How to Help Your Child Learn Phonic Sounds and Words + Free Word and Sound Cards
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Phonic sounds and words

How to Help Your Child Learn Phonic Sounds and Words + Free Word and Sound Cards

Phonic sounds and words: Learning words and sounds forms an important part of the early stages of reading.  This may be words or sounds that your child is struggling to read or words or sounds that a school has sent home for children to learn them by sight.

In this post I have included a few ideas that you can use to help your child learn these words and sounds.


(Head to the bottom of this post to claim your free selection of word and sound cards.)


Phonic sounds and words 1:

Remembering words that come up regularly

If your child can sound out and blend a word on one page but then they forget it on the next page try this:

Once they’ve read the word write it down, show them and tell them what you’ve written. Say it, sing it or even chant it together until it starts to stick in their head. Now place the word just above the book so it’s clearly visible. When the word comes up again point to the word and encourage them to say it from memory.  If they can’t, ask them to say the first couple of sounds to try and jog their memory. If they still don’t remember repeat the first part again until it works. This process models the idea that once you’ve decided a word you can take a short cut next time.


If you want to add an extra layer to this cut up some colourful card or special paper into smallrectangles. Make or buy a special treasure box and put the cards inside. Write the words or sounds on the card and keep them as treasures in the box. You can keep using them with different books until the words are totally secure and can be read by sight.

Phonic sounds and words 2
 These cards can also be used for a range of activities.  Make your cards from words or sounds that your child struggles with or those that the school has sent home.  Once you have the cards you can help them memorise them as above or you can take things a step further with a range of games:


Phonic sounds and words 2:

Kim’s Game

Lay out a selection of cards. Ask your child to look at them and remember each card and their positions.  Ask them to close their eyes.  Remove a card.  Now see if they can tell you which card is missing. There are lots of ways to vary this game to make it easier or more challenging.



Phonic sounds and words 3:


Write each word or sound out on 2 or 4 cards. Do this with several words ranging in difficulty. Spread the cards, well shuffled, out on a table face down.  Take it in turns to turn over 2 cards and try to read them out.  If you can match them and read them both you can keep the pair.  If you can’t you have to return the cards to their place and the next person takes a turn.


Phonic sounds and words 4:

Stepping stones

Lay out the cards in a path in front of your child.  It could be a straight line or you could lead them around the room. Make each card about a medium step apart.  If you like this game you could make a larger set of cards.  There are many different ways that you could play this game. I will tell you one way and then you can experiment with it. Arrange the cards so that easier cards or ones your child already knows are nearest your child and they get progressively trickier the further away they get.  Read the first card aloud and if they can read it correctly step on to it.  Keep going until they can’t read the next word.  The aim of this game is to progress further down the path each time you play it.


Phonic sounds and words 5:


Choose a few sound or word cards and stick them up next to a door.  Every time that anyone wants to pass through the door they must read the card.  If they read it correctly they can pass through.  This can be a good activity to do with words that your child can read but sometimes forgets or need to build up some fluency with.


For further ideas on how to support your child when you hear them read check out my useful tips for hearing your child read.


Do you use any other games to help your child learn words or sounds?  Please let me know in the comments.



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