Outdoor and Gross Motor

Click on the titles of the activities to link to the original Facebook post for more photos and videos.

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Phonics Mission Impossible

String, a table or door frame and cards are all you need. Say the sound, crawl through trying not to touch the ‘lasers’ and get out the other side.

We thought it would be impossible to get to the end of the School week but we made it! Well done everyone.

Mission complete ðŸ‘

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Phonics Twister

Anyone for Twister? Dig out the game from the cupboard and just add the cards.

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Phonics Balance Ball

Write some graphemes (letters/combination of letters for example oo, ai, ow) on the floor with chalk. Then using a kitchen/loo roll and ball you say the sound and your child has to balance the ball and walk to the correct grapheme without dropping the ball. Developing physical skills at the same time as learning phonics ðŸ‘ðŸ»

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Phonics Dance Mat

Create your own phonics dance mat. You say a CVC word and your child has to touch their hand or foot on the corresponding graphemes. If you say the word ‘shed’, for example, they put their hand or foot on ‘sh’, ‘e’ and ‘d’. This mat is for early Phase 3 but you can just adapt the graphemes for whatever phase your child is working at. For children learning initial letter sounds you say a phoneme (sound) and they touch their hand or foot on the right letter. Have fun!

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Chalk Letters and Paintbrushes

Chalk letters on the fence, say the sound and then paint it out.

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Dinosaur Assault Course

We made instructions for the dinosaurs to follow. A way to motivate boys to read. He wanted to add 7 twirls at the end so depending on your child’s age they can write their own instructions too. You can adapt it for your child’s favourite toy. A frozen walk for Elsa or a course for teddy to follow.

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Buried Treasure

Bury some word or letter cards in the sand for your child to find. Nursery and Preschool children can find the treasure and then you sound the word out and they match it to the picture. Older children can read the words themselves. The word cards can be adapted for age and phase. Alternatively you could hide real and non word cards. Your child finds the treasure and then decides if the word is real treasure (real word) or rubbish (non-word).

If you don’t have any sand you could try making moon sand using flour and baby oil.

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Phonics Footprints

A perfect physical and sensory activity for children working to identify the initial letter sounds in Phase 2 and a great way to encourage correct letter formation. Children will need to think about where they start their footprint trail and what they need to do to form the letter correctly. They can say the letter sound as they are walking along the chalk. Works better for letters where you don’t need to take the pencil off the paper so not f, i, j, t and x.

Older children you could write words and they could hop, walk and print the sound buttons on with their feet.

Word Rescue

A really fun and interactive way to encourage your child to identify letters or read words.

You’ll need some old plastic bottles and some small objects that float. I used some small building blocks and cut out small bits of plastic from a grapes container and milk bottle lids. You could use small Lego pieces. Just check the objects float before using them. Write some letters or words on the small objects appropriate to the phase your child is working at. They could be initial letters, decodable words or tricky words. Place the small objects inside the bottles. Your child’s job is to rescue the letters/words by pouring water into the bottles and letting the object float to the top. Your child reads the words or say the sound as it reaches the top. I put a bit of blue food colouring into the water too just for added fun.

You could extend this by having words for your child to rescue that they then have to arrange into a sentence.

Phonics Apple Bobbing

Now this one has been a massive hit in our house this afternoon. My three year old spent at least an hour playing here!

All you need to do is write some graphemes or words onto the apples in marker pen and place them in a tub of water. If your child doesn’t want to play this game the classic way then you could give them a pair of tongs and they can pick up the apples with these. Fantastic way to develop fine motor muscles too. Adapt by having different graphemes or tricky words on the apples. You say the phoneme or word they have to find and then catch the corresponding apple or they select an apple themselves and say the phoneme/word as they pick it up. Have fun and possibly 5 minutes peace! Winner!

Phonics on a Bear Hunt

This activity ticks a lot of boxes. It not only encourages the use of your child’s developing phonic knowledge but it’s fun, practical, sensory, physical, supports the recall and sequencing of a story, understanding of adjectives and all through role-play!

My son has got back into ‘We’re going on a Bear Hunt’ so I set up some stations for each of the parts of the story.

Bedroom – blanket and pillow
Grass – some artificial long grass
River – a tub of water
Mud – some chocolate Playdough that I had from a previous activity.
Forest – some leaves on a chopping board
Snow storm – cotton wool pads
Cave – a sheet over some chairs and a Teddy bear.

I chose some words from the story that are phonetically decodable for Phase 4 and wrote them on cards. I also added in some other adjectives for some of the stations that are easily decodable. I then placed all the cards in the rucksack. Your child then chooses a card, reads it and then walks through each station to place it next to the correct one of which it describes, i.e squelch goes next to the mud. Return back to the start and choose a new card.

Adapt the words on the cards for your child and which phase they are in. For Pre-School children you ‘sound out’ the word and they blend the sounds together to find out what it says and where the card should go.

Once all the cards are placed you can then leave your child to further role play with the resources and retell the story.

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Phonics in Nature

A great way to support grapheme recognition, segmenting and blending without actually spending a penny.

As it has been pretty windy over the last couple of days we went on a little nature hunt. We collected some leaves that had blown off the trees along with a few other natural items.

You can then write the graphemes onto the leaves with marker pen and your child can build words using them. You say a word and can then find the corresponding leaves and spell the word. Adapt the graphemes for the phase your child is working.

You could also use other natural items as sound buttons. Your child makes a word with the leaves and uses twigs, stones or feathers to put the sound buttons underneath. Alternatively write a word on paper and they add the sound buttons.

Another way of using the leaves is to write words to make a sentence and then play a ‘sentence substition’ game. You build a sentence together and then substitute in different words to make new sentences. The sentence in the photograph says:

‘The train had to stop in the fog.’

There are other leaves with words on (wait, car, truck, wind, storm). You say a new sentence with only one different word and your child has to decide which word needs to be taken out and which word needs to be added in. If you look at the back of each phase in the Letters and Sounds document there are lots of sentence examples for this game.

Walk the Web

This was a massive hit in our house. Another spider themed activity and a great one for all those Spiderman fans. This activity not only supports phonic knowledge but develops physical skills too such as balance and coordination.

I taped out a spider web on the floor with masking tape. I then placed some letter cards (made of paper) at different points around the web and some spider pictures. I stuck some double sided masking tape onto a pair of gloves so that the side facing out was also sticky.

Your child puts on the gloves and balances along the web. When they come to a letter card they say the phoneme and pick it up with the sticky tape on their gloves. They have to step over the spiders. I did this to add a bit more of a challenge. If they fall off the web or step on a spider they have to return to the beginning. They complete the game once they have collected all of the letters and got back to the starting point. Repeat the game with different letters.

Adapt the cards depending on phase. They could be digraphs and trigraphs, decodable words, tricky words or children in Phase 5 could collect all the alternatives to a Phase 3 grapheme.

To make it more challenging you could use thinner masking tape that they have to balance on, add more spiders to step over or make your child pick up the cards whilst balancing on one leg. You could also put double sided tape on different parts of the body and they have to collect a card on each body part (knee, elbow, on a hat etc).

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Burst Your Bubble

My son blimming loves bubbles! This activity is perfect if your child is the same and enjoys them too. It can be played two ways (or you can combine both) and adapted for phase 2 and above.

I got this set of small pots from the supermarket for about £1.50. I put a small bit of masking tape on the lid of each pot and wrote a letter on the top. I used masking tape rather than write directly onto the pot so the grapheme can be changed when we want to focus on a different set of letters. Adapt this for the phase your child is working in. It could be the digraphs that can often get mixed from Phase 3 like ‘ar’, ‘or’ and ‘ur’ or it could be the Phase 5 alternatives. You say the phoneme and they can blow the bubbles from that pot. For Phase 5 alternatives you could say a word and they have to decide which grapheme would be within that word and then blow the bubbles from that pot.

The other way to play is to have a small selection of word cards. Here I had ‘pup’, ‘pop’ and ‘pip’ so they look similar and encourages careful reading. Start with 3 cards maximum so there is enough time to read the words and still pop the bubbles. They or you blow the bubbles and then you say the word ‘pop’ and they have to touch that word card before popping the bubbles. Shuffle around the cards and repeat. They have to touch the word ‘pop’ every time before popping the bubbles.

For children in Phase 4 you could have the word ‘burst’ and a couple of other word cards with ‘ur’ in and they touch the word ‘burst’ before bursting the bubble. Phase 3 could be the word ‘bang’ and other word cards with ‘ng’ in. Phase 5 could be the word ‘bubble’, ‘break’ or ‘rupture’.

Increase the amount of word cards as your child gets quicker at segmenting and blending.

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Panning for Phonics

A fun, practical way to encourage the recognition of graphemes. It could be letters of the alphabet, digraphs, trigraphs or letters within your child’s name.

I created a river using a long strip of tin foil and scrunching up the edges and ends. We put in some water, stones and a little sand. I then added some grapheme stones. In our case the letters of the alphabet. I also put in a few gem stickers to make it a bit more authentic.

Using a small seive your child can now pan for the grapheme stones. Saying the phoneme as they find one. You could also do it the other way around and you say a phoneme and they have to find the corresponding stone.

You could extend the activity by having word cards with missing graphemes and they have to find the correct stone to complete the word.

This activity would be great adapted for a maths focus too. You could have numerals on the stones instead, real money to find and identify, or your child could solve an addition or subtraction problem and pans for the answer.

Snap it up!

A brilliant way to support blending either orally as part of Phase 1 or reading from a word card and a great activity to develop fine motor skills at the same time. A nice way to link to ‘The Enormous Crocodile’ too if you are using this book as a basis for a topic.

My son was really eager to use a pair of tongs yesterday to pick up objects so I’ve made it into a game today. I drew a quick crocodile outline onto the tongs with marker pen and collected a few objects from around the house. The objects need to be waterproof or something you don’t mind getting wet. I made a swamp in a plastic box using water, green food colouring, a couple of IKEA artifical plants and I added in some cooked spaghetti and peas to make it more ‘swampy’ too.

Place all the objects into the swamp and now your child picks a word card or reads off the crocodile menu sheet. They segment and blend the word and uses the crocodile to ‘snap up’ the corresponding object.

For children working in Phase 1 you ‘sound out’ each of the words, they blend the sounds together and then pick up the corresponding object with the crocodile.

You could change the focus from reading to writing too. Your child picks up an object with the tongs and then writes down the object onto the ‘crododile menu’.

Adapt the word cards and objects to suit the phase your child is working in. The objects in the photo would be appropriate for these phases:
Phase 2: pig, cup, duck, lock,
Phase 3: shell, cow, car, goat, fork, sheep, farmer
Phase 4: brush, train, brick, band
Phase 5: rope, key, ice cube tray

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Walk the Line

A nice one to set up if it is a bit wet outside as it is active and develops balance and coordination at the same time as prompting grapheme recognition. I used masking tape on the floor today as it’s pretty rainy here but this would work really well with chalk on the ground outside.I taped out three lines into a bit of a maze. Each line reaches a coloured floor mat that has a grapheme on. You could have pots or baskets instead of the mats. I also put a small coloured dot at the beginning of the maze just to help my son work out which line he needed to follow. You could leave this bit out if you want to make it more of a challenge and prompt problem solving too.I then wrote some word cards that contained the graphemes on the mats. I chose to focus on split digraph ‘i-e’, ‘a-e’ and ‘o-e’ but you could use any graphemes, digraphs or trigraphs from the phase your child is working on. For my son we focused on some initial sound matching.If writing split digraph words you could avoid putting the sound buttons on the cards that way it prompts your child to really recognise it as a split digraph, because it is a short word that has an ‘e’ at the end, and therefore sound it out correctly rather than attempting to sound out all the letters.Your child chooses a card. Segments and blends the word and then decides which line they need to follow. They walk the line to the mat, places the card there and then repeats with the other word cards.

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Crossing the Midline

A game to support crossing the midline. This refers to moving our arm or leg across our bodies, and an imaginary middle line, to perform a task. It is an important developmental skill and vital for achieving tasks such as putting on socks and shoes, cutting and writing. Midline activities support fine motor skills, hand eye coordination, activates both the left and right side of the brain and prompts the development of a dominant hand. Before young children develop this skill they will choose to pick up objects with the closest hand and pass it to the other hand rather than reaching across their bodies.This activity is a fun way to encourage this whilst supporting children in recognising the Phase 5 alternative for a Phase 3 grapheme. This would also work really well swapping upper and lower cases letters or a simple letter matching activity. I wrote Phase 3 graphemes onto purple paper and the Phase 5 alternatives onto pink paper. Place all the Phase 3 graphemes on the left side of your child and all the Phase 5 alternatives on the right side. Your child now selects a Phase 3 grapheme from the left using their right hand and places it on their right side. They then find the Phase 5 alternative for that grapheme and swaps it over to the left. Continue with all the other graphemes until all cards have been swapped and now the Phase 3 are on the right and Phase 5 are on the left. How long does it take for them to swap all the cards over? Can they beat their time when they repeat the game?My son helped me demonstrate this game as Phase 5 alternatives are too advanced for him but he did enjoy swapping the colours so just shows the game can be adapted to suit age and phase.

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Phonics Scavenger Hunt

Took a list of things to hunt for during our alloted exercise hour. Our first time outside for a walk in over a week. So nice to see rainbows in windows ðŸŒˆ and the few people we passed we very respectful of social distancing ðŸ‘ðŸ»

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Phonics Treasure Hunt

We read the clues to find an after lunch treat to eat! The sound buttons are under the words that can be ‘sounded out’. The words without sound buttons are key words and just need to be learnt by sight.

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Around the Clock

A great game for developing phonic knowledge but also physical skills such as balance, coordination and use of both side of the body and therefore brain!

Using a large piece of paper (you could just as easily use chalk outside) I drew some graphemes as if they were the numbers on the clock. The graphemes at the bottom of the clock are written so the person in the middle can see them the right way up. Your child sits in the middle and there are two ways to play depending on the phase.

1. Children working in Phase 5 you write a Phase 3 grapheme as well as the alternate Phase 5. You say the phoneme (sound) and they use their hands, just like the hands of a clock, to point to the corresponding two graphemes that make that sound, for example ee and ea, ie and igh, ai and ay.

2. Children working in Phase 3 and 4 have a selection of graphemes written and you say a word and your child has to segment that word and point to the correct graphemes that make it, for example ‘chart’ they point to ‘ch’, ‘ar’ and ‘t’. They have to stay facing the top of the clock so will have to twist their bodies around to point to the graphemes and therefore use good balance and control.

Children in Phase 2 you could just have initial letters on the clock and they point to the corresponding letter when you say the sound.

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Spray it Out!

This time chalking letters on a fence but using a small spray bottle, rather than a paint brush, to wipe them out. You say the sound or word and they spray them out. Can be adapted for age and phase by drawing different graphemes or writing words instead. The use of a spray bottle really develops fine motor control too ðŸ‘ðŸ»

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Phonics Island Hopping

Attach some cards to some floor mats/tiles. Two ways to play depending on age and phase.
1. You say the phoneme (sound) and your child quickly runs to the corresponding mat and hops on the ‘island’.
2. Put mats next to each other to make words. Every time you hop on an ‘island’ you say the sound and then blend all the sounds together to make a word at the end

Great to promote physical development too.

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Phonics Hop Scotch

Phonics Hop Scotch. Excuse the patio in needs a clean! ðŸ˜†

Phase 2 letters in the picture

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Phonics Target Practice

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Phonics Fun House

I think it was the children’s TV show ‘Fun House’ (remember that) where you had to go down a slide and grab things on the way down. Perhaps it was Gladiators? Anyway that’s beside the point. We were out in the garden playing so I just wanted to show a couple of ways that you can engage your little ones with phonics by slyly putting it in to everyday fun activities.

The slide game I just attached a bit of string to two garden chairs and placed it across the slide. You say the sound or word and your child grabs the card as they slide down.

The tunnel game (picture in comments) could be on a timer. You say a sound or word and they have 10 seconds to get through the tunnel grabbing the corresponding card as they go.

Lightsaber Writing

Use a large lightsaber (here we were using a big bubble wand) to ‘sky write’ letters in the air. You say the phoneme and they ‘write’ the grapheme in the air with their lightsaber. A fantastic way to develop gross motor skills in pre school children ðŸ‘ðŸ»

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Crazy Phonics Golf

A great game to aid the recognition of graphemes and blending both real and non words.

If you’ve got some outdoor space then set up a mini crazy golf course. I made bridges using Duplo and cardboard and then the holes at the end were plant pots and the end of a cardboard box. You need to set up three rows and on top of the bridges and holes stick a grapheme card. Each row will represent either the beginning, middle or final phoneme in a word. Your child hits the ball through each row and builds a word, for example the bridges marked ‘p’ and ‘ai’ and end in the final pot for ‘l’ to make the word ‘pail’. They can then record on a sheet whether the word is a real word or a non word. Place the ball back at the beginning and try and make a new word. You could play without the recording sheet and just try and make a new real word each time instead.

We had this mini golf set from last Summer and this is the first time it’s made it out of the box! ðŸ¤¦ðŸ¼â€â™€ï¸ You could improvise a golf club using a large stick or kitchen roll or just kick the ball around the course.

I used 5 bridges or pots for each row.
First row – p, sh, r, t, n,
Middle row – igh, ai, ar, or, ee
Final row – t, l, k, p, n

Adapt for different phases by altering the graphemes just think about what graphemes are commonly found either at the beginning, middle or end of a word.

Bail Phonics Out!

An activity that can easily be adapted to focus on initial sounds, digraphs/trigraphs, decodable words or tricky words.

Grab a few transparent containers, write some letters or words on some small pieces of card and tape them to the underside of the containers. Fill each container with some opaque liquid so that it covers the card at the bottom. I used some water and chocolate milkshake powder but you could use black food colouring, just anything that you can’t see through. Your child’s job is to use a small cup or pot to bail out the liquid and reveal the letter/word at the bottom. They can then say the sound or read the word once they can see it.

Phonics ‘Spell’ings

A fun way to practise segmenting, blending and spelling words without using pen and paper!

I gathered a few empty bottles from the recycling and wrote some graphemes on the outside with marker pen. The graphemes can be adapted for the phase your child is in. I filled the bottles up with water and in some added a little food colouring too. I then made a couple of sheets for the spells by drawing pictures of the words that needed to be made. Your child looks at the picture on the sheet, segments the word and find the corresponding bottles to spell the word. They can then add some of the liquid from the bottles to their cauldron. Repeat with the other pictures.

A great activity to develop phonic knowledge and the spelling of words but also if you keep the lids on the bottles then unscrewing them is a super way to develop fine motor skills too. If you also put different coloured liquid into the bottles, when they add some to the cauldron, you can discuss colour mixing ðŸ‘ðŸ»

You could put out some blank spell sheets and leave your child to build more words using the bottles and record the words they make on the sheet.

Sphere and Spoon Races

‘Sphere and spoon’ as I don’t have any eggs at the moment and, to be honest, my son is not yet skilled enough to keep the object on the spoon and they would definitely get wasted ðŸ˜‚

I used ball pit balls for my son but you could put a bit of masking tape around a potato or any other spherical object.

You say a phoneme (sound) and your child finds the corresponding ball in the pot. They put it on their spoon, walk and balance the ball so they can move it to another pot a little distance away. Extend the distance to make it more challenging. Return to the starting pot and get another ball. How long does it take them to move all the balls? Can they better their time if they play again?

For children working in Phase 3 and above you could have digraphs/trigraphs to find and move or tricky words.

Children working in Phase 5 you could have a bucket with the Phase 3 graphemes and they have to transport the ball to the other pot and collect the alternative and bring it back to the starting pot (see photos where I used potatoes). How long does it take them to transfer all the alternatives?

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Phonics Bootcamp

A perfect activity for all those active children that find it tricky to sit down for too long and a great way to support both phonics skills and physical development.

On small pieces of paper I wrote some numbers in words and on paper strips I wrote some simple exercises suitable for children to try and do. I then created a simple workout sheet on A4 paper. Fold up the pieces of paper and put all the numbers in one pot and the exercises in another.

Your child picks a number and a exercise in order to fill up the spaces on the sheet. They have now created their Phonics Bootcamp workout. They read through the words and captions and complete the exercise. The number can be the number of repetitions, for example ‘ten star jumps’ or can be the number of seconds they have to do the exercise for, i.e. ‘six seconds of quick feet’. Once they’ve finished they can fold the paper back up again and place them back in the pot ready for another day.

For children working in Phase 1/2 you could ‘sound out’ the words and they blend them together to complete the exercise.

Adapt the numbers and exercises to make it suitable for the phase your child is working in. You can also have more spaces on the workout sheet to make it more of a challenge or write the numbers in words up to 20.

Suggested numbers in words for each phase:
Phase 2: ten
Phase 3: three, six, seven, eleven, sixteen
Phase 4: one (tricky word),
Phase 5: five, nine, thirteen, eight, four,

Suggested exercise words:
Phase 2: sit, up, hop, leg, kick, run
Phase 3: quick, feet, down, jog, burpee, high
Phase 4: jump, jumping, spot, star
Phase 5: side, knees, repeat, times

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Monkey jumping on the bed

I’ve lost count of the times in a day that I say our sofa isn’t a trampoline! We haven’t got one in the garden either so I got the next best thing out this afternoon, an inflatable mattress. My son could jump on it until his heart’s content.

We also made it into a bit of a game. I scattered some small letter cards on the top. He got to jump around for 10 seconds and try and bounce off as many of the cards that he could. He then had to say the phoneme for all the letters that he managed to bounce off. We kept repeating until all the cards were off the mattress.

You could play with graphemes from phases 3 and 5, decodable words or tricky words.

A great way of tiring them out too ðŸ‘ðŸ»

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Rainy Day Relay

The rain doesn’t stopped us from getting outside. My son loves getting in his welly boots and putting his umbrella up to splash in puddles. This is an active way of having fun in the rain and a great way to encourage your child to use their phonic knowledge.

I wrote some words on raindrops to describe the way you can travel and move around. Your child will pick a raindrop and move in that way to a set part of the garden and back. Pick another raindrop and repeat. You could have the raindrops in a basket or box at the door or hold one up at the window (means you don’t have to go outside if you don’t want to and could sit and have a cuppa🤞🏻).

For children working in Phase 1, you ‘sound out’ the word for them to blend the sounds together.

Suitable words for each phase could be:
Phase 2: run, hop, kick
Phase 3: jog, march, quick feet,
Phase 4: splash, stomp, skip, jump, stamp
Phase 5: leap, tiptoe, wade, squat, dance, walk

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Phonics Stone Stacking

I absolutely love this activity. A super tactile way to encourage the spelling of words without a pencil in sight and great for problem solving too.I used the black pebbles I bought from Home Bargains a couple of weeks ago (49p a bag) and painted on some graphemes. Chalk pen on the black stones would be great for this too. I then drew around a few of the stones onto small bits of card and drew a picture inside.Your child chooses a card, segments the word and chooses the corresponding stones to stack. They will have to think about the best way to balance and pile the stones so they remain standing.Adapt the pictures on the cards and the graphemes on the stones according to the phase your child is working in.

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Everybody’s Gone Surfin’

For some reason my son has been interested in surfing recently. I’m not sure why as we live pretty much the furthest point from any seaside! It must be from Paw Patrol!So this morning I made him a surfboard by cutting the shape out from a opened out cardboard box and put it onto some blue blankets to act as the sea. My son really enjoyed role playing surfing the waves but we also made it into a bit of a game. Everytime I sounded out the word ‘surf’ he jumped on the board. A great way to develop oral blending for pre-school children within Phase 1. You could do it with a cut out snowboard or a skateboard too and sound out ‘snow’ or ‘skate’. Brilliant for developing large scale mark making by getting your child to decorate the board afterwards 👍🏻For children working in Phase 3 and 4 you could show a selection of word cards and everytime there is a word that contains an ‘ur’ then they could jump on the surfboard. They could write the ‘ur’ words onto the surfboard too.For children in Phase 5 you could say a selection of words that contain alternative graphemes for the same phoneme, so ‘ur’ ‘ir’ and ‘er’, and they go surfing when it is a word that they know is spelt with a ‘ur’. They could also write it on the surfboard. Alternatively you could have three surfboards for each of the alternative graphemes (ur, ir, and er) and they have to surf on the correct board when you say a word, so if you say ‘bird’ they have to surf on the ‘ir’ surfboard and then they have to spell it correctly on the corresponding surfboard. This would work well with 3 skateboards one for ‘ai’, ‘ay’ and ‘a-e’ too.

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Compound Containers

A really quick, practical way to prompt the reading of compound words. A compound word is a word that is formed when two or more words are put together to create a new word with a different meaning, for example ‘cup’ and ‘cake’ to make ‘cupcake’.It’s great to encourage the reading of compound and polysyllabic (more than one syllable) words with children as they will come across these lots in their reading books and the world around them and they get to practise reading longer words. All you need for this activity is a few empty bottles. I then wrote the words that made up a compound word either on the lid or the bottle. You could have a few extra lids as decoy ones too to add a little extra challenge. I put it out in water for added fun and my son was able to pour and fill the bottles afterwards. Take all the lids off the bottles and your child searches for the lid to screw onto the bottle that would create a compound word. A great way to develop fine motor skills too by screwing the lids on.

Copyright Phonics Family 2020

Flip ‘n’ Write

A fun and really simple game to play to motivate those reluctant writers, or practise letter formation, whilst also supporting your child’s phonic knowledge. I had a small empty cardboard box so on each of the larger sides I taped a sheet of white paper. Completely tape over the sheets with Sellotape so they now become mini whiteboards. Now on each whiteboard write your focus. It could just be a letter of the alphabet, a tricky word, a digraph or trigraph from Phase 3 or you could write a Phase 3 grapheme on one side of the box and the alternative Phase 5 on the other (igh and ie, oa and oe, oo and ue etc).Your child simply flips the box in the air and then whichever side it lands they either practise writing that letter or word on the whiteboard with a whiteboard pen or write a word that contains that grapheme. So for my son we just had letters to have a go at writing. He flipped the box and then either wrote ‘m’ or ‘a’ (letters in his name). For a child working in Phase 3 you could have ‘ar’ and ‘or’ and they write words that contain these or for a child in Phase 5 you could have ‘oi’ and ‘oy’ and they write words like ‘soil’, ‘boil’, ‘toy’ and ‘joy’ on the correct side of the box. You could also have different suffixes like ‘ed’ and ‘ing’ for your child to add to a root word if working in Phase 6.I would recommend having a sheet with some example words for your child to use as reference. They then pick a corresponding word and write it on the correct side. Having this means that children aren’t struggling to think of words themselves but you are still supporting their phonics as they have to read and choose appropriate words from the list.

Images © Phonics Family 2020

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