If you have an emerging reader in your life, you know that he or she needs lots and lots of practice decoding words. To be honest, it can quite boring and tedious for kids during this phase before they become fluent readers. Enter online phonics games to spice up that practice a bit.
Now, I’m definitely a parent and educator who is very picky about digital educational resources. There are some very poor resources out there and I don’t want to waste our time. So, I’ve rounded up the ones that I have personally used and like.
I should also note that I use digital resources as one tool to help my young readers. I’m still a firm believer that kids need lots and lots of practice with good old books they can hold in their hands. And, lots of hands-on playful games with the interaction of an adult is vital. Online phonics games are meant to supplement instruction.
3 FAVORITE ONLINE PHONICS GAMES
The games you will find below are available to play online by visiting a website. Some of them are also available as free or paid app for other devices.
TEACH YOUR MONSTER TO READ
Teach Your Monster to Read ranks at the top of my list. Kids get to design their own monster and then they are responsible for teaching that creature to read. Children pass through levels of difficulty with each level building upon the prior level completing phonics games. Level 1 begins with letter sounds. As you progress through the levels children learn different vowel combination sounds, practicing reading word and sentences, and learning a list of sight words. The game has a video game to feel to it with kids collecting stars as points as they move from section to section. You can add multiple players who might be working at different levels.
The online website version is free, but registration is required. There is also a paid app version that may work better for kids who are still struggling with mouse control on a traditional computer.
Sometimes we will switch tasks to spice up our reading work by playing a quick game on Education.com. There are several short vowel games, silent e, and blending games to play.
There is a free basic membership, but registration is required. You can also upgrade to a premium membership for more resources.
I’ve been using Starfall as a teacher and now as a parent for many years. The site is well organized. In the Learn to Read level, each section has a game, book, and skill activity. At the book level, kids can read on their own. If they get stuck on a word, the program will model sounding out the word. Alphabet Activities can be played before Learn to Read. Then there is It’s Fun to Read and I’m Reading as advanced levels.
I think the Learn to Read level is the most useful and comprehensive of all the levels.
The online website version is free. There are teacher and parent memberships for additional resources. It is also available as a free app.
If you would like to see my list of literacy apps that I recommend, you can check out this post.—>LITERACY APPS
HANDS-ON PHONICS ACTIVITIES
Don’t forget to engage in lots of other phonics activities to help your kids read. Here are a few hands-on ideas to help.
Do you have a favorite online phonics resource?