Games to develop Phonological Skills

Initial Sounds/ Alliteration Games

  1. I Spy with My Little Eye something beginning with the sound 'c'
  2. I Went to the Market and Bought a .......'thinking of objects beginning with the same sound
  3. Bingo Game - The child has a grid of pictures and adult calls out a letter sound.  If they have a picture that begins with the same sound, they place a counter over it.  Winner is first person to get three counters in a row.
  4. Tongue Twisters are also popular - 'Round and round the rugged rocks the ragged rascal ran', 'Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled pepper'
  5. Finish it Off - Give the group the beginning of some alliterative sentences and ask them to think of different ways to finish them.  For example, 'Sally smiled sweetly at........', 'Naughty Nathan.........', 'Terrible toys.........', 'Rabbits ran...'
  6. Circle Game - Pupils stand or sit in a circle and a ball or bean bag is passed round.  The adult says a word and the ball is passed to the next person who must say a word which starts with the same letter.  If they fail, they lose a 'life'.  When the ball has gone round the circle, the adult chooses a new word.  Each player is allowed three 'lives'.

Alliteration Pictures

Initial, Middle and Final Phoneme Games

  1. Where is the sound?  Tell the child that you are going to say a list of words.  All the words contain 's'.  Some words have /s/ at the beginning, some in the middle and some at the end.  If students hear the /s/ sound at the beginning of the word they put the counter in the first box, if they hear the /s/ sound in the middle, they put the counter in the middle box and it they hear the /s/ sound at the end of the word, they place the counter in the last box.  List: set, sock, bus, miss, mess, ask, safe, kiss, soup.  This can be repeated for other sounds.
  2. Where am I?  Provide the child with a 3 or 4 box grid.  Tell him/her that you will be showing them a picture, saying the word and then a sound in the word.  They are to place the counter in the first box if the sound is at the beginning of the word, on the second box if the sound is in the middle of the word and on the final box if it is at the end of the word.

Phoneme Pictures

Phoneme Segmentation Games

  1. Push Lights - battery operated push lights that light up when you push the button.  You'll need at least four lights.  Ask the pupil to push the button for each sound in the word.
  2. Throwing Balls - give each pupil a ball and have him/her toss it in the air for each sound in the word.
  3. Pushing Counters - moving counters into a grid every time a sound is heard in a given word.  For example: c a t 
  4. Bead String - move the beads along the string to help with blending and segmenting sounds in a word.

Elkonin box 3

Elkonin box 4

Phoneme Substitution Game

Phoneme Substitution Activity

Rhyme Games

  1. Rhyming Memory - collect pairs of rhyming pictures.  Shuffle the pack and place face down in rows.  Ask a child to turn over two of the picture cards and say what the pictures are out loud.  If the pictures rhyme, that child can keep the card.  If they do not rhyme, they are turned face down and put back in their original spaces.
  2. Throw a Rhyme - make two cubes out of card.  Stick six pictures on each face of one of the cubes.  On the other cube, stick the corresponding rhyming pictures.  Child throws both cubes and decides if both pictures rhyme.
  3. Rhyming Books - read poems, stories and nursery rhymes to the child.  Suggested books include: Dr Seuss series, Julia Donaldson books and Roald Dahl Revolting Rhymes.  Encourage the child to produce the rhyming word to complete the sentence.  Try adapting the rhyme to encourage the child to think of suitable alternative endings.  For example, Humpty Dumpty sat on a log, Humpty Dumpty saw a big green..............
  4. Rhyming Names - make rhyme sentences to rhyme with the child's name.  For example: Ben likes to hide in his den.
  5. Rhyme Hunt - tell the child that they're going on a rhyme hunt and ask them to find something in the room that rhymes with a given word.  For example what rhymes with sock (clock), bear (chair), look (book), label (table), floor (door), blue (glue).

Rhyming Pictures

Syllable Games

  1. Clapping Game - Clap the syllables in children's names, objects and within sentences.
  2. Feel the Syllable - After determining the number of syllables in a name, ask the children to hold two fingers horizontally under their chins, so they can feel the chin drop for each syllable.  To maximise this effect, encourage the children to elongate or stretch each syllable.  (This "works" because there is a vowel sound in every syllable and vowel sounds are "open-mouthed sounds".)
  3. Feely Bag - collect objects that cover 1, 2, 3 and 4 syllable words and place in a feely bag.  Child pulls out a toy, says its name and then claps out the beats in the word.
  4. Syllable Hoops - place 3 or 4 hoops on the floor in a row.  Child jumps in when they break up a word into its syllables.  Adult (or another child) reads out a sentence from a story.  At the end of the sentence, repeat one of the words that need to be broken into syllables.  Child jumps out the syllables in that word in the hoops.
  5. Syllable Bingo - give each child a blank bingo grid of 9 squares and counters.  Ask them to write 1, 2, 3 or 4 in various squares on the grid until it is filled.  The numbers represent the syllables in a word.  When you say a word or show a picture of an object, the child works out the number of syllables in that word and covers the corresponding number on their card with a counter.  Winner is first person to cover a row.
  6. Roll a Dice - give the child a die with the numbers 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3 and ask them to roll it.  The child needs to think of a word with the number of syllables corresponding to the number shown on the die.

Mixed Syllable Pictures