Learning Phonics the fun way at home

Learning Phonics the fun way at home Cover Image

Speaking out sounds and words is at the heart of phonics, and it is therefore a simple and straightforward way of teaching that you can use confidently at home. You could introduce the sounds one at a time.

As a Preschool Educator, I observe parents often wondering why their children are not articulating the name of the letter and reciting some weird sounds. That’s Phonics! Phonics is basically the sound and letter association. Letter names don’t always sound the same as the actual sounds.

For instance, the letter name for “P” is pronounced with a long E sound after the letter sound: we say ‘pee’, but that’s not the same as the letter sound which is /puh/.

Many children find this difference confusing. So, instead of trying to teach the two sounds at the same time, it is helpful to focus on teaching the letter sound first. Speaking out sounds and words is at the heart of phonics, and it is therefore a simple and straightforward way of teaching that you can use confidently at home. You could introduce the sounds one at a time.

Given below is a peek through various activities with which you can reinforce each sound.

1. Letter hunt

Tell the sound of the letter which you are introducing, now ask your child to repeat the sound and find the letter associated with sound. You can ask your child to highlight the letter.

Phonics-Letter-Hunt, Greshma Momaya, At home

2. Form the letter

You can first start forming the letter with dough/pasta/noodles/flour and ask your child to say the sound of the letter. Then you can say the sound and ask your child to form the letter.

3. Action words

When you are doing your house chores activities, try and say out the sound and word while doing it like all action words. For e.g.- /s/ /s/ sit

Boil, cut, dirt, exercise, fun, give, hold, invite, join, keep, little, make, need, open, push, quick, roll, send, turn, under, visit, wait, yesterday, zip

4. Conversations

Similarly, you can use it in your daily conversations with your child.
For e.g – I am going to /buh/ buh/ bank Please give me an /a/a/ apple.
Drink your /muh/muh/ milk quickly. /fuh/fuh/ finish your /fuh/fuh/ food.

5. Hopscotch game

Once you are done with 6-8 sounds & letters you can play a game of Hopscotch with your child by writing the letters on the tiles.

Phonics-Hopscotch Game - education.com

Photo Courtesy: education.com

6. Objects hunt

You can provide a basket or a vessel to your child and ask him to collect all the objects he/she can see in the house beginning with the sound you are introducing.

Phonics-Sort-objects-into-phonics-baskets - theimaginationtree.com

Photo Courtesy: theimaginationtree.com

7. Alphabet exercise

Let’s do some alphabet exercise.

A – Act like a cat
B – Bend at the knees, balance your body
C – Chair pose
D – Dance
E – Elephant steps
F – Fly like a bird
G – Gallop
H – Hugs
I – Itsy bitsy steps
J – Jump
K – Kick
L – Leg lifts
M – March
N – Noisy steps
O – Open and shut arms
P – Pop up
Q – Quiet hops
R – Runs
S – Side steps
T – Turn around
U – Under momma’s legs / under table
V – Vacuum
W – Wiggles
X – “X” jumping jacks
Y – Yoga (downward dog)
Z – Zig zag steps

I use some of the above mentioned activities in my classes as well so they are tried and tested. Please try these activities and let me know your experiences in the comment section.

We’ll be coming up with more articles on phonics as it’s not just about sounds. It has a lot more.

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