Using games is a great way to start teaching children letter recognition of the English alphabet and eventually phonics.

Phonics games can easily be created from the usual activities and games that children indulge in. With some creativity, the list of teaching games that can be created is endless!

Let’s look at 5 possibilities below.

  1. Simon Says is an almost mandatory game to play with children when you are trying to teach them anything at all. Start the game with silly antics like “Simon says, touch your nose or kick the balloon“, and move on to “Simon says read the first word on the chart or list“. Obviously, the parent would have to prepare a chart or a list in advance.
  2. Ice Cream Pick needs some committed preparatory work by the parent. First, the parent or educator has to grab a hold of a bunch of ice cream sticks and on both sides of the same end of each stick, write a simple word. For example, 1 ice cream stick will have the word “apple” written on one side and the word “pear” written on the other side. Both these words should be written on the same end of the stick. Then parents can place all the sticks into a cup. The ends with the words should be placed inside the cup so the empty ends are sticking out. The game is now ready to play. Children now have to pick one stick at a time from the cup and read both words. Parents will have to teach them how to read the words if they are struggling. Things can be kept exciting if parents include an ice cream stick that acts as a reward, for example if children pick that stick – they get a piece of chocolate. With some creative manipulation, parents can ensure that the reward stick only appears when the phonics lesson is about to end!
  3.  Balloon Mash also requires some preparatory work by the parent. The educator or parent has to first blow up a set of balloons, then write unique letter combinations on each. For example,  1 balloon could be labelled with “aa“, another with “ba” and another with “cha“. It really depends on how advanced the children are with phonics mastery. Once all the balloons have been labelled, parents can start the game. The game works by telling the child to kick the balloon making the sound “aa“. The child then runs through the bunch of balloons and kicks the appropriate one when he or she finds it. This game is an excellent tool for teaching letter recognition as well.
  4. Sound Sorting is exciting to the child, because it makes use of the child’s personal toys. This game requires slightly less preparatory work than the earlier two. First, parents or educators will have to collect about 10 to 20 of the child’s toys – ideally each starting with as many different letter-sound combinations as possible. Then the parent would have to draw circles on the floor with chalk (or if drawing on the floor is not really an option, they can use Post It notes to create labels). Each circle would be labelled with a unique letter sound combination. For example, the parent may have collected the following 3 toys : a soft toy of a pear, a toy truck and a water gun. The parent would have to draw three circles, one labelled “pe“, one labelled “t” and the last one labelled “wa“. During the game, the parent tells the child to place the “pear” in the circle with the same starting sound. The child has to then proceed to place the soft toy of the pear in the circle labelled “pe“, while saying the sound out loud.
  5. Phonics scrap booking can be an intensely fun way to teach children phonics quickly, although this technically is not a game. All the props needed here are easy to find – a suitable empty book, glue, scissors and some magazines (advertisement coupons). Children and parents then sit down and flip through the magazines and coupons looking for interesting items. Children will have many questions as they may see many things for first time, like tents and fishing poles or motorcycle spare parts and elaborate perfume bottles. When any particular item really catches your child’s eye – cut out the image of it and add it to the scrap book, while teaching your child how to pronounce the name of the item and how to spell it. This method has tremendous learning value because the child will be very focused throughout the activity.

So there you have it – 5 ways to teach your child phonics using fun methods. If you have any suggestions to make, please feel free to leave your comments down below.

Brought to you by the KidsEnglishCollege™ Editorial Team.

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