Build your collection of phonics resources with these 39 fantastic activities! Rather than attempting to explain confusing language rules to your students, expose them to the concepts through fun and dynamic learning experiences. These activities are designed to improve your students’ phonemic awareness and reading skills in a playful and enjoyable manner. Check out our exciting ideas to jazz up your phonics lessons!
1. Phonetic Spelling Activity
Spelling words phonetically, better known as spelling them out as they sound, is an important developmental milestone. Encourage your kiddos to sound out and pronounce words without worrying about conventional spelling rules. In doing so, you will improve their phonics recognition and overall reading fluency.
Learn more: Very Well Family
2. Playdough Phonics Mats
If you’re looking for a hands-on activity, why not use playdough? Provide your students with a mat depicting the outlines of letters, and guide them to use their play dough to craft 3D letters on it. Have them sound out each letter to improve their sound-letter association.
Learn more: Education to the Core
3. Rainbow Hop
Looking for a way to get your kids warmed up and ready to learn? Lay out colored paper circles, with each circle containing a letter. Have your kids start at one end of the rainbow and roll a die to see how many places they should move. As they hop from one letter to the next, ask them to shout out the sound of the letter that they land on.
Learn more: Fun Learning for Kids
4. Sound Cups
To help your kids with letter and sound recognition, try sound cups! Label 26 cups, each with a different letter of the alphabet. Then, give your kids an assortment of small objects and ask them to sort the objects by placing them into the correct cups.
Learn more: Pre-Kinders
5. Spin and Rhyme
This spin and rhyme game is a wonderful way to teach your kids how to sound out phonics and combine them to form words. To make it more interesting, challenge them to create silly rhymes and come up with similar-sounding words.
Learn more: No Time For Flash Cards
6. Four In a Row
This is a great activity for pairs! Group your learners and give each team a set of different colored markers. Have the pairs then take turns naming the object in a picture before coloring it in. The first to find four in a row that begin with the same letter sound wins!
Learn more: The Measured Mom
7. Alphabet Ball
Do your kids like to play ball? Incorporate it into your phonics lesson with this game! Call out a letter and have your students pass the ball around as they say words that begin with that letter.
Learn more: Hands-On As We Grow
8. Stretch It Out
To help your learners better pronounce a word, encourage them to stretch it out. This activity helps you do just that – literally! Tape letters on an elastic band and have your kids stretch them apart to sound out the letters individually. Then, guide them to move their hands closer together, eventually blending the sounds until they finally say the word.
Learn more: Hands-On As We Grow
Kaboom is a simple activity that is useful in solidifying your learners’ phonics knowledge and increasing their vocabulary. Place ice cream sticks with letters written on one end inside a cup. Have your little ones then pull them out one by one and think of a word beginning with that letter.
Learn more: Fun Learning for Kids
10. Which One Doesn’t Belong
Build phonological awareness in your students by asking them to look at the card and the specified letter. Give them cards that each display a letter and a few images. Then, ask them to pick out one picture that doesn’t belong and explain what letter the wrong item begins with.
Learn more: Teachers Pay Teachers
11. Phonics Hopscotch
Take learning out onto the playground or even into your driveway at home! Have your students correctly sound out the letters or phonics combinations in the squares they land on before hopping onto the others.
Learn more: Instagram
12. Letter Sound Race
If you’re looking to stoke your learners’ competitive spirits, try this race activity! Sort your kiddos into teams and have them race to select the letter or phonics combination that you call out.
Learn more: Inspiration Laboratories
13. I Spy Phonics
Spice things up with a game of I Spy! Instead of colors or shapes, instruct your kiddos to look for items based on their initial sounds. For example, “I spy something that starts with ‘m’.”
Learn More: Twinkl
14. Phonics Discovery Bottle
For a playful phonics activity, try making a Discovery Bottle! Find little objects that begin with each letter of the alphabet and add them to a bottle with some colorful rice. Have your kids then sound out each letter of the alphabet and find a corresponding item hidden in the bottle.
Learn more: The Imagination Tree
15. Write the Room
These write-the-room activities are the perfect print resource for you! They contain picture cards that you can hang around the room and a recording sheet for your little ones. Ask them to utter the sound that a picture starts with, and then proceed to mark it off on their activity sheet.
Learn more: ABCs of Literacy
16. Mystery Mitten Matching
This simple matching activity neatly incorporates phonics learning. Hide a foam or magnetic letter under a mitten and call out four words that start with the letter. Ask your students to listen carefully and then say the sound repeated in those words. Then, ask them to guess the letter you’ve hidden!
Learn more: Growing Book By Book
17. Play in Pairs Phonics Activity
Looking for a slightly advanced phonics activity for your older learners? This one fits the bill! Have your students work together in pairs to play games that’ll help them read multisyllabic words.
Learn more: What I Have Learned Teaching
18. Sound Matching Popsicles
This is another fantastic matching game to make phonics more interesting! Create A-Z alphabet popsicles and laminate them so that they remain in good shape for years to come. Each popsicle has two halves: one with the letter and the other with a corresponding picture. Scramble the letters and pictures on a table, and then instruct your students to match them up to create popsicles.
Learn more: Play Dough To Potato
19. Counting Syllables
Why not use technology to assist you in building phonics recognition in your little ones? This simple counting syllables game will soon become one of their favorites!
Learn more: education.com
20. Draw the Sound
Try this activity to add an arty element to your lessons! Simply have your pupils draw pictures of objects that start or end with a specific sound. This will not only help you strengthen their ability to recognize sounds, but it’ll also inspire creativity.
Learn More: Read With Phonics
21. Invest In A Phonics Box Set
This box set works very well for your little Peppa Pig fans! It contains ten stories designed to help reinforce short vowel sounds and two workbooks to practice.
Learn more: Amazon
22. Phonics Flower Garden Problem Solving Game
This problem-solving game is an excellent resource to add some suspense and excitement to your lessons! It will engage your little ones in a mystery; allowing them to improve many phonics skills such as blending sounds and creating word clusters and suffixes.
Learn more: Twinkl
23. Phonics Crosswords
Who doesn’t love a good puzzle? Crosswords are a fantastic follow-up activity to your phonics lesson. They will help you expose your students to example words that contain the specific sound that you’re currently working on.
Learn more: Monster Phonics
24. Blending Sounds
Blending sounds is a fundamental skill in phonics and early literacy. With this simple game, you can improve your learners’ word-picture association and prompt them to identify consonant sounds and practice consonant blends.
Learn more: Youtube
25. Use Phonics Sheet Activities
These activity sheets are a wonderful addition to your lessons! They will help your little ones learn new sounds and practice letter formation, thus fostering their emergent writing skills.
Learn more: Jolly Learning
26. Phonics Bingo
To make it more enjoyable for your students to learn and practice sounds, try Phonics Bingo! Create Bingo cards with words that contain different sounds. Then, to play, clearly call out the phonemes and ask your little ones to mark off the matching squares on their cards.
Learn More: Word Mint
27. Alphabet Soup
Liven up your phonics lesson with this interactive activity! Fill a bowl with magnetic or foam letters and have your learners take turns to fish them out. Make your kiddos pronounce the phonetic sound of each letter and think of words that start with it.
Learn More: Coffee Cups and Crayons
28. Syllable Clap Game
Recognizing syllables is a fundamental phonics skill. Help your students master this with a simple game whereby they say a word and then clap for each syllable they hear. This lively activity will help you better their ability to break words into smaller parts.
Learn More: Teachers Pay Teachers
29. Phonics Hide and Seek
Looking for ways to transform learning into an adventure? This phonics exercise does just that! Hide cards containing letters or words around the room, and task your little ones with seeking them out. As they find each card, have them sound out what is written on it.
Learn More: Empowering Parents To Teach
30. Phonics Flip Book
Flip books are fantastic learning tools because of how interactive they are! Create a phonics version that features different beginning and ending sounds. By flipping through the pages, your students can create and read different words. This will help them explore different phonetic patterns and understand how sounds blend.
Learn More: Kids Activities Blog
31. Sand Writing
Incorporate sensory play into your lessons with this hands-on activity! Allow your pupils to write letters or words in a tray of sand or salt. To reinforce letter-sound relationships, encourage them to say each sound as they write!
Learn More: Learn With Play At Home
32. Letter Jump Game
If you’re keen to get your students moving, this activity is an excellent choice. Draw letters of the alphabet on the ground with chalk, spacing them out evenly. Have your kiddos jump from one letter to the next, shouting out the sound of the letter they land on. Or, you can call out different sounds and instruct them to land on the corresponding squares. Vary the instructions to keep them on their toes!
Learn More: The Imagination Tree
33. Phonics Charades
This versatile parlor game is a fantastic way to infuse liveliness into your lessons! Create a bunch of cards that each display a word. One at a time, have your students pick a card and then act out the word for the other students to guess.
Learn More: Polka Dots Please
34. Picture Sort
Transform learning into a creative exploration with this sorting activity! Provide your students with a collection of pictures and have them sort the images based on the initial or ending sound. What a fun way to practice sound recognition!
Learn More: This Reading Mama
35. Phonics Bean Bag Toss
For an action-packed lesson, try this entertaining game that involves throwing bean bags! Label different baskets with phonics sounds. Then, instruct your learners to toss a bean bag into a basket and come up with a word that contains the sound associated with that basket. Or, give them a word and have them throw bean bags into the basket for each sound in that word.
Learn More: Pride Reading Program
36. Word Chains
Word chains are excellent teaching tools for young children just starting to read. Have your little ones create chains by changing a word one letter at a time to form a new word (for example, cat – mat – map). This activity will help you build their blending and segmentation skills.
Learn More: The Six Shifts
37. Phonics Checkers
Give this classic game a phonics twist! Create a custom checkers game where each square is assigned a letter. As your students move their pieces, ask them to make the sound of the letter they land on.
Learn More: Meaningful Mama
38. Chalkboard Phonics
Why not take learning outside for a change? Have your kiddos practice writing different letters or words with chalk, saying the sounds out loud as they write. If they aren’t old enough to write just yet, you can draw the outlines of the letters and have your learners color them in.
Learn More: Rainy Day Mum
39. Sound Detective
This game is sure to add excitement to your class and challenge your little ones! Play a sound and have them identify the letter or letters that make up that sound.
Learn More: YouTube