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Phonics Activities for Kids

7 Activities That Prepare Your Children to Read

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Phonics activities for kids can be educational and fun at the same time. Get your kids excited about learning with phonics activities that challenge, inspire and get your children ready to read.

1. Hunt for Letters

A picture of the letter B
Photo © Apryl Duncan
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 flash card 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.

2. Teach Phonics Through Picture-Taking

A picture of a child taking a picture
Photo © woodenmask / Flickr
Tap into his creative mind when you hand him a camera and send him on a phonics adventure. Help him spot objects that navigate him from A to Z through photos. He can snap pictures of everything from an anthill to a Zamboni. The lesson continues at home when your child makes his own alphabet on the wall with his pictures. The activity never gets old and can be used to capture a field trip, vacation or regular day with mom or dad through his eyes.

3. Spell Phonetically as He Writes

A picture of a child writing
Photo © bies / stock.xchng
Help him practice writing skills as you spell words for him phonetically. Once he knows the phonetic sounds of the alphabet (aah, buh, cuh, etc.), he'll be able to spell and comprehend all of those words he sees in his storybooks. Get him a notebook and help him create lists that cover everything from his favorite toys to games he likes to play. Sound out every letter so he can write the word himself. For example, if he likes cars, sound out cuh so he'll write the letter C, then aah for the letter A and so on.

4. Play Alphabet Ball

A picture of a child with a ball
Photo © Apryl Duncan
Burn some of your child's endless supply of energy. Play phonics activities that teach him letters, letter sounds and words. Alphabet ball is a multifaceted game that grows with him 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.

5. Use Worksheets

A picture of a child writing
Photo © Apryl Duncan
Print free worksheets from your computer to work with him 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 he becomes more confident with letters, this phonics activity will give you a mini-break because he can sit close by while you're cooking dinner or folding laundry. Since you'll be an arm's reach away, you can ask him questions about the letter as you finish up your household chores.

6. Read Phonics Books

A picture of a boy reading
Photo © John-Morgan / Flickr
Dig right into phonics books to give him 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. He'll feel a sense of pride and accomplishment as he flips the pages and learns to read each word. He'll become eager to get his hands on even more books, which is a habit that will encourage a lifelong love of reading.

7. Watch Phonics DVDs

A picture of a child watching television
Photo © Annalog85 / stock.xchng
He can learn even when you don't feel like playing phonics activities right along with him. His noggin can still get a workout with some of the top phonics DVDs available on the market today. Watch the programs with him and talk about them later to test his memory recall. Engaging him in a conversation about what he watched helps reinforce what he 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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