Check out today’s DIY phonics game for a really simple but engaging way to get kids connecting letters to their sounds.
These little alphabetic cubes are guaranteed to catch your child’s attention and will quickly become a favourite learning toy!
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Phonics Game Supplies
- A set or two of alphabetic loose parts (we used small wooden coloured cubes that I wrote the letters on with permanent marker)
- OR you could print out a copy of our Summer Paper Alphabet Letters from our FREE Printables page to use instead (although I personally think the colourful cubes are much more fun!)
How to Play!
To start, get your alphabetic cube parts in a big pile on a table or on the floor where your child/children can see them all.
On each cube, there should be only one letter, although you could write a capital on one side and the small caps on the other if you like.
Depending on the age, interest, and skill level of your child, you can arrange the letters in alphabetic order together.
Or try having your child find all the letters of their name to begin. Kids are often really interested in doing this!
Once they have those letters picked out, choose the first letter and ask your child what sound it makes.
Do a Phonics Sound Hunt
Next, you can ask them if they can find anything in the house/room that starts with that letter. You will probably need to model this for them a few times before they get the hang of it.
Parent: “R is the first letter of your name Rhianna. What sound does R make?”
Parent: “That’s right! Do you think we can find something in this room that also starts with the “Rrrr” sound?” (looking around) “Hmmm…how about rug, or red, or radio? There’s a radio! Let’s put this R on top. Hey – there’s Raffi on the ipod as well! His name starts with the R sound too! Cool!”
The Backwards Sound Game
You can always work backwards too if your child is ready – although it’s a little more challenging. You could point to something in the room, say its name, and ask your child what letter makes that sound.
Parent: “There’s a deer on our mantel. D-eer. What letter makes that starting sound “duh?”
Parent: “Yes! Can you find a D and put it up here by our deer?”
My son Onetime (almost 4 years old) really enjoyed this activity and even wanted to write his own letters on some of the cubes when we ran out of the letter we needed to name something. By the end of the hour, there were little cube letters all over the place but we had had tons of fun and my son had gotten lots more practise with matching letters to letter sounds. A successful (and really easy!) activity.
If you’re looking for even more letter and phonics learning activities, be sure to check out these other posts: Learning Playdough (also uses these letter cubes), Playful Alphabet Garden, and Fine-Motor Hammer and Learn.