Teach Your Child Phonics

Teach Your Child Phonics #03

Hello! Welcome back to Teach Your Child Phonics! I am really enjoying writing these – hopefully you are learning something each week! This week I am not doing a Periscope as I am not going to move onto the next set of sounds just yet. I am however, in the middle of making a video of all of the first 44 sounds I have already shown you. I will have that uploaded asap!

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So last week we looked at the final few phonemes from Set 1, there are 44 basics phonemes in total and once your child knows those (or has them in their phonic repertoire) you can start to introduce the written form.

Readiness will vary from child to child, just keep an eye out for an interest in seeing you write – and make sure you actually do write in front of them (and no, using your phone or laptop does not count!!).

So how do you introduce graphemes?

Graphemes (the visual representation of a sound) are always shown in lower case so if you have been teaching capitals STOP right now! I caught my mum teaching Little G using capitals the other week and almost cried!! Capital letters come further down the line, as do the letter names.


A good way to introduce the written word is by using their name. Children are very self centred and their name is one of the most important things to them. I am not saying they need to learn how to write it at this point but you can introduce the written form and say the sounds within their name. Now, obviously names do have a capital and I have found the best approach to be honesty- just say that names are important so they have a capital letter. Children are like sponges and they will accept this information easily.


The best way to get children recognising letters is to banish the pencils for a while. Handwriting is a skill all on its own so we don’t want to confuse the situation. By using magnetic letters they can find the letters they need and start making words.

Start off simple- find a letter and ask them to find the same one. Tell them what it says and move on to the next one. A bit like pairs but with letters!

As their interest grows you could get them to pick 3 letters- you then sound it out – does that sound like a word? Weird words are often called alien words in schools- they tell the children that they are not a real word but also show them that nothing is incorrect, that we just don’t use it in our language.

So for example if a child picked out z-o-g then you would sound it out and say zog. Now this is not a real word but we laugh at how silly it sounds as an alien word. You can then pick out 3 sounds such as c-a-t and sound it out- does that sound like a word you know?


Once again on my list, I cannot stress enough the importance of this activity! Once they are recognising letters you can point to a word and ask them if they know what it begins with. Can they guess what it might say using the pictures? Again, following on from last week and talking about rhyme, if you are reading a rhyming book you can emphasise the initial rhyme and then ask them what they think the second rhyming word might be.

Hickory dickory dock
The mouse ran up the c……

“This word begins with a c, what might it be?”

You get the idea.

Now the next couple of activities are not phonics related at all but I am throwing them out there as a means to get your child ready for writing. You may think me mad but the sooner you prepare those little hands the better!


These are the ones I mean….


Getting your children to put the coloured pegs into the holes will help strengthen their fingers and this in turn will help in future when they come to hold a pencil.


Now this type of peg I am referring to are the ones you hang out your washing with! Getting them to pinch the pegs, maybe use them to pick up little objects, will help with their grip and again, help with their finger muscles!

Next week I will be talking through how to get your child to read simple words. 

See you there! 


  • Reply
    You Baby Me Mummy
    August 24, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    You can tell you love this, you clever old thing 😉 xxx

    • Reply
      August 25, 2015 at 4:43 pm

      Ha my bossy side coming through eh? xx

  • Reply
    Christine - Yogaberry
    August 26, 2015 at 8:33 am

    this is so interesting! I think my daughter is at the right age to start with this but I’m speaking in German to her so not quite sure how to go about this. Do I teach her phonics in German or better in English as she will be learning it in English in school? It might be terribly confusing otherwise! xx

    • Reply
      August 26, 2015 at 10:05 am

      I am so glad you asked this and I think I may write about it next week for others wondering the same! Many bilingual parents think that if they stop talking their mother tongue this will help but actually it does so much damage. Children have extraordinary brains and are able to translate things in their heads so much quicker than adults. My advice would be to use both German and English interchangeably, be open and honest about the different sounds, maybe make a game out if it, if English is this then German is that. Many sounds will be similar anyway and just don’t mention the letter names themselves as obviously they are called different things entirely. xx

  • Reply
    Emma's Mamma
    August 26, 2015 at 10:30 am

    Pinning this for when Emma is a bit older. Great post! x #KidsCorner

    • Reply
      August 31, 2015 at 9:41 pm

      Thanks hun x

  • Reply
    Becky, Cuddle Fairy
    August 26, 2015 at 11:40 am

    Really wonderful tips here Katy. It’s hard to think of ways to make phonics fun – you have some great ones here. #KidsCorner x

    • Reply
      August 31, 2015 at 9:41 pm

      I love phonics so much, definitely my passion! x

  • Reply
    August 26, 2015 at 5:24 pm

    This is so helpful Katy! I was beginning to get myself in a bit of a flap trying to help Bubs but after watching your vid I’m feeling much more confident. 😀

    • Reply
      August 31, 2015 at 9:40 pm

      Thank you so much Vickie x

  • Reply
    Sara (@mumturnedmom)
    August 26, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    Great post, I’m going to have to go back and read your other ones now 🙂

    • Reply
      August 31, 2015 at 9:39 pm

      Thanks Sarah xx

  • Reply
    August 27, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    I love this post! Very informative and reminds me of the fact that I hate the toys that ‘teach’ kids the alphabet using capitals, I refuse to have them in the house! O is almost 4 and loves pointing out letters so we have now begun pointing out the different sounds that words begin with. He goes through phases of wanting to do letter games and then number games. At the moment he prefers counting everything! 🙂 x

    • Reply
      August 31, 2015 at 9:38 pm

      We had a counting phase here too and I am totally with you on the capital letter and toys issue! Makes me cringe!!

  • Reply
    September 16, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    Good post! Really helpful 🙂

  • Reply
    Emma T
    September 21, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    Hopefully I’m going to be prepared for when N starts properly doing phonics at school with this series. 4 weeks in, and there’s no evidence so far, but I think he knows more than he lets on, given he’ll have done some at nursery over the last year and a half.

    • Reply
      September 24, 2015 at 10:29 pm

      As long as you say things correctly he will pick it up without you realising xx

  • Reply
    Shishu life
    July 6, 2020 at 9:15 am

    good read, peg board is my child favorite game

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