There is a Japanese game called Karuta. In it, there are two decks. One deck has cards with the first few lines of a poem, and the other has cards with the full poem. Someone takes a card from the first deck and reads it out. The second deck is laid out, poem and illustration side up. You slap your hand down on the card with the full poem.
B has played a couple of versions of this. For each of them, the calling deck is just the hiragana and the slapping deck is pictures. You slap the pictures that starts with that hiragana. So the teacher might call 'a' and you could slap 'aka' or 'ari'. In one version the pictures are more like little paintings and there is only one correct answer. In the other there are several correct answers.
I had been looking for a deck for home. I haven't been able to find one, so today I started making one.
I used slightly heavier than regular paper. I cut a sheet of white into 16 and carefully wrote the first 16 hiragana on them in my neatest....writing? I cut several sheets of green into 8ths and on them I drew little pictures of things that started with the first 16 hiragana. I mostly used words that B already knows and added a couple of words that he doesn't. I wrote the words in hiragana on one corner of the cards so that we could practice reading them.
This was a great way to practice recognizing hiragana and he quickly picked up a new word.
I still wish I could find a Karuta deck for kids because the illustrations would be nicer, but I think this will work because I can keep the words comfortable for him. He likes it and we will probably play it several times this week. (If nothing else, it's an inexpensive way to build his vocabulary).
It occurs to me that if we were still working on letter recognition in English, this would be good for that as well. It's a bit better as a vocabulary builder, but if I didn't say the letter then he'd have had to figure it out. I'll make some for French as well when we start French in earnest.
This one new thing is making me feel much more energized for this week. I made a couple more cards for tomorrow morning and will add a few each time we play.