Friday, August 8, 2008


The more proficient your child gets at phonics the easier it will be to combine sounds into words. If you're homeschooling or reinforcing the phonics your child is learning in school, the following activities will reinforce the alphabet sounds and get your child ready for reading.

PHONICS SCAVENGER HUNT Place several pictures or objects around the room that represent the sound you are practicing. Don't forget to put a few other sound symbols in the room as well. This will ensure that your child will test the object for the sound before declaring a find.

BEACH BALL PHONICS requires you to section off a ball into many squares with a marker. Each square houses a letter of the alphabet. Toss the ball to your child, who recites the letter name and sound of the letter under their thumb. (S sounds ss, ss, ss)

PHONICS TOSS Paint the letters of the alphabet on a large foam board. Under each letter, cut a hole big enough for a small beanbag to fit through. Being sure not to cover the holes, glue or staple the board to a large cardboard box. Your child tosses a beanbag into one of the holes and says the sound.

SKIP JUMP SOUNDS Using lighter colored vinyl, cut out shapes, put a letter on each one with a marker, and tape them to the floor. Your child can jump from letter to letter, saying each sound as they land.

SEWING LETTERS is a great craft and letter recognition activity. Using poster board, draw and laminate 6"-8" block letters of the alphabet. Cut them out and punch holes around the perimeter of each letter about 1" apart. Using a large needle and yarn, have your child sew around each letter.

PHONICS RELAYS This is fun when there are two or more players. If you have an older sibling play, you can give them a handicap like counting to 5 one thousands before responding. Call out a letter sound and the children run to a chalkboard or dry erase board and print the letter of that sound. When they’re ready, modify this game to words or even short sentences.

WORD CONCENTRATION Make two sets of the common sight words on index cards, and lay them out 5-10 at a time. Have your child try to find a matching pair. It's fun to have a set of color words, number words, animals, and family members.

GIANT SCRABBLE Make large letter tiles 12” squares out of poster board. Laminate them at an office supply place. Give clues like: drinks milk, has whiskers, is soft and cuddly, says meow. The first one to shout out CAT finds the letters C-A-T and makes the word cat. This can be done sitting at a table with letter tiles, but running to use large tiles adds more fun to the activity.

This is one of the most exciting times in your child's life, because they are learning so many new and exciting things. Decorate their room with everything they have made so they can show off to visitors. Have fun, try these phonics and reading activities, and create some of your own. The possibilities are endless.

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