Fifteen quick minutes of fun.
Arden's reading has now progressed to the point at which we can swap the vowels in and out of one syllable words: hat, het, hit, hot, hut, as you see here. When we come to a non-sense syllable I just tell Arden, this isn't a real word, this is just a silly sound but lets practice saying it. He's five. He knows a lot of silly sounds.
There we were, at the white board. After he read the word hat, I drew the first little green hat on the top of the "h." From then on Arden was busy adding irresistibly cute faces to each vowel, and hats, because that's what started it all. Then the "u" needed some sort of shelter from the elements, naturally it was a hut. It's so fun to see what he creates once we get started.
Then I was done. Fifteen minutes or less. Stop while he's still interested. In fact, he drew a few more pictures on the board, by himself, before he wandered away. Today I read (in Why Johnny Still Can't Read) that adding pictures to a reading text actually distracts a child from the task at hand, reading, and doesn't add to their comprehension level. There may be no educational advantage to drawing hats and smiley faces in the vowels, but it sure is fun.