Phonics is a term you will have no doubt heard repeatedly. It is often upheld as the pinnacle of knowledge that all children need in order to be successful writers and readers.
Controversially, I am not so sure if that is true. While I agree phonics is important, I worry that children (and parents) are put under too much pressure. In my world, phonics should be a fun and interactive way to breathe passion and enjoyment into the world of reading and writing. It should be the first steps on a path that opens hidden doors, lays out magic carpets and reveals a multitude of worlds.
I want Arlo to hear the word ‘phonics’ and leap with anticipation of the fun that lays ahead and that is ultimately why I am writing this blog post. To provide you with some quick, fail safe ways to introduce phonics that are above all else – FUN!
So, without further ado, let me share with you 5 of my favourite phonics activities that you can do at home without spending a penny!
Grab several items all with the same letter and pop them into a basket or tray. There's no need to buy fancy trays, even an old takeaway tub will work! For example, a D basket might have a toy duck, donkey, dog, dummy, deer, dinosaur, diamond etc.
The very first time you introduce this activity, you can ask your child to select an item and tell them the correct name, emphasising the initial sound. D-d-d-d-duck!
After that, you can build upon their knowledge by asking them to examine the basket and work out which sound the basket represents.
Another option is to have a few baskets available and a selection of items for your child to sort into the various sounds.