Are you looking for some unique phonics games for your students to practice letter practice, word families, CVC, CVCe words, digraphs etc? I made a list of 13 different ways to practice phonics. Early childhood is all about visuals. Kids learn best when they see a visual representation in their learning. The repetition helps build that foundation as they continue to learn and explore through play. Pick and choose a the phonics games that work best for you and your students. Thanks for stopping by!
1. Alphabet Clips
I use sentence strips and write the alphabet on each strip in different colors. I also match the same color to the clothes pins. It is done this way so a group of students working at the same table can pick their own color combo and the pieces won’t get all mixed up. In this case I have students match uppercase to uppercase, but it can be changed up where they match upper to lower too.
2. Phonics sorting – concepts of print
This phonics game gets students familiar with concepts of print. It is fun for them to sort out the letters, words, and pictures into the 3 categories. I like to have this at a center that we use for the week and make it reusable each year so that’s why I place it in a sheet protector and laminate each of the cards. You could always make it a take-home activity where they actually glue the pieces down to their mat too.
3. Name building
A lot of students come to kindergarten or preschool not able to write their name. Or a lot only learned their name with only using uppercase letters. This activity helps them piece their name together like a puzzle. I use a sentence strip where I write their name on one for reference, and cut up their name on another. As an extension, you can have your students practice writing their name on lined paper.
4. Sensory bins
You can never go wrong with sensory bins! They are great for phonics games! Whether you want to add rice, sand, noodles, beans, shredded paper, water, water beads, kinetic sand… the options are endless. Here are a few phonics sensory bin ideas:
- fishing out magnetic letters hidden in any of the mediums suggested above with magnets
- sound matching sensory bin – students fish out objects and place that object onto a letter mat.
- alphabet search – students find letters and place them onto a mat in ABC order while using shovels or tweezers
- rhyming words – place objects or pictures of objects that rhyme. Students need to find the pairs.
5. Play dough practice
Play dough has so many functions! Besides being a great tool to strengthen those hand muscles, you can also use them to form letters and segment words. In my small guided reading group I like to give students balls of play dough. I usually start with CVC words so each student would get 3 balls. When they segment each sound they squish down each ball. This is a great visual for students to recognize each sound in the word. Another fun way to use play dough is to create letters. This can be done on top of a letter mat for extra guidance or done without. It’s also fun to make their names in play dough too! Here is an example of doing the letter formation on top of a mat.
6. Roll a word
I love using dice when incorporating phonics games into learning. I found these dry erase blocks last year at Target in their dollar spot/Bullseyes Playground section for $3!
These blocks would be great for writing letters on them so students can practice rolling CVC words. Or you could do roll a word family too! If I were to do roll a CVC word, I would pick a different color for the medial sound and have the beginning and ending sound be the same color. A fun phonics game would also be to decipher between a real word and a silly (nonsense) word. Then they could write the real word in one column and the silly word in the other.
7. Felt Letters
I also found these letters at Target. I put up a large piece of felt on the wall, and had these felt animals that I found at a garage sale. Such a fun way to practice initial sounds!
Students love stickers! It’s so fun for them to trace letters or words with stickers. These are just dot stickers for labels. Super easy!!
This is a great phonics game you can play as an entire class or in a small group. There are many variations from initial sound, letter match, and rhyming words. I have found some at Lakeshore Learning as well as on Amazon.
10. Pipe cleaner words
I love using pipe cleaners as much as possible. If you can find some letters like these at your local craft store, they would be great to slide onto pipe cleaners to make words. Another way to use pipe cleaners is to help segment the sounds in words. The student moves a bead along the pipe cleaner as they say each sound in the word. Such a great visual!
There are SO many variations of puzzles for practicing phonics! Here are a few of my favorites that you can find at Target, Amazon, Lakeshore, The Dollar Store, TJ Maxx, etc…
I also offer FREE CVC puzzles here in my TpT store!
12. Bingo Daubers/Dot Markers
If you have some dot markers, these are SO fun to practice letter tracing or dotting a word. When tracing letters, I always make sure my students are saying the letter sound as they trace away.
13. Shaving Cream
Learning is always twice as fun when you can get a little messy! Place shaving cream in a long flat tray. Give students abc cards or words to practice and they will practice writing those words with their finger in the shaving cream. Other mediums to try are paint, sugar, kinetic sand, and gel (inside a Ziploc bag)
Like these phonics games? Pin this image so you can refer to it easily and often!
Here are a few of my favorite items from my Amazon Affiliate that ties into this blog post.
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