Are you having fun teaching phonics this year? Perhaps you’re teaching phonics for the first time, or like myself for the 5th time. It’s easy to get bogged down in the daily grind.
Let’s be honest, phonics isn’t the most interesting subject on the face of the Earth…especially when you’re teaching it umpteenth time. So make phonics exciting!
5 Ways to Have Fun Teaching Phonics
1. Be Silly
Try a pirate day. Dress up as a pirate and read the phonics in your best pirate voice. Add a few aarghs, and a couple ‘walk the plank!’ and your small child is certain to laugh.
If pirates aren’t your style, try fairies, foreign accents, or robotic voices. The most important thing is to be imaginative and encourage your child to do the lessons with a smile.
2. Be Active
Small children love to be active, so direct that energy into another way to have fun teaching phonics. Go outside and write letters into a hopscotch. Shout the sounds as you hopscotch your way through phonics.
Recite the alphabet while bouncing a ball between each other. Challenge your child to find letters in the yard or walk around the neighborhood reading the signs. Draw words in the dirt and pull out the sidewalk chalk. Have fun being wild during the phonics lesson.
3. Play Games
Drop flashcards into a hat and fish for the letters and practice the sounds. Or drop the words you’re working on into the hat and read them as they’re drawn. Play Memory – make two cards of each word and practice reading the words as they’re turned over.
Make a treasure map to go with your pirate day. Leave cards with words all over the house, and put the next word to be found behind or under that word. At the end of the hunt, put a special treat under the last card!
4. Be Creative
Have fun teaching phonics by getting out the play dough. Roll out letters and words. Try writing in the play dough like the ancients used to write on clay. Experiment with different colors of play dough, try making silly words, and objects to match the words.
If play dough isn’t your style, make potato stamps. Stamp letters and words onto paper. Finger draw the letters into sand or flour. Use cooked pasta to make various letters. Another option is to cut the letters out of paper, attach them to string, and hang them all over the house.
5. Write a book
Take the words your child is learning and make a short book. The Bob Books are a great size to copy. Allow your child to choose the words, draw the pictures, cut the pages, and staple them together.
Your child’s novel may not be as thick as War and Peace, but it will be their personal book.
Most importantly, don’t be afraid to slow down or review old material. When children get frustrated, they stop learning. Go back to old lessons, review the material, rebuild your child’s confidence, and remember to have fun teaching phonics.
What is your favorite way to bring phonics to life?