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.


Hunt for Letters

A picture of a mom playing with letters with her kids

Indeed / Getty Images

Who knew learning phonics could be so much fun? 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 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. You only need a few household items to get started.


Teach Phonics Through Picture-Taking

Tap into their creative mind when you hand them a camera and send them 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.


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 he sees in his 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 themself. 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.


Play Alphabet Ball

Burn some of your child's endless supply of energy. Play phonics activities that teach them letters, letter sounds, and words. Alphabet ball is a multifaceted game that grows with them and can be adapted to fit a variety of school subjects.

There are three levels of play—one for toddlers, one for preschoolers and one for school-age children. To get started all you need are a ball, marker and a child who loves to play.


Use Worksheets

Print free worksheets from your computer to work with them on 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 they can sit close by while you're working, cooking dinner, or folding laundry.

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


Read Phonics Books

Dig right into phonics books to give them 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 for them, which will make them 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 learns 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.


Watch Phonics DVDs

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 top phonics DVDs available on the market today.

Watch the programs 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, even though your DVD player helped lend a hand in the teaching department.

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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