Phonics is recommended as the first strategy that children should be taught in helping them learn to read. It runs alongside other teaching methods such as Guided Reading and Shared Reading to help children develop all the other vital reading skills and hopefully give them a real love of reading.
Phonics is designed to be fun as well as educational. Below are a few resources as well as ideas to support your child at home with their phonics learning.
Always remember Phonics should be fun! You don't need to spend a fortune on fancy resources, so get creative with the resources you have available around the house. You could write the phonics sounds on paper, bottle lids, empty cardboard boxes, empty bottles, yoghurt pots anything that you can save from the recycling bin! Adapt some of your child's favorite toys, using things they are already interested in will get them engaged.
Here are 8 ideas to make Phonics fun.
1. Write the phonics sounds on bottle tops and hide them around your house or garden. Ask your child to go on a treasure hunt. They could get a point for each one they find and read correctly.
2. Write sounds/tricky words on bottles and use them as skittles. Read a tricky word out to your child and see if they can roll a ball at the correct bottle to knock it down.
3.Write sounds/tricky words on paper and put them on chairs. Play a phonics version of musical chairs. When the music stops shout out a sound/tricky word and see if your child can find it.
4. Write sounds/ tricky words on paper/ sticky labels and stick them to toy cars/ ponies/ superheroes/ princess dolls whatever toys your child has. Next write the same sounds/words on pieces of paper. Can they say the sound/word and match the toy to the paper?
5. Pick 2-4 different sounds. Ask your child to find and collect objects from around the house that start with the sounds you have chosen. Get a bit of Maths in there too and ask them to count them!
6. Write some sounds/words on paper. Write duplicates and use them to play snap. Each time your child lays their card they must read the sound/word out loud.
7. Place the sounds/words face up on the floor. Read one out to your child can they find the correct one and give it to you? How many can they read and collect?
8. Write the sounds/ words on empty yoghurt pots. Put them in the bath or a water tray. Can your child find them hidden in the bubbles? Give them a point for each one they find and read correctly.
All children in Year 1 in England take a phonics screening check. It is designed to give teachers and parents information on how your child is progressing in phonics. It will help to identify whether your child needs additional support at this stage so that they do not fall behind in this vital early reading skill. As part of the phonics check children are given fake words ( alien words) the point of this is for them to use their phonics knowledge to de-code the sounds they have learnt. Although it is a long time yet until the current Year R's take part in this check it can be useful to give them some alien words to see which sounds they know and which ones still need practice.