Summer phonics fun
Children learn to read at school using phonics, which is a method of teaching reading where they are taught the correspondences between letters and sounds and how to blend them together
The speedier children are at recognising letter and sounds (phonemes), the easier it becomes to blend them together and learn to read.
Have fun this summer introducing and reinforcing letters and sounds to help children get off to a good start on their reading journey. Here are some ideas for the beach!
Phonics Pebbles These are pebbles with individual letters or groups of letters (to represent sounds/phonemes) written on them. They can be bought, but it is easy enough to make them if visiting the beach. Phonics pebbles are good for games such as ‘Full Circle’, to help blend the phonemes together. To play, make a word such as ‘pin’. Then change one pebble at a time to make new words and then get back to the original word (e.g. pin – pit – pat – sat – sit – sin – pin).
Phonics Run-Around Write a few big letters or groups of letters to represent a phoneme, such as ‘sh’, ‘ch’, ‘oo’, ‘oa’ in the sand in a hopscotch sort of pattern. Call out different phonemes and let the children jump around to the correct one.
Sand Writing A sandy beach is the perfect canvas for writing: write the biggest letter you can; take turns writing in the sand just before a wave comes and try to say it before it is washed away; get children to look for things on the beach starting with or ending with the phoneme that is written in the sand.
As soon as your child has learned the first few phonemes, they can start to read. There are many decodable reading schemes available, such as Phonics Bug, Floppy’s Phonics, Big Cat Phonics, Yellow Door Phonics.
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For more information on phonics books and access to a wide variety of reading schemes