by Naomi Simmons
In the last article, we talked about how phonics helps children learn to read and write English by learning the relationship between sounds and letters. If you did not see this article, click here to read it.
Let’s look at ways to help your child with phonics at home. Here are some ideas.
Note: For the activities below, make sure you only use the English letters and sounds you child has learned, along with known words that begin with these letters. If they are using teachkidsenglish.com, check out the curriculum to see what they learned.
1. I spy
I spy is a very popular children’s game in the English speaking world. Make sure objects that begin with the sounds your child knows are in view.
1. Choose an object beginning with the letter. Your child has to guess what it is.
2. Say, “I spy with my little eye, something beginning with ‘b’.
3. The child looks around and says the name of anything beginning with ‘b’, for example, ball, book, boy.
4. Say Yes or No, until they guess correctly. If they say a word that does not begin with the correct letter, say Cat does not begin with ‘b’. Try again.
5. Continue in this way with other letters your child knows.
Give a point or a small reward every time your child guesses correctly.
2. Draw letters in the air or in sand
1. Say a letter sound, for example, ‘d’. Your child repeats the sound and draws large letters Dd in the air. Make sure they draw both the capital and small letters.
2. Continue in this way with the letters they know.
Variation: To make this more challenging, say a word that begins with the letter, for example, dog. The child then draws letters D d in the air.
If you have access to sand, ask your child to draw the letters in the sand with his/her fingers.
Note: You need two sets of letter cards for this activity. See below on how to get them.
1. Shuffle the letter cards together and divide into two piles. Give one pile to your child face down, so that you cannot see the pictures on the cards.
2. Take turns to take a card from your piles and place them front up to reveal the letter. These cards will form a new pile for each of you.
3. You and your child say the letter sound in English as you place each card, e.g. ‘b’, ‘c’.
4. When two letters are the same, the first player to shout SNAP! followed by the correct sounds wins the point, e.g. Snap. ‘b’.
5. Continue in this way. When all the cards are revealed, the player with the most points is the winner.
Variation: You can also play with the phonics picture cards, to match the letters to objects that begin with the same letters, for example, d – dog.
Note: You can make your own letter cards, or use our letter and picture phonics cards. They are available free with 3 and 12 month membership of teachkidsenglish.com. Click here to join. Or you can buy our set of cards and activities at our shop. Click here to buy them.
Good luck and wishing your child lots of success with phonics.