How to Teach Kids Phonics with Games or stories

Updated: Jan 7

To teach kids phonics (ex. [d] with letter "D") , a gaming or story way will be helpful. That means a set of flashcards is necessary, but may be boring for kids after a while. For example, it is better to say "Rabbit forgot which letter is for carrot. Can you help?" instead of "Let's learn which letter is for carrot".

There are many approaches can be used. Approach one, imagination friends compete. Use any imagination friend as the competitor, ask kids to catch up. Approach two, give a reward for trying best. Always reward kids' effort so that the are willing to try more. Approach three, play a game of helping others. Imagine your kid needs to help a rabbit reading a note. An example with dialogues is given below.

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Things to prepare:

A= Adult, K=Kid

A: Let's play a game today.

K: Great! What game?

A: It is called Help Your Friend.

K: How to play?

A (with the rabbit puppet on the finger & letter "A" card in the other hand): I am Mr. Rabbit. I was given this card, and was asked to buy something start with "A" as lunch. I do not know what to buy, so can you help me? Do you remember the sound of "A"?

K: Let me think. May I have a hint?

A (singing): A is for...

K: Apple!

A: What is the sound of letter A?

K (singing): A is for apple, [æ] [æ] [æ] apple.

A: So the sound is ...

K: [æ]

A: Great! Thank you for telling me what to buy! (change to letter "tr" card). I then was told to go to a place start with "tr", but I do not know where to go. Can you help me?

K: I do not know the word start with "tr".

A: Do you know the sound of "tr"? Maybe the sound can remind you the word.

K: I do not know.

A: I am mom now. Let me tell you. Sound of letters "tr" is [tʃ].

K: I remember, [tʃ][tʃ][tʃ][tʃ] tree! Mr. Rabbit need to go to the apple tree to buy the apples!

A: Yes. you helped me! (change to letter "b" card) It is too far away, I cannot walk there. I need something start with "b". Can you help me?

K: I know this, [b][b][b][b] bike! You need a bike!

A: Good job! (change to letter "gl" card ) I am riding on a bike to the apple tree, but it is too hot, so I need something start with "gl" to hold water. Do you know the sound of "gl"? Can you tell me what I need?

K: Hint please?

A: [gl][gl]

K: [gl][gl] glass! You need a glass of water!

A: Yeah!~~Do you know how to spell glass so that you can teach me to read the card next time?

K: No, I do not know.

A: It is g-l-a-s-s. [gl][gl] glass.

K: G-l-a-s-s, g-l-a-s-s, g-l-a-s-s. I will teach you next time.

A: Great! (change to "fl" card) Mr. Rabbit buys the apples and start riding back. I was told to pick something start with "fl" on my way home. Do you know anything start with "fl"?

K: Yes, flowers!

A: Do you know the sound of "fl"?

K: No, I can tell you what you should pick now, why shall I know the sound of "fl"?

A: Because I do not know the sound of "fl", so I cannot read the word "flower". Do you want me to know next time?

K: OK, mom. Tell me the sound.

A: It is [fl]. [fl][fl] flower.

K: [fl][fl]. Ok, I will teach Mr. Rabbit next time.


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