DIY Phonics Activities

The science of reading tells us the importance of phonics and phonemic awareness when teaching reading and writing, which is why we love DIY phonics activities. However, those are just two pieces of the puzzle. We also know how important it is to keep phonics and phonemic awareness activities fun, hands-on, and novel. And ya’ll; we know how much we love some good DIY projects!

DIY Phonics Activities: Dollar Tree Phonics Games

Dollar Tree is a great place for classroom materials, especially shape cutouts. We love using these because they’re cheap, come in so many designs, and can be used over and over again when laminated!

DIY phonics activities and games

My class loves games, so we made a phonics game using these ice cream cutouts and this giant ice cream from Dollar Tree!

DIY phonics lessons

We laminate the shapes and write lowercase letters using a Sharpie. Place these into the giant ice cream cup.

DIY phonics activities phonemic awareness games

We pass the ice cream, and students reach in and pull out a cone. They say the sound and the letter. Then, the class writes the letter on their whiteboard or chalkboard, and they yell out words that start with that sound.

diy phonics activities decoding words

You can also use this same game for any phonics skill or pattern. And keep in mind, you don’t need the giant ice cream cup. You can use a paper bag, box, or bowl. etc., and any shape cutouts!

Here’s a tip: write on the shapes with a Sharpie, and you can reuse them by scribbling over the Sharpie with a dry-erase marker, and it will erase!

Another idea for these shapes is word building. This is great for whole groups and small groups.

DIY phonics activities segmenting sounds

Write letters on the shapes. Place the shapes in a pocket chart. You say a word. Have students segment the sounds in the word. One student spells the word in the pocket chart using the shapes. The rest of the class writes the word on their whiteboard. Everyone reads the word.

DIY phonics activities blending sounds into words

And here’s the great thing about these DIY phonics activities and games: they’re cheap, easy to make, and can be used all year with ANY SKILL! You can use CVC words, CVC-E words, vowel teams, blends, digraphs, etc., in whole, small, and centers!

DIY Phonics Activities: Say It! Spell It! Write It!

Here’s another idea I saw on Facebook. I wanted to know if it actually worked, so I made it—and it does!

I use a plastic container from Dollar Tree. The trick is that you want the lid to be without lines. The inside can be divided or not; it doesn’t matter.

Use a Sharpie to write on the lid.

diy phonics games for small groups

You’ll want to put magnetic letters or letter tiles and CVC word pictures inside the box.

The CVC word objects we used are these magnets. Click the image to get them from AMAZON!

We also use our CVC Word Work Center resource because it has real photographs included and those worked great as well!

diy phonics activities for centers

Amazon also has these magnetic object sets:

To use the game, students shake the box. Open the box. Place a picture in the “SAY IT” section. Say the word. Segment the sounds. Spell the sounds using magnetic letters. Write the word using a dry-erase marker.

For more science of reading aligned resources, check out these TKS creations:

For more ideas, resources, and activities, check out these blog posts:

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