Complete teaching bundles for incredible prices

TnT Weekly Wrap: Phonics Games

Welcome to this week’s wrap where I share some of the successes and challenges of being a specialist dyslexia teacher. Phonics Games Using phonics games to help teach reading and…

phonics gamesWelcome to this week’s wrap where I share some of the successes and challenges of being a specialist dyslexia teacher.

Phonics Games

Using phonics games to help teach reading and spelling is a great way to engage your students, practice using skills they’ve learned as well as have some fun.

I’ve recently come across a new phonics game that my students have thoroughly been enjoying, so I thought I’d share the game with you.


Trugs is a card game that follows a systematic synthetic phonics approach, so fits in very nicely with the Sounds~Write program that I use with my students. The game comes in different boxes that includes stages and each stage builds on what has already been covered.

phonics gamesThe boxes and stages include:

literacy gamesBox 1: Approx reading age 6 – 7.5 years

Stage 1 – CVC words, examples: sat, yes, big, fox, hug.
Stage 2 – CCVC words, examples: pram, flip, trip, snack.
Stage 3 – CVCC and CCVCC words, examples: left, best, crash, drank.
Stage 4 – two syllable words, examples: tablet, lesson, ticket, sunhat.
Stage 5 – /ar/ /or/ /er/, examples: carport, standard.

phonicsBox 2: Approx reading age 7.5 – 9 years

Stage 6 – split digraph, examples: make, fine, code.
Stage 7 – vowel digraphs and trigraphs, examples: snail, light, boat.
Stage 8 – alternative vowel digraphs, examples: boy, out, paw.
Stage 9 – two syllable words, examples: limit, pilot.
Stage 10 – three syllable words, examples: consider, discontent.

Box 3: Approx reading age 9 – 15 years

Stage 11 – ‘c’ as in /s/, examples: mice, pencil, succeed.
Stage 12 – ‘g’ as in /j/, examples: gen, page, rigid.
Stage 13 – consonant le, examples: candle, sensible.
Stage 14 – four syllable words, examples: independent.
Stage 15 – suffixes with ‘ti’, ‘ci’, ‘si’, examples: electrician.

Getting the cards ready

Each box contains 5 decks of card for each of the Stages and are labeled with their stage number. The cards need to be sorted into their different games, each game is a different color. I used matching color rubber bands to keep the cards for each game together.

spelling gamesThere are three card games at each stage and each game progressively gets more difficult with the words used. The same 3 games are used at each Stage.

phonics gamesGame 1 – Guess it (green)

This game is for 2 players. Each player has a Master Card that includes 4 sets of words underneath a colored shape. The remainder of the cards are shuffled and go face down on the playing surface. The first player looks at the colored shape on the top card and then guesses what word it could be by looking at the Master Card and selecting (reading) a corresponding word from that same colored shape. The second player also selects a different word from the corresponding shape. The first player turns the card over. If it matches either players word then that player gets to keep the card. If not, then it goes to the bottom of the pile.

What I like about this game is that you need to remember which words have been said and either won or gone to the bottom of the pile. I’ve tried this game with my youngest students and used Stage 1 as well as some of my older students and used Stage 4. All of them have enjoyed playing and as you can imagine it gets quite competitive.

phonicsGame 2 – Match it (pink)

Match it is quite similar to Uno and is for 2-4 players. Each player is dealt 5 cards and one card is turned over next to the pile, which is facing down. If the first player can match (and read) either the same color or same number as the card turned over, then he/she can place it on top of the card. If not, then that player picks up a card to add to their hand. If a player has a ‘Trugs’ card then that player can place that card down and then select the color they want the cards to be. The first player to use up all of their cards is the winner.

literacy gamesGame 3 – Take it (yellow)

This game is also for 2 – 4 players. The cards are placed face down on the playing surface. The first player turns over the top card and reads it and then puts it in front of them. The second player does the same. Players continue taking turns and collecting words into sets (5 sets of 4), reading each word they collect. When a player picks a card with a word that is the same color (set) as another player, then he / she can take all of the cards from that palyer, read them and then add them to their pile. Play continues with cards being collected in sets, but also continually taken by players. The player ending up with the most sets of cards is the winner.

spelling gamesI’ve just purchased the first 2 boxes (home version). There are also packs available for schools that include more cards. If you’d like to find out more then visit the Trugs website and you can also go to their International Stockists page to find out how to buy them in your country. I paid about $85 AUD, so they’re not cheap, but I think I will get the value out of them as the students (and me) enjoy playing the games so much.

If you’d like to find some more phonics games then have a look at my posts:

35 Spelling Games For Students Of All Ages

Top 3 Fun Spelling Games

For More TnT Weekly Wrap’s, see these:

Graphic Credits: Graphics From the Pond and Dollar Graphics Depot

Related Articles

How To Select Reading Books Your Students Will Love

How To Select Reading Books Your Students Will Love

Do you use decodable reading books with your beginning readers? Or with those students who are struggling? Unfortunately, many of the schools that I have worked in do not have any decodable books available to use with their beginning readers (or struggling readers)....

read more
10 Dyslexia Myths

10 Dyslexia Myths

Do you have students in your class that have dyslexia? Do you know much about dyslexia; what it is, how to identify dyslexia and how to accommodate students that have dyslexia? When I was in the classroom teaching, I didn't really know too much about dyslexia and...

read more


  1. Jennifer

    I am a first year Resource teacher. I teach fifth grade students with specific learning disabilities. Is the Trugs game available for purchase in the United States. If so, where? If not, is there an equivalent game available? Thanks so much!

    • Melinda

      Hi Jennifer,

      Thanks so much for stopping by. It’s best to check out the international stockists page on the Trugs website to see if they ship to the US. They do not specifically mention the US, but there is an email address for you to get a quote on shipping the game. Here’s the page I mean:



Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This