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Terrington St Clement Community School

A traditional school with traditional values

Fun phonics ideas to play at home

Fun phonics ideas to play at home

Most of these games are based upon identifying sounds in words. The easiest way to know how to spell a word is to listen for the sounds in that word. Even with the tricky words an understanding of letter sounds can help. Start by having your child listen for the first sound in a word. Games like I-Spy are ideal for this. Next try listening for the end sounds, as the middle sound of a word is the hardest to hear. Begin with simple three-letter words such as cat or hot. A good idea is to say a word and tap out the sounds. Three taps means three sounds. Say each sound as you tap. Take care with digraphs. The word fish, for example, has four letters but only three sounds, f-i-sh.

Ways you can support your child at home

Mood Sounds - Say a letter sound and ask the children to repeat it. Ask the children to say the sound as if they were angry, happy, frightened etc.

Splat the letter! Write graphemes on individual pieces of paper/post it notes, you say a letter sound and your child splats the correct grapheme with a fly swat! Or simply their hand.  

Box of sounds- place cards with letters on in to a box. Children choose a letter and say the sound it makes. They could then match the letter to an object or picture of something beginning with that sound.

Sound sorting- gather a selection of objects from around the house and sort them in to tubs labelled with the letter sound that the object begins with. 

Bucket of sounds – Label 3 or 4 buckets or ice cream tubs with a grapheme on each, say a sound and your child throws a ball in to the matching bucket and says the sound. 

Gobbler/Muncher Game - Use a cereal box to make a person. E.g. Gordon the gobbler. Have a large hole for the mouth. Collect a variety of objects beginning with 2 different sounds. Ask your child to select an object from your tray that begins with a certain sound. Children feed the object to the gobbler who replies with an “mmmm” sound if they are correct.

Hoop game - Get 2 hoops, trays or plates and place a letter card on each of them e.g. s and a. Have a variety of objects beginning with these 2 sounds. Ask your child to select an object and say the name of it. Repeat it several times and then ask your child to place it on the correct letter tray.

What’s in the box? Place ‘post its’ with simple words on, in to a box or bag. Children choose a word, sound talk it and blend the sounds to read the word. They could then match this to a picture or an object. This game can be adapted to use segmenting. Children choose a picture from the box, sound talk it, they could match it to a word, or have a go at writing the word.

Rogue Sound Game - Show a variety of objects to your child. All of the objects to have the same initial sound except for one item. Children to identify which is the rogue item. E.g. sun, sausages, cup, scissors.

Bingo - Bingo boards can easily be made to suit the ability of your child. You can use them in a variety of different ways to help your child learn the letter sounds. Make a board containing 6 letters of the alphabet. Then make a set of 6 letter cards that match the board. You can make 2 boards to play a matching game with your child or one of you could be the bingo caller and say the letter on the cards and the other person finds the letter on their board and puts a counter or toy on it. You can just match the letters or you could have some objects to match to the letter boards. Your child can then pick an object and place it on the correct letter to show what sound the object begins with.

Common word bingo- write 4 common words on a piece of paper, then write them and a few more on to ‘post its’, place in to a bag. The bingo caller says a word then your child crosses it off, if they have a matching one, on their bingo board. Start off with the bingo caller showing them the word, then see if they can identify the word without it being shown.

Croaker - Introduce a puppet to your child. Explain that it is finding it hard to say some words. Ask your child to select an object out of a bag. The puppet pronounces it incorrectly – maybe missing off the initial or end sound. The children help the puppet say the word correctly emphasising the part of the word that was missing. E.g. The puppet says ‘encil’ the child can say the word correctly ‘pencil’ and then the adult can emphasise the ‘p’ sound that was missing.

Run to the word- write 4 words on separate pieces of paper, or write them in chalk outside. You ‘sound talk’ a word and your child runs to the word and reads the word by blending the sounds together.

Silly sentences – Choose a word or picture and make up a silly sentence using that word.

Quick write- say a letter sound and your child has a go at writing the letters that make the sound.

Countdown- make a list of words. See if your child can sound talk, blend and read them before the time runs out on an egg timer.