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Phonics Matching Activity

This activity is created with older children in mind, focusing on deepening their understanding of phonics. It has the multiple benefits of being easy to create and linking to many areas of the EYFS Development Matters. Just a few items are needed to make this activity which can also be altered depending on what resources might be available.

Follow our simple step-by-step guide to have a go at this activity today:

What you will need:

· 5 pieces of paper

· A pen

· A random selection of items, one for each child that is participating-literally anything! from toy food, animals, cars, books, trains, paintbrushes, pencils, stones.

· A bag or pillowcase

Photographer: Ryan Wallace | Source: Unsplash

Preparing the activity:

1. Predetermine which letters you would like to work on, for this example we will go with ‘a’, ‘t’, ‘s’, ‘c’, and ‘p’.

2. Write the out each letter on to separate pieces of paper (in lower case).

3. Gather up a variety of items that all begin with one of these letters-try to get a good variety, rather than all of them starting with the same letter.

For the example, if 10 children were taking part, we would find a toy ‘apple’, an ‘apron’, a ‘teddy’, a ‘train’, a ‘sock’, ‘scissors’, a ‘cat’, a ‘car’, a ‘pencil’ and a paintbrush’.

4. Place these items into a bag or pillowcase.

Photographer: Vanessa Bucceri | Source: Unsplash

Doing the activity:

Ask the children to sit in a circle and place the pieces of paper with the letters on, in the middle of the circle on the floor. Confirm with the children what the letters are (phonetically) and explain the aim of the game.

One at a time they will pick an item at random from the bag/pillowcase, identify what it is, think about what letter it starts with, and then place it on the corresponding letter. So if they chose a ‘teddy’ they would place it on the letter ‘t’.

Encourage other children to offer help if someone is struggling with their item, adult guidance is also absolutely fine. By taking turns and listening to the other children, they will be working on focus and attention while simultaneously learning about phonics. If ‘Jolly Phonics’ are used within the setting, then singing the songs when the letter is recognised is also recommended.

Allow each child to have their turn, and if an extended activity is needed, ask the children to independently search their environment for other items beginning with these letters. This does not have to be an item the children can hold they might notice a ‘tree’ through the window for instance.

Photographer: Zane Lee | Source: UnsplashPhotographer: Zane Lee | Source: Unsplash

Tracking the activity:

30-50 months

Personal, Social and Emotional Development: Managing feelings and behaviour- Begins to accept the needs of others and can take turns and share resources, sometimes with support from others.

Communication and Language: Listening and attention- Listens to others one to one or in small groups, when conversation interests them.

Literacy: Reading- Shows awareness of rhyme and alliteration.

40-60 months

Communication and Language: Listening and attention- Maintains attention, concentrates and sits quietly during appropriate activity.

Communication and Language: Understanding- Listens and responds to ideas expressed by others in conversation or discussion.

Literacy: Reading- Links sounds to letters, naming and sounding the letters of the alphabet.

Literacy: Writing- Hears and says the initial sound in words.