You can never have too many phonics activities, so I’ve pulled together a bunch of favorites. These fun phonics activities and games cover CVC words, long vowel sounds/multiple spellings, and digraphs.
Fun phonics activities & games
Try these activities for independent work and in pairs, small groups, or the whole class. Some can even be sent home for extra practice while keeping homework fun.
1. CVC Word Puzzles
As students work the pieces of CVC puzzles into place, have students segment the sounds. Then have them push together the sounds (blend) as they push together the puzzle pieces. Word-picture puzzles help students see visually that they have put the letters together correctly.
2. Sound Bingo
Bingo is a fun phonics activity that helps students practice fluency since they want to read words quickly to fill in their cards. Create bingo cards with your target phonics words (this works well for CVC words, multiple spellings per sound words, digraph words … or any other words you are practicing). Call out words one by one and have students mark words on their bingo cards. The first to fill in a row in any direction wins. Get long O activities, including bingo cards.
3. Digraph Cootie Catchers
Honestly, cootie catchers are one of the fun phonics activities students like most. I use them when teaching digraphs, CVC words, alternate spellings. Once you have them set up, a quick demonstration is usually all it takes before kids are off and running with them, practicing segmentation, blending, and writing words. Get a bundle of fun phonics cootie catchers ready to download and print.
4. Spin Read Write
Spin Read and Write requires just a few materials: a game board grid, a spinner with the target words, and two different colored pens or pencils. (If you laminate your game board, you’ll want two different dry erase markers.)
One student spins the spinner, reads the word the spinner lands on, and then writes the word anywhere on the grid. The next student does the same.
The goal is to get 4 words of your color in a row. The player who does that first wins. Get done for you Spin Read and Write games.
5. CVC Word Go Fish
Print out cards with your CVC words on them. You’ll want 4 of each word. Have students play in groups of 3 or 4. Students should deal out 5 cards to each player and spread the rest out face down on the center of the playing surface. The first student asks another student for one of the words in their hand. The student either hands over the card with the word or says, “Go fish.” If the student says, “Go Fish,” the student who asked picks a card from the middle. Then the next player goes. Once a student gets four of one word, they put the “book” down. The students with the most “books” or word sets at the end of the game wins.
6. Memory Matching Game
This game works with CVC words, words targeting a specific vowel sound or digraph … any words you want kids to gain practice with. Print out cards with your phonics words on them and a set of cards with pictures representing the same words.
Place the picture cards face down on one side of the table. Place the word cards face down on the other side of the table. One student turns over one card from each side of the table (one word, one picture). They segment the sounds of the word and then blend them together to form a word. If the word matches the picture, the student takes the pair. If it doesn’t they turn the card face down again and the next person takes a turn. Continue to play until all the cards are matched up.
7. Reading Races
Use fluency boards for reading races with students. Start with a warm-up—read through the words with students, and then have them read the board once, slowly, and focused on accuracy. Then it’s off to the reading races. Have them read each word on the board as you time them, and if they finish reading the board, have them start again. See how many words they can read in 30 seconds. The next time you race, see if they can improve. (Remind them that accuracy counts, so it’s a mix of speed and accuracy.) Get CVC fluency boards along with other games and activities ready to print.)
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What’s your favorite phonics activity or game?