If you’re a teacher in the primary classroom, it’s probably safe to say that phonics makes up a HUGE part of your daily learning. Phonics is one of those subjects that requires continued practice and repetition for success, day after day. Now, if you aren’t careful…this could mean things can get a little boring. Luckily for you though, I’ve got just the remedy for that. Today I’ll be sharing my favorite fun phonics activities!
USE Different METHODS To Teach Phonics
The best way to keep students interested and engaged in learning is by providing variety in your lessons.
Students learn best when they are given many different opportunities to practice a familiar topic. In my classroom, I used a wide variety of phonics activities to keep things interesting and exciting for students. Some of the things we used regularly included:
- Hands-on learning activities during small groups
- Phonics manipulatives
- Phonics centers
- Phonics-based games
- Digital phonics activities
Using a blend of different activities will help ensure that students are getting what they need to succeed, no matter what their learning style may be. I find that offering a variety of activity types also helps to keep things interesting and maintain high levels of student engagement too.
Not sure where to start? You’re in luck! I’m sharing some fun and engaging phonics activities I know your students will love plus 3 FREE resources to get you started! Come along as we talk about making phonics fun!
HANDS-ON PHONICS ACTIVITIES
Children in the primary grades thrive with hands-on learning activities. For this reason, I was always intentional about including a variety of phonics activities that included tactile materials in our lessons. I loved using phonics manipulatives during centers to help students master short vowels, blends, digraphs, long vowels, CVCe words, and more. There are so many great materials out there but a few of my favorites include:
- Magnetic Letters: Grab a set like these with a different color for the vowels. This will come in handy during word work lessons in your small groups.
- Letter Stamps: This classroom favorite has endless uses and offers a fun alternative to writing letters. Use them with ink on paper or stamp them into play dough.
- Letter Linking Cubes: These are fun for building CVC and CVCe words. Pair these with a stack of word cards for an instant center activity!
- Playdough: All kids LOVE playdough and will instantly be more excited to practice word building when you break it out.
- Shaving Cream: Use a dab of shaving cream on a desk or tray to practice writing words and offer a fun, sensory activity that’s a bit out of the normal routine. As a bonus, your classroom will smell fresh and clean!
- Letter Beads: These jumbo letter beads are a fun way to practice building words during small groups and change things up a bit.
USING MANIPULATIVES IN PHONICS ACTIVITIES
Any of these sensory materials is a great place to start when it comes to building up your stock of tools for fun and engaging phonics activities. I loved to pair these materials with some hands-on Word Work center activities for in-depth phonics practice.
In my classroom, we would typically work on building new words with paper letter tiles or magnet letters in small groups as an introduction to a new phonics concept. Once kiddos get a handle on new words and sounds, I’d send them off to centers for practice.
Our practice activities included things like picture sound sorting games, “Stamp it” worksheets, word sorting games, and “Word Hunts”. By using a variety of hands-on activities to practice new phonics skills, you’ll be able to keep students interested while giving them the repetition they need for success.
After centers, I used assessments called “Word Work Checks” to quickly and easily gauge student progress. Based on the feedback you get, you can use these activities again or move on to a new concept.
I swore by this system when it came to teaching phonics since it made student engagement simple and could be used all year long as my kiddos built up their skillset. There are so many great resources out there for word work activities, but if you’d like to add a “done for you” lesson to your small groups and center time, be sure to check out the FREE Word Work Activities for Digraph “ng”. This freebie will give you a peek at exactly what you’ll be able to target within my Word Work Lessons and make keeping student interest a breeze.
Games make teaching any subject far more enjoyable and this is definitely true with phonics activities as well! When your students are tuckered out from a long day of learning, a game will still grab their attention and keep the practice rolling until that bell rings. When it comes to games, my all-time favorite will forever be BINGO!
BINGO is a great game for firsties since it’s easy to understand, adaptable to a variety of topics, and FUN! BINGO is great for teaching and practicing a variety of phonics topics like CVC words, blends, digraphs, and more! I love that it can be used during small groups, centers, and even whole-group instruction as well. When I was still in the classroom, this was my go-to late afternoon activity when the kiddos were tired and ready to head home. Playing BINGO is a great way to sneak in a little more learning without your students even knowing it!
Want to give phonics BINGO a try in your classroom? Be sure to grab my FREE CVC Word BINGO set! This freebie is jam-packed with 24 common CVC words and includes 30 cards, so you’ll be able to use this game with your whole class. If you’re anything like me, you’ll love the high engagement you see from adding BINGO to your phonics routine!
INCORPORATE DIGITAL PHONICS ACTIVITIES
Another way I have found to maintain student engagement in phonics activities is with the use of digital resources. Digital phonics activities are a great way to mix things up with your lessons and offer differentiated options for students in your classroom.
When it comes to digital phonics activities, I am partial to lessons on Google Slides, like these CVC Word Activities. Google Slides allows for use during whole group instruction or it can be assigned to individual students during center or for homework.
I love that digital activities offer a way to get even more phonics practice in without any extra prep.
I love fun center games as much as anyone else, but using a few digital activities along with them definitely lightens the load when it comes to prep time!
USING DIGITAL PHONICS ACTIVITIES
When using digital activities, you’ll want to keep in mind that you should opt for activities that will serve as reviews for students. Children will get the most out of digital activities if they are already familiar with the topic. Assigning digital activities on a brand new subject can cause overwhelm, so definitely try to stick with topics you’ve practiced in depth during small groups prior.
Digital CVC activities will mimic the hands-on learning style you used in your small groups. Students can continue to practice these concepts individually or with a partner during center time. The activities I like to use focus on:
- Naming a picture, stretching & saying CVC words
- Finding CVC words with specific vowels
- Reading CVC words in simple sentences
- Spelling CVC words with digital, movable letter pieces
- Sorting CVC words
- Matching CVC words to the correct picture
The slides I use also feature audio on each slide, which means kiddos can be fully independent in their phonics activities! The audio makes these great for centers, homework, independent technology stations, and early finishers. Not to mention, students LOVE any excuse to utilize technology, so it won’t take much coaxing to get them started.
GRAB A DIGITAL PHONICS FREEBIE
If you aren’t already using digital phonics activities, it’s time to get started! Grab this FREE, Digital CVC Word Spell the Room Activity to practice short A words. This freebie comes with 24 interactive slides that include audio. This is a great way to test out digital phonics activities in your classroom. Just be sure to pop the activity up on your screen first and show the students how it’s done before sending them off to independent centers. If you’re looking for more tips on incorporating digital activities, be sure to check out this post too!
GET STARTED WITH NEW PHONICS ACTIVITIES TODAY
Are you excited to plan some new, fun phonics activities? I hope so! I know how easy it can be to get stuck in a rut with your lessons, especially when it comes to phonics! Adding some variety with new activities will make learning more fun and engaging for you and your students. Get started refreshing your phonics lessons with the 3 freebies from this post or check out these resources from The Fun Times in First store.
SAVE THIS POST
Pin this post on your favorite classroom Pinterest board to make planning your phonics lessons a snap!