Teaching Children Phonics

Teach Your Child Phonics #02

I am so enjoying this series! So lovely to have great comments from you all saying you are finding it useful- I really hope it is! Week 2 already and time to share the next few sounds. I will be live at 1pm on Periscope today and will be recapping all of the sounds taught last week too if you missed it. Remember it is live for 24 hours so you can always watch it on replay 🙂

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Last week I shared the first 15 sounds in Set 1, I am going to share the remaining 16 today.

NOTE- Some phonemes are long stretchy sounds and some are short bouncy sounds but they are all ‘pure’ meaning they are stripped from that awful ‘uh’ sound at the end. Also none are in capitals- children do not need to learn about those yet! 

e – e e e (short bouncy – straight forward – eh eh eh for egg)

l – llllllllllllllllll (long stretchy – actually quite tricky to describe, instinct will want to say luh but just freeze and hold on the ‘l’ – tune in to my scope to see)

h – h h h (short bouncy- a soft sound, barely audible at all a bit like panting)

shshhhhhhh (long stretchy – nice and easy, telling someone to be quite)

r – rrrrrrr (long stretchy – imagine a dog baring their teeth and growling!)

j – j j j (short bouncy – keep your mouth small and refrain from saying juh)

v – vvvvvv (long stretchy – keep your teeth on your bottom lip and say vvvvvv)

y – y y y (short bouncy – very difficult to not have the uh so keep your mouth as small as you can)

w – w w w (short bouncy- a very soft sound, keep your mouth small)

th – thhhhhhhh (long stretchy- make sure you emphasise your tongue here to prevent your child saying ffffffff)

z – zzzzzzz (long stretchy- like a fly buzzing around!)

ch – ch ch ch (short bouncy- like a train ch ch ch choo choo)

qu – qu qu qu (very difficult to keep that uh slipping out so keep your mouth small)

x – xxxxx (long stretchy- an odd sound this one as it actually only appears in the middle or at the end of words- it does not say zzzz for xylophone or ex for x-ray. It is pronounced like ksss)

ng – nggggg (long stretchy – like thing, bring)

nk – nk nk (short bouncy – like think and brink)

Right that is all of the first set of sounds covered, the basics for reading and writing. When you are teaching them, whether directly or indirectly they will not need any others for a while. At first they will only be writing 3 letter words (sometimes referred to as CVC words consonant- vowel- consonant) if they attempt to write anything harder they can use the sounds here and it does not matter if they spell something wrong. The idea is to get them listening for sounds and we can gradually introduce the set 2 sounds which will help with the correct spelling of words.



Last week I mentioned the importance of rhyme. If they can hear that a word rhymes with another it will ultimately help them to identify similar spellings and help them to transfer knowledge from word to word.

Little G and I love to play rhyming soup in the car. I start the game by saying..

I’m making lots of silly soup, I’m making soup that’s silly. I’m going to cook it in the fridge to make it nice and chilly. In goes….

We then take it in turns to say words that rhyme. Her favourite seems to be rhyming words with bear so we have share, glare, care etc… The fun part is though you can say silly words too like nare or zare. As long as they rhyme they are right!


This is another favourite for the car actually and helps with the other important skill- recognising and understanding alliteration – words beginning with the same sound/ phoneme! 

I went to the zoo and I saw a …

We then list as many animals as we can beginning with the same phoneme. Remember of course that it is the phoneme not the letter that we are looking at so centipede and snake both begin with a sssssssssssss. Giraffe and gorilla would not be a match as Giraffe is a j j j phoneme. See?


Some children really find it hard to work out syllables and the way we teach it is by claps. We start off clapping their names as it is the most interesting thing to them. By doing this it helps them to break down words and eventually they will transfer this skill to breaking down a word into phonemes.

All you have to do is choose a word and clap it- so apple would be a- pple (clap- clap). Dinosaur would be clap clap clap for di- no- saur. Easy peasy but so effective as they can hear and feel the claps.


Once again I am including reading. Remember you are aiming for a minimum of 5 books a day. If you feel your child is ready to start their reading journey then get them to read the book to you. But how?

When a child learns to read the very first step is to use the pictures. You may have even had a wordless book arrive home in a book bag and wonder what on earth you have to do with it!! Using pictures is a great skill to nurture from a young age as it will help them later on when they get stuck on a word. If they are stuck on the word dinosaur for example, maybe they have read dino but can’t work out the saur– they can use the picture to help make that connection. See?

Ok that is all for this week, remember I am on Periscope today (Monday 17th Aug) at 1pm so feel free to ask any questions! I am going to film the whole of set 1 and stick it on YouTube so you can refer back to the pronunciation at any time.

Next week I will introduce the first few phonemes in Set 2 and talk about getting your child started with letter formation.

See you there! 

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  • Reply
    You Baby Me Mummy
    August 17, 2015 at 11:15 pm

    This is such fabulous information, I went through saying the letters, while reading and didn’t even realise I was saying it wrong xx

    • Reply
      August 18, 2015 at 9:32 pm

      I will give you a lesson haha! x

  • Reply
    Emma's Mamma
    August 19, 2015 at 9:13 pm

    Great games! I’m pinning this post for when Emma is older 🙂 Thanks for sharing! #KidsCorner

    • Reply
      August 21, 2015 at 8:26 pm

      Thanks hun x

  • Reply
    August 20, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    I really like the idea of RHYMING SOUP. I wish I have known this last weekend as we have a 3 and half hour drive to my friend’s wedding in Yorkshire! Oh well… I shall be putting this into good use. Thank you for sharing. 🙂 xx #KidsCorner

    • Reply
      August 21, 2015 at 8:23 pm

      3 and a half hours of it may have driven you bonkers Su! x

  • Reply
    Everything Mummy
    August 22, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    This is so helpful to me Maisy loves letters and talking about reading and things so really want to help bring that out in her even more love the idea of car games xx

    • Reply
      August 25, 2015 at 4:52 pm

      SO easy to bring phonics into every day life and little and often is key! x

  • Reply
    Leah Hinton
    August 24, 2015 at 8:49 am

    Love the games Katy 🙂 – I use clapping name syllables as a group warm up circle activity with younger kids in my music lessons.

    • Reply
      August 25, 2015 at 4:47 pm

      It is a good one isn’t it? I just adore this subject! x

  • Reply
    November 19, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    I am surely going to teach my younger son this game.

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