If the thought of drilling your child with flashcards sounds unappealing for you and for them, try some of these other phonics activities that make learning more enjoyable. Whether you have a preschooler learning to recognize letters or a elementary student needing to practice sight or spelling words these activities can give them a boost. Breaking up the monotony, using various colors, multiple textures, and even going outside can turn a dull lesson into a mini adventure. Each activity is easy, fast to set up, requires minimal supplies, and is fun!
Quick and Easy Phonics Activities
To practice identifying letters or their sounds, place a handful of alphabet magnets on a cookie sheet, call out letters or the sound each letter makes, and have your child identify it on the board. Alphabet magnets and cookie sheets can both be picked up at Dollar Tree.
Cut letters from junk mail, food packages, magazines, and . Call out your child’s spelling words and have them create the word using the cut out letters.
“Write” letters or words on card stock with a hot glue gun, have your child place a piece of copy paper over the raised letters and scribble with a crayon to reveal the word. Multi-sensory activities are a great way to reinforce and make memorization really stick.
A fun way to practice matching upper and lowercase letters is to create your own dominoes on card stock. On each end write a capital and a different lowercase letter; you can go in alphabetical order or randomly. Demonstrate for your child how to link them together by matching upper and lower case letters.
One of our favorite ways to use flashcards, whether they are store bought or homemade is, to spread them on the ground and as I call them out I have the child hop (or leap) to it. This can also be done with sight words as well. Great for the kinesthetic learner.
Say It, Make It , Write It
I have seen several variations of this and it is a great way to practice site words. You can create your worksheet by hand or print it out. The top section is to write the word for your child to read, the second section is for your child to copy it using alpha magnets, or alpha blocks, and finally for them to write it in the third section.
Use flashcards or handwritten cards with sight or spelling words, provide your child with a pipe cleaner and alphabet beads, and have them recreate the word on the pipe cleaner. This is also a great fine motor activity that will strengthen your child’s hand muscles and help with handwriting.
Clip It Up
Grab a pack or two of clothespins at Dollar Tree, write on letter of the alphabet on the top of each clothespin, and have your child use the clothespins clipped on cards to practice spelling. Another great fine motor activity for little hands that will build writing skills .
Writing with Sand, Salt, or Shaving Cream
Place a shallow layer of any one of these items in a container, demonstrate to your child to write letters or sight words in the texture. Create flashcards and use them as the example for children to copy letters, or for pre-writing fine motor skills you can demonstrate lines, circles, squiggles, and other symbols and shapes for them to practice. This particular tray is from a Melissa & Doug Lacing Card Set; I thought it was put to better use this way.
Hide the alphabet around the house or yard. Use a variety of foam bath letters, blocks, alpha magnets, and wooden letters to teach your child to recognize the alphabet in various fonts. Have them search with a basket to collect them in and identify letters by calling them out as they are found.
What are some of your favorite activities to do with your child to strengthen reading or pre-reading skills?