Spray paint some cheap plastic baubles with chalkboard paint. You can now write letters on them for your child to arrange on the tree in the correct order to spell words. You could also write the letters of their name for them to put up in right order.
Leave out the chalk to encourage your child to write their own words and messages or Pre-School children to mark make patterns. My 20 month old loved joining in too!
A festive version of ‘Hodgepodge Hedgehogs’. Search this activity on the Facebook page.
Jumbled Word Gifts
Adapted version of Jumbled Word Bags
Adapted version of Dino Dash. Find the original activity by searching on the Facebook page.
Grinch Who Stole Christmas
A Christmas version of ‘Trick or Treat’. Find this activity on the Halloween page.
As it is the start of December next week and lots of us will be putting up our Christmas trees (I’ve given in to demands and putting it up on Saturday) I thought I would share another fun festive Phonics game in case you would like to put it into plans over the coming weeks. Again, like the Snowflake Race game I posted last week, all you need for this game is some masking tape, a dice, counters and some coloured paper or card. I taped out a tree outline onto a tray and then hand drew some lines to create spaces all the way to the top of the tree where I taped a star. In each space on the board write your focus graphemes. For this game I focus on the alternative graphemes (letters) for the same phoneme (sound) so I wrote ‘ee’, ‘ea’, ‘y’ and ‘ey’ all the way up the tree. Adapt this for the phase your child is working. It could just be a case of matching letters for a child in Phase 2. You then need to cut some circles out of the coloured paper/card to create baubles and on each write a word that contains one of the focus graphemes. The game can be played individually, with a partner or small group and there are two ways you could play:1. The players take it in turns to roll a dice and move that number of spaces. When they land on a space they take a bauble from the corresponding pile of words. So, for example they land on ‘y’ and pick a bauble from that pile (holly, jolly, funny etc), read the word and then place it on that space. They gain a point each time they place a bauble (record this on a separate piece of paper). If they land on a space that already has a bauble they don’t take a card or receive a point and pass to the next player. The winner is the one that reaches the star having placed the most baubles (got the most points) 2. If playing in a group shuffle the cards and share them out equally. Take it in turns to roll the dice. When a player lands on a space they see if they have a bauble with a corresponding grapheme (treat for an ‘ea’ space etc). If they haven’t got one they pass to the next player. The winner is the one that has the fewest baubles by the time everyone reaches the star.
Just set this up ready for next week. A great team game that can have up to 8 players. Perfect to put out as part of continuous provision, an activity during the practise section of a phonics lesson or a group activity during guided reading. I’ve set it up to prompt the recognition of Phase 5 graphemes but it can be easily adapted to letters of the alphabet, graphemes from other phases, tricky or high frequency words.
I used masking tape to create a snowflake outline on a tuff tray. Each needle (let’s just call them this as I’m not sure of the correct name ) needs 6 stops along it. On a dice I wrote a Phase 5 grapheme on each face and then wrote these onto each stop in different combinations for each player. So, for example one player has ‘ay, oy, ie, ea, ir, ou’ and another will have ‘ou, ir, ea, ie, oy and ay’. Each player will also need a counter. Take it in turns to roll the dice. Whoever has that grapheme on the next stop along the needle can move their counter along. Keep rolling the dice and moving the counters until a player gets to the middle and wins the game.
You could replicate this at home by drawing a snowflake on a large piece of paper. Write out the graphemes/words for each of the 8 needles and then your child can select one to play with. If they roll the dice and it’s not the grapheme/word on their next stop they just roll again. Choose a different needle and play again
A really fun festive way to encourage children to read tricky words (words that just need to be learnt by sight) but you can adapt to play with decodable words, graphemes from Phase 3 and 5 or I played with letters of the alphabet with my son. He absolutely loved this game and spent a long time playing with it. We changed the letters to numbers in the end too.
I made the toboggans from a small piece of cardboard and a kitchen foil tube. I also stuck on a couple of Duplo people and added some string. I used the side of a large carboard box as the hillside and then taped out some spaces at the bottom with masking tape. I then used some left over cardboard to make some quick word/letter cards.
Your child now literally pushes the toboggans down the hillside and then reads the word or say the sound wherever they land. Our game turned into a bit of a competition at the end to see who could get the furthest. A real hit in our house!
This playful printable is Day 13 of the Phonics Family Activity Advent. An easy one to replicate. Draw a bauble outline and choose a tricky word to focus on. Your child now writes that word as many times as they can to fill the bauble. They could write with different colours too. How many times can they write the word to help decorate the bauble? A good way to develop muscle memory for the recognition and spelling of those tricky words. I’ve used this activity several times over the last couple of weeks with Year 1 and they have really enjoyed the challenge.
Three socks, three pegs and a cardbaord box are all you need for this activity. An ideal way to support those children who struggle knowing which graphemes to use when writing words that contain a /c/ phoneme (sound). It provides a chance to really listen to where the phoneme comes within a word. In Phase 2 children learn the digraph ‘ck’ and if they hear a /c/ at the end of a word they need to use the grapheme ‘ck’ as in ‘sock’ and ‘duck’ when writing the word. Once children begin to learn the digraphs in Phase 3 they now learn the rule that if they hear a /c/ phoneme at the end of the word and it’s after a Phase 3 digraph (and not a short vowel) then they use ‘k’ when spelling the word as in ‘shark’ and ‘book’. If they hear a ‘c’ phoneme at the beginning of a word then it most commonly is a ‘c’ grapheme as in ‘cat’ and ‘cap’.
I made a few mini presents out of cardboard by stapling a little bows to the top and then drew some pictures that contained the /c/ phoneme either at the beginning or end. I hung three socks with a peg on the side of a box to make it look like stockings on a fireplace.
Your child takes a present from the sack and then sorts them into the correct stocking according to which grapheme the word uses. So depending on where they hear the /c/ phoneme will indicate which stocking to put the present in:Beginning – cEnd and after a short vowel – ckEnd and after a Phase 3 digraph – kYou could also leave out three bits of paper or cardboard and your child writes the ‘christmas list’ for each stocking.
Festive Phonics Phone
A really fun, practical spelling game! You could also play to support grapheme recognition and the reading of simple CVC words.I had a search around the house and gathered lots of small loose parts and household items that could act as sweets. I then put them out into trays and pots to create a pick and mix sweet shop. For each ‘sweet’ I wrote out a grapheme label onto a small piece of cardboard. You will also need some paper sweet bags. I had a couple of these lying around but you could just cut off the flap of an envelope or fold and tape some paper. On each of the sweet bags draw a picture, suitable for the phase your child is working, which can be decoded and they can have a good go at spelling. Put out some scoops and tongs too. Fab for fine motor practise and hand-eye coordination Your child looks at the picture on the sweet bag, ‘sounds out’ the word and then scoops some of the sweets from the corresponding pots to spell that word. So they have a picture of ‘sun’ on the bag and they take a scoop from the ‘s’, ‘u’ and ‘n’ pot.You could play with tricky words. You say the word and they scoop the sweets from the correct pots to spell the word. Alternatively for younger children you could just have letters on the bag and they scoop the right sweets from the pot with the matching letter. You could also have simple CVC words to match and spell. Leave it all out to encourage further role-play! ** Small loose parts can be a choke hazard. Only play with children who understand that the sweets are pretend and will not attempt to eat them **
A fun, practical festive way for children to explore rhyme and build words from the same word family (groups of words that have a common feature or pattern). I drew a couple of gingerbread houses onto the cut out sides of a cardboard box and wrote a word family onto each one (_ake and _eep). Adapt this for the phase your child is working. You could have ‘at’ and ‘ot’ for a child in Phase 2, the ‘_eep’ house would suit Phase 3 and the ‘_ake’ house for Phase 5.I also made some gingerbread Playdough by just adding some cinnamon to the standard non-cook Playdough recipe. It smells amazing! You’ll also need a gingerbread man cookie cutter and some letter stamps.
The idea would be for your child to create a gingerbread person out of the Playdough and then think of a word that fits with the word family on the houses. They then use the stampers to stamp the word onto the gingerbread person and place it next to the corresponding house. So for example stamp the words ‘make, bake, cake etc’ and put them next to the ‘_ake’ house. They will then create a gingerbread family all with rhyming words stamped on them. Read through the words to reinforce the rhyme.
You could put out some small objects for your child to decorate the gingerbread people too. Buttons and little coloured matchsticks to create faces. You could also have mini trays filled with flour or cocoa powder for your child to practise writing the words in too. All fantastic ways to develop fine motor skills
A fantastic way to practise spelling tricky words. Children will need to identify the correct letters needed, unscramble the word and put the letters in the right order.
I drew several cup outlines onto some bits of cardboard. Inside each cup I wrote the letters needed to spell a tricky word. These words are tricky words that need to be learnt by sight during Phase 4. Adapt according to the phase your child is working. Put out some mini letter stampers (these ones were from Poundland) and some white Playdough so that your child can create mini marshmellows for each cup. They will need a marshmallow for each letter in the word (so ‘like’ would need four).Your child finds the correct stampers for each word and then stamps them into the Playdough marshmallows in the correct order to spell that tricky word.
You could put out a list of the words for your child to use as reference if they are struggling to unscramble the word. You can also use actual marshmellows and stamp the letters on these if you want to make it more authentic and trust they won’t disappear!
A perfect little festive game to prompt letter recognition and formation. It is particulary great for those letters that are often mixed, like for ‘b’ and ‘d’, but it can be played with any letters of the alphabet, digraphs and trigraphs or tricky words.
You’ll need two strips of cardboard with some spaces drawn on, a coin to flip (I used a milk bottle lid) with the focus letters or words on, two trays with reindeer food (porridge oats and a little glitter) and two reindeer counters. I made the reindeer by sticking three pegs and a couple of sticks with hot glue. You could just use reindeer pictures instead.
Your child flips the coin and whichever letter it lands on moves the corresponding reindeer along the track. They keep flipping the coin and moving the reindeer until one gets to the reindeer food at the end of the track. Your child can now practise forming that letter in the reindeer food with their finger or a carrot. A super sensory writing tray Change the letters/words on the coin and play again. You could also play it with a larger group by adding letters/words to a dice instead