Phonics and Reading Games : The Play-Way Method

Hello Everyone,

I know it’s been quite a long I haven’t updated my blog. I have been wanting to write about my son’s phonics learning journey for awhile now! But I could not really post anything about it, as I was really occupied with so many things happening around from last few days!!

So today, I am trying to put up this post together to share about few creative phonics games which I have found useful for my son since he was 2yrs old.

Instead of introducing names of the letters at the beginning, I started teaching my son the sounds of the letters.

Top 10 ways to introduce letter sounds to young kids 

The Play-Way teaching method is what I used while teaching my son about phonetic sounds.

1. Listening to the phonics Song

First of all, I started reading about phonics tutorials and started watching jolly phonics videos on Youtube channel. I also searched for a child friendly video to introduce letter sounds to Merog. But I never showed chu-chu tv phonics songs to my son because I found their phonics song kinda inappropriate and it is nowhere near to the actual phonics standards.

But I found this very useful video (attached below) on youtube. So, once a day we played this song A is for Apple for Merog, I also converted it into the audio file to play it in loop as a background music for my son while he remained busy in his daily activities.

 

“Children should learn each letter by its sound, not its name. For instance, the letter a should be called a (as in ant) not ai (as in aim).  Similarly, the letter n should be nn (as in net), not en. This will help in blending.

The names of each letter can follow later. ”

http://jollylearning.co.uk/

I had also to the referred jolly phonics videos (click here) before introducing sounds of the letters to my son, Merog :

2. Use of Alphabet Toys

Take any alphabet toy, blocks, magnets, or whatever you have and start playing phonics games.

I had bought the lower case alphabet puzzle tray for Merog to introduce him all the 26 letters.

(click here to buy it from firstcry) 

we also did lot of I-SPY phonics activities using sensory bin. We added 26 objects/flashcards starting with 26 letter sounds in rice/black eyed peas bin!

Using this bin we did lot of oral phonics work while sorting the objects as per it’s initial letter sound.

 

there are many creative ways to create simple activities at home and teach your younglings about phonics.

Actually I haven’t introduced all the phonics sounds to my son yet. I have recently started introducing him the “Digraphs – Two letter words that make one sound” when he is 3.5+ yo now and has little better understanding of phonics and reading (eg. ai, oa, ie, ee, or, ng, oo, oo, ch, sh, th, th, qu, ou, oi, ue, er and ar) But I am doing this only after he started recognizing sound of the letter ‘a/A’ as in Ant, “n/N as in net, etc.

3. Introducing sounds of the 26 alphabets using flashcards

When Merog was 22mo, I started introducing him lower case alphabets to him using colorful and visually interesting  26 letters flashcards. I thought of sticking these oversized flashcards on our bathroom door as it is the only place which is clearly visible from all corners of our bedroom. Ultimately, we utilized Merog’s potty time in “guess-the-sound game” like, a – a – apple, a – a – alligator, a – a – ant etc.  using our 26 sound flashcards (as shown below). This is how he learnt about sounding out the initial letter of the word, which was the first milestone of his phonics lessons journey.

 

4. “Feed the shark” game

We played it almost thrice a week without fail for at least 10 min a day

5. MakE a phonics train using hand painted wooden Jenga blocks

I had traced out the train track on a paper/White board using jenga blocks and wrote 26 alphabets on each compartment. I also colored the jenga blocks using different colors and wrote 26 alphabets on each wooden block/piece.

I kept this game board & the colorful alphabet wooden blocks on my son’s toy shelf and he always loved to play sound matching game using this set up.

6. Sound matching game using letter cards and pegs

I had cut out square cards from the colorful foam sheets and wrote the 2 letter sight words on those cards, I also made diy alphabet pegs and used to ask my son to match the letters and sound out the same while doing this fine motor activity.

Instead of making 2 letter word cards I would suggest you to make 26 letter-cards (1 letter on each card) and 26 letter-pegs. This activity allows your child to sound out different letters while matching them.

 

7. CVC word making

You can ask your child to practise phonics using these below simple diy activities. Check out all these activities in detail (here)

                                                                                Introduce how changing letters changes words.

8. Practising Phonics with Reading

These are few books that specifically support learning phonics and also good to practice CVC words . We practice phonics by reading out loud and focusing on highlighted CVC words in these books (shown in the below image). I ask my son to implement the phonics lessons and skills that I introduced to him recently by daily (Yes! daily) reading practice.

There are many books available in the market that specially focuses on phonics development in young kids.

9. Check out our CV (Consonant – Vowel) sound blendng exercise video on Youtube (click here) 

 

10. Give more reading opportunities! Let them read! Listen to them read!

They are early readers – keep giving them hints and help them if needed. Let them try to sound it out first and then move to the sound blending part. Don’t try to teach them everything at once. Just try to help them before they get frustrated and don’t want to continue reading.

Play-way method has lot of power to introduce early reading or any other learning skills in a natural manner. So keep teaching in a fun way!

I hope this article will be helpful to you all! And if you like it please don’t forget to comment and share! 🙂