Summer Fun with Phonics


Phonics activities that feel more like play! 

Here we are in the midst of summer.  Before we know it, the kids will be heading back to school.  I encourage you to make the most of these next few weeks by engaging your children in fun phonics activities to support their reading development.  The key is to make these phonetic activities FUN and meaningful.

Here are some suggestion for tying reading and phonogram instruction into fun activities that feel more like play.

Phonics Ay

1.  Introduce the jingle for the phonogram.  Sing the ditty together, and include the hand gestures that go along with it.  The ABC’s of the Sounds We Read and audio CD will teach the jingle.  The Fun-O-Guide will give you an explanation of the hand gestures as well.

2.  Point to the phonogram at the top of the page. Have your child identify the letters and then the sound(s) the phonogram makes.

3.  Next, read through the ditty together pointing to each of the words.  Ask your child to point to the phonogram in the ditty.  Then look at the illustration and discuss how the picture supports comprehension of the written text.

4.  Take it one step further.  Write the words with the given phonogram on an index card or on a wipe-off board.  Emphasize one sound at a time, then write it down.  (Or have your child do this!)

5.  Underline the phonogram in the word.  Help your child decode the word by helping him or her understand that the underlined phonogram (which may be two or more letters) go together to make one sound.

6.  Finally, suggest the related activity.  During the activity or play, continue to sing the ditty several times.

Sting Ray Craft for Phonogram -ay

phonics sting ray craft
phonics ay
'ay' makes an /ā/   
'ay' makes an /ā/   
I see a ray in the bay.   
'ay' makes an /ā/   

Now after learning the ditty and identifying the –ay in the words “ray” and “bay,” help your child create his own sting ray!

Phonics stingray craft

•  We love this printable sting ray craft from  After making this craft, flip it over and tape a strip of paper leaving a gap in the center for your child to stick her hand through.  Now it’s a puppet!  Gently wave the puppet up and down, and pretend the ray is swimming in the bay as you sing the ditty with your child!  Your child will be reinforcing these important phonics skills and play her way to reading success.

•  Your child will also love this short video showing the Mobula Ray jumping, flapping, and belly flopping out of the water on National Geographic Kids.  Learn more about these amazing fish as an extension activity.


Help your child avoid the summer slide, and gain important phonetic skills that are crucial in learning to read.  You can do it!  Just remember when teaching phonograms, your child needs to hear it, say it, and write it.  Then you can play and enrich the concepts taught.

We will be sharing more phun phonics activities with you through our blog.  We love sharing ideas on Facebook and Instagram as well!

How do YOU help your child learn important phonics skills through play?  We’d love to hear from you and so would our other parents!

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