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Five Fun Phonics Games for Children

Updated on October 23, 2012

Making Phonics Fun!

Research has shown that strong phonics skills are important for improving children’s ability to decode words in reading. It is an essential building block for becoming a successful reader. Playing games to keep the learning fun is a great way to teach children phonics. Games are a powerful learning tool and capture the interest of the learner. The following are five phonics games that are selected for their ability to motivate reading and deliver fun in the learning process.

Fun Phonics Games

The first phonics game is one that will also get children moving. It is called Alphabet Detective. Simply hide a few magnetic letters in a defined area. Give children an envelope with the hidden letters written on the front. Children must go on a hunt to find them and put them in the envelope. The game could also include a timer to track how long it takes to find all the hidden letters.

Fun Phonics Song for Teaching Letter Names

The second phonics game, that is sure to provide hours of fun, is played with a collection of upper and lowercase letter cards. Help children learn to identify letters by playing a game like Concentration. Start with four or more pairs of upper and lower case letter cards. Set them face down and take turns turning over two at a time to match letters.Other games might include versions of fish or war. Card games facilitate a positive interaction with children and provide a motivating way for them to learn their letters and sounds.

The third phonics game, called letter hop, is a great way to get children moving around. Simply take sidewalk chalk and draw letters on the pavement. When one of the letters is called out children must hop onto the correct one. The game can be played by calling out either the letter name or sound. An indoor version of the game can be played with a chart of random letters. When letter names or sounds are called out, children must hop their finger around by pointing to the correct letters. To make it challenging say the letters faster. Try this game using magnetic letters arranged on the lower part of the fridge, for children to search and find.

Fun Video Song for Teaching Letter Sounds

The fourth phonics game is one that can be played anywhere and anytime. It is the letter version of the game eye spy. Instead of spying for things that are a certain colour, children spy for things that begin with a particular letter. For instance, I spy with my little eye something that begins with P. This game can be played waiting in the doctor’s office, driving on trips, or just sitting in the park. A slightly different version of the game is to say a letter and have children brainstorm as many words as they can, that begin with the sound.

The fifth phonics game is one that is easily incorporated into story time and is called Cover Up. Read a sentence in a book and then cover up one of the words. Read the sentence again and ask children to say the letters they think are in the word that is covered up. It is important to note that children should not be expected to say all the letters of the word. Start by asking what they think the first letter or last letter of the word is. To help with phonemic awareness ensure children say the word out loud themselves before trying to guess the letters. This game is a stepping stone to helping children apply phonics skills in reading.

Games for Learning!

Using games to keep the learning fun and engaging for children is an important way to teach essential phonics skills. Games are a motivating way to build a strong foundation of letter knowledge and support reading success in children. The five phonics games introduced in this article are only the tip of the iceberg, for all the different games that can be played to make learning fun. Just think of all the games that can be created for the purpose of learning new words! If you ever do get stuck on new games to play just ask a child to create one. Chances are they will have some very good suggestions!


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    • Sturgeonl profile image

      Sturgeonl 6 years ago

      Motivating children is a constant challenge so having a large reference of things to do is a must. I am glad you like the videos. Thanks teaches12345.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 6 years ago

      I absolutely love this hub! Well done! I know many teachers who can use this information to teach important skills through fun activities. Catchy song on the video which helps the teaching of the letters. Voted up!