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At Home Phonemic Awareness Games

Summertime means school is out, and kids are home! But how do we ensure that our students don’t lose everything they’ve learned during the school year over those summer months? This is the question that so many teachers ponder as the year winds down. If you’re in the same boat, I’ve got a fantastic solution for you! Come along to see how at home phonemic awareness games will be a total game-changer!

This image showcases phonemic awareness activities for beginning sounds and blending and says, "At Home Phonemic Awareness Games."

Avoiding the Summer Slide

We know how it goes… you work so hard all year long to build those phonics skills. You plan fun lessons, are intentional to include lots of fun phonemic awareness games in your small groups, you even assign meaningful homework! But once summer rolls around, are your kiddos doomed for the summer slide?! Don’t fret teacher friends, I have a fantastic solution for you that will not only avoid the summer slide but also be fun for your kids too!

This is where at home phonemic awareness games will completely change everything! By simply telling parents about a few simple games they can use over the summer, your kids will be so much better prepared for the upcoming school year. And. . . while these are great for summer learning, you can also make them a consistent part of your school year by sharing a new game or activity with parents throughout the year.

At Home Phonemic Awareness Games Can Help!

This image features a variety of phonemic awareness games that can be used in class for small groups or at home with students' families.

We all know that games are super engaging for students. They offer a fun, motivating way to target important phonics skills such as letter identification, letter sounds, rhyming, and more! I love giving parents suggestions for at home games since it is the perfect way for some skill review without feeling like work.

Not to mention, the parents in my classroom actually really enjoy this as well! I’ve been told that they like having learning games for long car rides and are happy to be an active participant in their child’s learning. Because of this, I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite games and activities to support phonemic awareness at home. If you’re looking for some options, these might just be the ticket!

1. I Spy…

In this photo, a child and parent are looking at a book together.

Whether on summer vacation or tackling after school activities, car rides are the perfect place for some gamified learning. I remember when I was a kid, my family and I would play all kinds of fun games to pass the time. I Spy was a frequent flyer and that’s where this idea comes from actually!

Suggest that parents play this game with their child by saying “I Spy something that starts with the letter….” This works best if they choose something easily visible to the child, so you may have to stick with things inside the car, depending on how high up the kiddo is sitting.

Another option for I Spy is to use picture books. Flip to a page, give your clue, and then pass the book to the child to find the item on the page. If they answer correctly, they get to ask their parent the next one! I don’t recommend this version if you are the one driving. šŸ™‚

This game is also really fun to play in the grocery store, at the doctor’s office, or any place really! For a twist on the classic I Spy, challenge kiddos to find something they see for each letter of the alphabet starting with A and working through Z.

2. Rhyming Game

Another fun, at home phonemic awareness game to play with kiddos is a simple rhyming activity. Begin by saying something like, “Give me a word that rhymes with cat”. This works best when parents use CVC words or one syllable words. Longer words get a little trickier to rhyme, so for maximum skill reinforcement stick with the simple words.

3. At Home Word Search

Ready for a fun and active option to try at home? Suggest that parents spell words aloud and have students sound them out. Then, they will need to find that item. For example, parents might say “Find me a f-or-k.” This is a great way to reinforce phonological awareness and phonemic awareness skills.

I find that this works even better if students are able to write the letters down as the parents say them. Then they can apply the blending techniques we use in small groups to read the word. Once they do, they will be super excited to jump up and find that item!

4. Task Cards

This image showcases some task cards that can be used for a variety of phonemic awareness games.

During the school year, I use phonemic awareness games daily in my small groups. We play lots of different games throughout the year but some of my favorites from these resources are the task cards that I keep on a binder ring. These are activities that I say aloud during small groups or circle time and have my students complete. I have cards like these for a variety of skills and many of them would be great for at-home learning.

If you have a parent helper or aid in your classroom, consider having them help you prep a set of these cards for each family. You can print them, bind them together on a ring, and ask parents to practice a few times over the summer. These also make a great car ride activity!

5. Hop Scotch Words

This photo is of a group of children playing hopscotch. By altering the game just a little, it can be used as a phonemic awareness game!

Do you remember playing hopscotch as a child? That was one of my favorite things! Another fun at home phonemic awareness game you can suggest to parents is a play on this game. I tell parents to draw a 3×3 square grid of 9 squares with chalk. Make note it won’t look like a typical hopscotch pattern. Then, fill the squares with 1 letter each, making sure to use vowels and constants that can be combined to form CVC words. I give them a word list to help!

To play, kiddos will hop on 3 squares at a each turn. They will identify the letters and then say the word aloud that they spell. You can expand on this activity even further by having the child write the word in chalk after hopping and spelling!

6. Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down

Students can practice beginning sounds with the phonemic awareness games shown in this activity.

This activity is another one from my Phonemic Awareness Games Bundle. If you’re willing and able to prep a set of cards for each family, this can be another really fun one to send home for summer learning. The way it works is simple, parents will pull a flashcard and kids will hold up a thumbs up sign or a thumbs down sign to show if the pictures on the card go together. I have this game for many skills including:

The great thing about this game is that it can very easily be played in the car, at home, or on the go. Kiddos will get a thumbs up and a thumbs down sign. Parents (in the passenger seat, of course) can hold up a card, and kids will answer! Easy and fun!

7. Word Building

This picture shows letter cards that can be used for at home phonemic awareness activities.

Another great phonemic awareness game to suggest to parents is a simple word-building activity using magnetic letters, letter tiles from a game, or paper letters. In my room, I like to print and prep a baggie of letter tiles for all of the students to take home. Provide parents with a few lists of word families. Have them say one word aloud at a time for their child to spell out using the letter tiles.

Another suggestion to give them is to purchase a cheap cookie sheet and a set of magnetic letters from the dollar store. With these items, this game can be played on the go! Parents can say the word and students can arrange their letters to spell it!

8. Read!

I know this last idea isn’t exactly a game, but what would an at-home learning post be without mentioning how important it is to keep reading?! This usually goes without saying, but encouraging parents to read with their children is one of the most powerful ways we can support learning.

During the summer, you might suggest that parents make this more exciting by starting a sticker chart for days that they read books or visiting the local library for new read-alouds. You can also encourage parents to sign-up for any local summer reading programs. Oftentimes the local library, restaurants, or stores offer incentives for summer reading. At-Home Phonemic Awareness Games Freebie

Making At Home Learning Easy

Want to make it super simple for parents to facilitate these phonemic awareness games this summer? If so, you’ll love this printable parent letter! Simply enter your email below and you’ll receive a done-for-you letter that you can hand out to families before school lets out for the summer. It includes details of simple phonemic awareness games they can play at home to support students and avoid that dreaded summer slide!

Save These Phonemic Awareness Games

Don’t forget to pin this post on Pinterest so you remember to use these at home phonemic awareness games with your students!

Want your students to keep practicing phonemic awareness skills at home over the summer? If so, this post is full of ideas for simple and fun phonemic awareness games that students can play with their families!

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Hi, I’m Julie!

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