16 Hands On Phonics Games for the Classroom

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Written by Holly (Teach Starter)

Phonemic awareness isn’t taught in a day! Constant consolidation of children’s phonemic awareness is crucial, especially in the early years. For more information on the English language system check out our blog: A Guide to the English Language System.

This blog outlines some fantastic phonics resources and activity ideas that can be used in the classroom environment.


Digraph Bug Swatting

A small group digraph bug swatting game to consolidate the concept of digraph graphemes at the beginning of a word.

Digraph Bug Swatting Game

Kids love this game!

How to use this resource:

  1. Laminate and cut out the game cards and four bugs.
  2. It is best to have a fly swat; however, students can just use their hands.
  3. Place the bugs on the floor and the game cards in a pile beside the bugs.
  4. Students take turns to turn over a game card. They must say the word that is on the card, then swat the bug that shows the corresponding digraph e.g. if the students chose the card showing the word ship, the student would need to swat the bug with the sh digraph on it.

Monster Mash Sorting Activity [New Resource]

This Monster Mash Sorting activity is best suited to be used in a small group or as an individual activity to consolidate the concept of different graphemes.

Monster Mash Grapheme Sorting Activity

Monster Mash!

How to use this resource:

  1. Laminate and cut out each of the monster posters.
  2. Laminate and cut out the word flashcards or picture flashcards for sorting.
  3. Pick the graphemes you want to focus on and have students sort the words/pictures into the monster’s mouths.

Ninja Race Phonics Game [New Resource]

This Nina Race Phonics game is a fun, engaging board game to consolidate students’ understanding of digraphs and rhyme.

Ninja Phonics Game

Ninja fun!

How to use this resource:

  1. In this ninja inspired phonics game, students use their knowledge of sounds and blends to move their ninja to the top of the building by rhyming and creating new words.
  2. The winner is the first person to reach their Sensei at the top of the building.
  3. The ‘My Ninja Words’ worksheet included in this resource can be used for students to record the words they came up with during the playing of the game.

Consonant Digraph BINGO [New Resource]

This Consonant Digraph Bingo is suitable as a whole class or small group activity.

Consonant Digraph Bingo

Fun with BINGO!

How to use this resource:

  1. Laminate and cut out the bingo cards and bingo calling cards.
  2. Pull the consonant digraph cards out and have students put a marker over the picture that contains that digraph if they have it on their card.
  3. Your students can decide if they need to find three pictures vertically or horizontally to win.

Finger Twist Up Game [New Resource]

Our Finger Twist Up game is a fun, engaging board game to consolidate students’ understanding of blends and phonemes.

Finger Twist Up Game

Bend those fingers…

How to use this resource:

  1. Laminate each game board and create the spinner.
  2. Provide a group of 3 with one game board and one spinner.
  3. Allocate one person as the ‘spinner’ for the first round.
  4. The player with the next birthday goes first.
  5. The ‘spinner’ spins the arrow on the colour wheel.
  6. Player 1 places a finger on an initial blend of the colour spun (eg. a red ‘bl’).
  7. The ‘spinner’ spins again.
  8. Player 1 places another finger on a final sound of the colour spun (eg. a green ‘ow’) to complete a full word (eg. ‘blow’).
  9. Player 1 keeps their fingers in position for Player 2’s turn. Repeat the process until one player cannot complete a full word with their fingers.
  10. The winner is the person who has completed the most words.

Jumble Mania Game

Use our Jumble Mania resource as an ongoing game that encourages students to use the provided letters to make as many words as they can. This resource has everything you need to create a bright and fun display board in your classroom: borders, letters for the heading, circle cut out phonemes, score sheets and a ‘words we can make’ poster.

Jumble Mania Phonics Game

Ongoing fun!

How to use this resource:

  1. Print, laminate and cut out all of the phoneme circles – you may like to create a couple of sets of these to make it easier for students to create words.
  2. Laminate the score sheet so it can be wiped clean and used again.
  3. Display Jumble Mania and throughout the day, students use the provided letters and the score sheet to write any words that they can make.

Word Family Slide Activity

Use this set of 12 word family slides to create a fun individual or small group activity using planes. A great activity to help consolidate the concept rhyme and word families.

Word Family Slide Activity

Word Family Slide Activity

How to use this resource:

  • Provide each small group with one word family to focus on. Alternatively, each group member could have their own word family.
  • Students move the letter strip to make a word, then match the word with the correct picture using the picture strip.
  • Students say the word and then use the word in a sentence.

Phoneme Flashcards (3 games, 1 resource)

We have sets of phoneme flashcards for the main phonemes in the English language system. A great way to compare the different phonemes for the same grapheme.

Phoneme Flashcards

Valuable resource for any teacher!

Phonemes included:

How to use this resource:

These flashcards can be used in a number of ways…

  • In small groups, students need to match each picture with its word. Next, with a whiteboard marker they must write in the missing phonemes.
  • In small groups, students play memory, matching the picture with its word.
  • In small groups, students play snap, matching the picture with its word.

Blends Fish Sorting Activity

Use our Consonant Blends Fishbowl sorting game in small groups or as a whole class to consolidate the learning of beginning consonant blends.

Consonant Blends Fishbowl Sorting Game

Bright and fun blends activity!

How to use this resource:

  • Laminate and cut out each fishbowl and set of goldfish.
  • Choose a blend group for the students to sort.
  • Students work in groups to sort the goldfish into the correct blend fish bowl.
  • Students write the words for each blend group into their workbooks.

Vowel Digraph BINGO [New Resource]

This Vowel Digraph Bingo is suitable as a whole class or small group activity.

Vowel Bingo Game

Everybody loves BINGO!

How to use this resource:

  1. Laminate and cut out the bingo cards and bingo cards.
  2. Pull the vowel digraph cards out and have students put a marker over the picture that contains that digraph if they have it on their card.
  3. Your students can decide if they need to find three pictures vertically or horizontally to win.

Single Sounds Games

Some fun games to play to help students in the early years consolidate their knowledge of single sounds, including CVC words.


Comments & feedback

  • Dan Luba

    lol… how did ninjas inspire a phonics game?!

    Comment by Dan Luba on February 20, 2018 at 3:47 pm


    • Holly (Teach Starter) Holly (Teach Starter)

      Thanks for your comment Dan! We thought Ninjas would be a cool way to engage the students in the learning of phonics 😀

      Official comment by Holly (Teach Starter) on March 1, 2018 at 11:42 am


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