It’s been half term this last week & although we haven’t been in school, I thought I would share a few of the phonics activities we enjoy. I don’t often share what we do as I rarely have the opportunity to take photos when I am immersed in the activity with the children, but I am often asked questions about what we do. My classroom is too small to have a designated area for it, unfortunately, but we obviously complete lots of activities to support the children’s development in this area.
We follow ‘Letters and Sounds’ in my school & my class (3 & 4 year olds) work on Phase 1 for most of the year. Of course, I also often have children who are ready for Phase 2 & we are encouraged to begin this phase at the end of the school year. The photos here are activities that have maybe been completed in previous years as well as more recent pictures. None of them are new ideas & lots are games taken directly from the Letters and Sounds scheme…
I Spy Games
It takes a long time for the children to be able to hear the sounds in words & lots of the games in Phase 1 are designed to support children develop this skill. The game, ‘I Spy’ seems to have been around forever & is such an easy game to play. I’ve found that just providing a few objects to select from when playing helps, in the early stages. I might only start with 3 objects on a tray to begin with – & of course it’s important that they know what these objects are called!
Matching Initial Sounds
I prefer to use real objects but sometimes it’s not possible, so I use pictures instead.
Creating Simple Words
If you don’t have any magnetic boards, cheap baking trays work just as well.
Simple phoneme frames are useful for this too (sorry for the out-of-focus photo, I can’t find the others at the moment)…
If you’d like a copy of my phoneme grids (cvc & ccvc), you can download them here…
CVC words on tin cans
I like the children to see real handwriting as well as printed letters, so this was a really simple activity to set up…
Magnetic Letter Hunt
… for specific letters, letters from names, letters to sort etc, etc
Letters & Light Play
These acrylic letters were bought from Cosy a couple of years ago & are fab to link with light play…
On the OHP
On the Lightbox
Bottle Top Words
So many examples of this on Pinterest! We’ve used them to create simple cvc words.
Capital Letter Recognition
One of my little girls was working on recognising capital letters as she was confident with lower case & I set this up after seeing something similar on Pinterest.
Again, there are lots of examples of this on Pinterest. These particular ones are also for simple cvc words.
I used a whiteboard pen on a mirror in this case, but of course simple letters on paper would do the same thing!
Here I used chalk & left a space for the letter to be created independently at the side of it.
Creating Letter Shapes
… with loose parts.
Rhyming is a big part of Phase One. I loved the way The Imagination Tree presented her rhyming activity & got this idea from there.
I varnished letter stickers to these stones – lowercase on one side, & capital letters on the other…
Previously Shared Photos
Alphabet Butter Beans
I used a permanent marker to write the letters on the butter beans…
Creating CVC Words
Junior Scrabble letters are great for this as they are lower case.
Phase One Socks & Shakers Game
Most of the children were just playing with these, but a few were able to sound out simple cvc words.
The stamps intended for use with ink were not ideal with play dough as the little rubber pieces started pulling off after lots of use.
Name Recognition Activities
Letters written with permanent marker on glass nuggets (it was necessary to put a little varnish over these after a while, as the letters were rubbing off).
Finding the correct letters to make their names & then using fine-motor skills to decorate them…
If you’d like a copy of my letter outlines, they are here: Letter outlines from Rachel (“,)
Hunting for letters from their names…
Simple hunt in rainbow rice.
This was obviously from Halloween, but it works just as well with a simple saucepan!
This was not something I asked this little girl to do. She was playing with the letters & told me she knew the alphabet. When I gave her the baking tray, she chose to place the letters in order, checking them as she went along…
Fine Motor & Phonics
Look at how one little girl made the word ‘Juliet’…
Phonics & the iPad
I shared this post back in August after an ICT Consultant used the iPad to support some phonics work…
Handwriting often links in with phonics activities & I provide lots of opportunities for this.
The pattern cards I shared with you in my Bonfire Night post are popular & are free to download from there if you wish a copy.
Simple Letter Writing
We use our fingers (or brushes/cotton buds etc) to make marks & attempt to write letters in various mediums as it helps those who don’t yet have finger strength or much control with a pencil. Here are a few examples of the mediums we might use…
Hope you found some of these useful.
Thanks for reading!
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– Rachel (“,)