.
  5. Read the new silly name aloud with your child, saying the sounds of each letter and then the new word. For example, if you get R-O-F-G, say each letter sound with your child — Rr-ah-fff-guh and then read, “rofg.”
    • Ask your child, “What happened to the word Frog?”
    • Discuss with your child why the word no longer says Frog.
    • Show your child how you can move the letter back again to create the word Frog.
    • Then show your child that if you move the same letter to another place in the word, that the word sounds different once again.
    • Discuss the importance of putting letters in a specific order to make a specific word.
  6. Have your child move around the letters of the word Frog again a few times to create more words. Read each new word aloud. After he has created several silly words, work together to make the word Frog again.
  7. When you are done playing, display the magnets on your refrigerator or other magnetic surface in your home.


  • Write the name of another WordFriend—like Pig or Ant—and follow steps 2-7 above.
  • Write out a few names and mix them all together (for example, Frog, Pig and Ant). See what silly words you can make by taking a few of the letters together and reading them aloud. Then try moving the letters around to get the names that you started with.

Take it Further:

Say the sound of one of the letters in your child’s name. Try to find things around the house that start with that sound or that have that sound somewhere in them.