Fun Phonics Activities for Your Preschooler

Phonics activities can be educational and fun at the same time. Get your kids excited about learning with fun phonics challenges that teach and inspire them at the same time. Start with seven fun phonics activities that help your kids learn to read.

1

Hunt for Letters

A picture of a mom playing with letters with her kids

Indeed / Getty Images

Turn old magazines and catalogs into phonics activities that develop your child's comprehension even further. Pick a letter and spot everything in the catalog or magazine that has the same phonetic sound.

Grab the scissors and cut those items out of the pages. Together you'll make a customized flashcard as you learn the letter and its sound. Kids will have the visual of the word, such as alligator, along with the letter you're studying.

2

Teach Phonics Through Picture-Taking

Tap into your child's creative mind when you hand them a camera and take them out on a phonics adventure. Help them spot objects that navigate them from A to Z through photos. They can snap pictures of everything from an anthill to a Zamboni.

The lesson continues at home when your child makes their own alphabet book with their pictures. The activity never gets old and can be used to capture a field trip, vacation, or regular day with mom or dad through their eyes.

3

Spell Phonetically

Help them practice writing skills as you spell words for them phonetically. Once they know the phonetic sounds of the alphabet (aah, buh, cuh, etc.), they'll be able to spell and comprehend all of those words they see in storybooks.

Get them a notebook and help them create lists that cover everything from their favorite toys to games they like to play. Sound out every letter so they can write the word. For example, if they like cars, sound out cuh so they'll write the letter C, then aah for the letter A and so on.

4

Play Alphabet Ball

Burn some of your child's endless supply of energy. Alphabet ball is a multifaceted game that grows with them and can be adapted to fit a variety of school subjects.

To get started, all you need are a ball and a child who loves to play.

  • Call out a letter and have your child respond with a word starting with that letter.
  • Toss the ball to your child. When they catch the ball, they can call out a new letter.
  • Answer with a word of your own, and then have the child throw the ball back to you.
5

Use Worksheets

Print free worksheets to help your child learn each letter and its sound. This is one of the most basic phonics activities your child can do and it's easy to get started.

As they become more confident with letters, this phonics activity will give you a mini-break because your child will be able to do it on your own while you accomplish something else nearby.

Since you'll be an arm's reach away, you can periodically ask them questions about the letter.

6

Read Phonics Books

Dig right into phonics books to give your child a head start in reading comprehension. Many phonics programs include books that are written specifically for beginning readers. Sit down for some one-on-one time to tackle letter sounds and sight words. You can make reading fun, which will make your child look forward to sitting down with a good book in the future.

They'll feel a sense of pride and accomplishment as they flip the pages and learn to read each word. They'll become eager to get their hands on even more books, which is a habit that will encourage a lifelong love of reading.

7

Watch Phonics Videos

They can learn even when you don't feel like playing phonics activities right along with them. Their noggin can still get a workout with some of the many phonics videos available. You can also try a phonics toy or two.

Watch the videos or play with the toys with them and talk about them later to test their memory recall. Engaging them in a conversation about what they watched helps reinforce what they saw and includes you in the phonics activity.

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  1. Piasta SB, Wagner RK. Learning letter names and sounds: effects of instruction, letter type, and phonological processing skill. J Exp Child Psychol. 2010;105(4):324-44.  doi:10.1016/j.jecp.2009.12.008