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Phonics and Spelling: How to Teach Your Kids to Spell!

Word scrambles and crossword puzzles help children practise spelling by having them guess the letters that make up a given word, while games such as Hangman and Boggle can also hone your child’s spelling abilities.

Nor does teaching phonics need to be boring. Alphabet cards – one for each letter of the alphabet, in uppercase and in lowercase – can help your child identify the correct letters of the alphabet. You can also develop card-matching activities, where children have to pair pictures and words beginning with a particular letter of the alphabet.

Interactive activities involving word scrambles, word searches and memory games, in which children have to remember sounds from words they’ve been exposed to previously, can also be created.

Letter combination cards (digraphs, trigraphs, diphthongs) can also be used to help your child discover the sound an combination of letters makes by shuffling the cards and asking your child to make words with the letter combinations.

‘Fill in the blanks’activities are very effective for words-beginning to identify words and word-sound awareness. In this activity, your child has to fill in the blanks of a given word. C-V-C (consonant-vowel-consonant) words, such as pop, mop, top, are very effective for this activity. They also work very well in groups, done on a blackboard with chalk, white board with a marker, or in a sand-box with fingers!

Swapping out a letter to make a new word, a very simple variation of this game, is also excellent practice (‘cat’ becomes ‘hat’ when you swap out the ‘c’ for a ‘h’). All along, little learners play a guessing game, spelling words, learning letter-sound combinations and their order, and phonograms.

And finally, add fun into phonics by singing songs and poems with words containing letter phonemes. Have your kids recite nursery rhymes, poems for kids and nursery rhymes to enhance their sensitivity toward differences between vowel sounds, consonant blends and digraphs. Great child phonics songs online includes the following:

Short and Long Vowel Songs

Syllable Songs

And don’t forget to read for pleasure with your child. Reading books is a really good way to help children gain knowledge and practise their phonics skills. For babies and very young children, this can mean bedtime stories. For children aged three or older, first you tell a story and then you invite your child to have a go. This is a great way to help a child gain confidence with phonics. Having heard the story many times, they do most of the reading.

Here are phonics activities that would make the learning experience beneficial, enjoyable and engaging for your child:

Word searches

Word matching

Drilling, taking out and replacing letters to make a new word

‘Fill the blank’ activity

This is it! Enjoy learning phonics with your children. A little imagination can go a long way!

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) PHONICS

How much time should I devote to each stage of phonics? It depends on your child’s age, learning style and speed – but, at each step, provide enough practice for your child to master the letter or sou


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