Reading games that make phonics easy

You asked, we’ve provided.

After the success of How to Teach Phonics, we’ve devised another 5 ideas to make learning phonics easy. This continues from where the first post left off, so we advise having a look there first, if you haven’t already.

Move up a level! After the first sounds s, a, t, p, i, n, m, d, g and o your child will be moving on to learn a new set of sounds. The combination ‘ck’ is one of these.

Sing a song together that has words with the ‘ck’ sound in it. – handily, Hickory Dickory Dock has lots of them! Each time you sing a ‘ck’ word (Hickory Dickory Dock, clock, struck), ask your child to do a made-up action. It’ll make it more fun and interactive and help them to remember the sound.

You can combine other ‘ck’ words and actions, too. Ask them to pick up some things and say ‘pick!’ each time, or kick a ball if you’re outside.

Hear it, do it: This game is like Simon says, but instead of listening for ‘Simon’ says, they listen out for a letter sound in an action.

First, choose a sound from this list: c, k, ck, e, u, r

Then say an action for them to do that has the sound in it. For example, the “u” sound might be run, jump or duck. Easy.

Learning useful words. In the first phonics post we gave a list of high frequency words for children to decorate and stick up on their walls. These words crop up again and again, and are useful when they’re reading.

They can now add more words to their wall: on, not, up, can, got, to, the, get, and, mum. Mum, of course, should get an extra big card with extra sparkles.

Introduce more sounds! Now they’re really motoring with the business of learning sounds, it’s time to introduce a few more: h, b, f and l. Try these activities…

h – collect a pile of hats. Then put them on and say hello in a different voice for each hat.

b – Draw then colour or collage a beautiful butterfly or a buzzy bee, then doodle on the letter b.

f – draw 5 fluffy, funny friends (people or sheep will do) and give them names like Flora, Felix, Fiona, Faye and Frank.

l – pretend to be a loopy llama licking a lemon! Or just say it as a tongue twister.

I Spy with my little eye… Play I Spy, but instead of always saying the first letter of the word, try a letter sound that can be found in the word instead. For example, spy something with an ‘a’ in it. (Hat! Cat! Dad!) I can see something that ends with the g sound. An egg!

Once you’ve tried these tips, move onto the ideas in our Phonics Made Easy post.