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Phonics & Sight Words Made Fun - 20 Engaging Activities for Kids

If you teach K-2, you know that in order for children to learn, engagements must be fun and engaging... but still aligned with a learning intention. Phonics can seem absolutely un-fun when you're handed a curriculum or an overview of graphemes and phonemes or lost in the rigidity of the science of reading.

Here are some activities I've used as a teacher in phonics lessons and literacy centers that get kids excited about practicing letters and sounds.

I've grouped phonics and sight words together because I find that if an activity works for one, it can almost always be adapted to also work for the other.

1. Basketball Phonics

Gently toss a ball into a basket (at a very close distance). For every score, kids get to read a card with the focus letter, grapheme or word. This can also be done with a pinecone or acorn into a box, crumpled paper into a bin, etc. Basketball phonics is a practice for letter-sound recognition or decoding depending how you use it.

2. Sandbox Writing