Clifford, the Big Red Dog

The new movie “Clifford, the Big Red Dog” is coming November 10th. It is a perfect time to read some of the many books by Norman Bridwell, and play several great online games provided by Scholastic!

These are a wonderful way to practice phonics skills! All the games, plus some interactive stories can be found at

Check out more fun free online phonics games.

Phonics Pow Wordsearch Puzzles


The Phonics Pow wordsearches at are a good way to practice phonics patterns as they are learned in a sensible sequence that is followed by the Phonics Pow Toolkit. They can be played online or printed out.








Check back, as I continue to add to the list! Find even more word search puzzles at this Pinterest board. The Word Lists are another helpful resource for teaching phonics patterns.

Mr. Nussbaum

This Phonics Focus is about the website, a Phonics Fav with many free helpful tools and games. More resources can be obtained with a subscription. While there are resources for many subject areas, the language arts category is of most interest for learning to read. Mr. Nussbaum makes great use of audio. In the video, we highlight:

Literacy Tools


The End of Flash

The end of 2020 also means the end of Flash. Many online games that are great to practice phonics skills use Flash, but Adobe will no longer support Flash after December 30, 2020.

Some websites have made games that are more mobile friendly without Flash, notably: ict games, kizphonics, mr. nussbaum, and room recess. Some of these games can be found at the mobile friendly symbaloo.

A work-around found through an article from How To Geek that led me to Ruffle, has been working for me on my laptop. Ruffle has made it easy to add an extension to Chrome.

The work-around above may be helpful to use games with Flash at some websites like Clever Learner, Galactic Phonics, Literactive, and more found at the Symbaloo collections. Professor Garfield, excellent for phonemic awareness, sadly seems to be no longer available.

Word Play Games

Playing with words is a great way to practice skills for reading. This list has some ideas for hands on games to play.

Find more links to word games at Wakelet, online games at Symbaloo, and hands-on games at ABCs of games for reading.

Shark Chart!

After learning about Consonant Digraphs with short vowels at the end of the SOUND OUT WORDS section (II.c), and about Bossy R (III.b), it is time to learn about words that have BOTH! Words like…




I was inspired by Shark Week to put together a free set of activities that includes a worksheet, a word search, and a word sort. The words can be sorted two ways: by digraphs or by the Bossy R vowel. The SHARK CHART freebie is available to download at the Super Tutor Tools store at Teachers Pay Teachers. Also available is a free wordlist and set of bookmarks with consonant digraphs and vowel patterns.

PLAY the Shark Chart word search online.

Learn more about Word Sorts and get the free set of word sort games for the Phonics Pow Toolkit.

The ABCs of Games for Reading

Active, Board, & Card Games

When it comes to hands-on games to practice reading skills, a good mix includes Active games, Board games, and Card games. (For free online games for phonics, check out this Symbaloo.) This post contains ideas for each kind of hands-on game.


Phonemic Awareness

Short Vowels (CVC words)

Word Families


  • A. Blend target shoot. Write two different blends with dry erase marker on Solo plastic plates. Mix pictures for the two blends (from flyingintolearning below) to draw and throw a suction cup ball to hit the correct target.
  • B. Picture blend (flyingintolearning) match onto chart (thisreadingmama) or Great Green Grapes Blend Board Game (Super Tutor Tools)
  • C. Initial Blends go fish (Adrian Bruce)

Silent e

Bossy R

Consonant Digraphs

Diphthongs (vowel teams that make new sounds)

Vowel Teams that are often long

  • A. Pick & Toss – Cut 3 equal size holes in a large box or trifold presentation board. Label the holes AI, EA, & OA. Print Marshmallow Match from thebubblegumtree & cut out the word cards. Take turns drawing a card & tossing a ball or beanbag through the correct hole. 1st one to match & toss all three targets wins.
  • B. Make the Cake (Long A-Silent e & vowel teams), Nice Dice Vowel Teams, AI/AY Board game or the Phonics Patterns Board Game Set (Super Tutor Tools)
  • C. Vowel Pattern Yahtzee (Super Tutor Tools)

Sight Words


After learning about Silent e and Bossy R, click on the wheel below to practice the patterns! Make three columns on the top of a page, with the headings: SHORT, LONG, or BOSSY R. Take turns spinning the wheel to choose a column, then roll dice to choose a word. See who can make the longest list of words in 5 minutes.



You can also download a worksheet. It can be printed on cardstock and the words cut apart for a word sort.

Games of all kinds make learning to read fun!

Word Sort Games


This set of word sort games designed to go along with the Phonics Pow Toolkit is available as a free download. (link below) Word sorts are a tool for teaching reading skills that have been shown to be effective way for students to learn patterns in words. We’ve got you covered!


How to play: Choose the word cards for the phonics pattern to practice in sequence. Add cards that skip (the turn is skipped if drawn) or swipe (player can take a word card from the other player) in with the word cards. Each player has a phonogram card, and takes turns drawing a word card and placing it on the correct phonogram. For a quick game, the winner is the player who fills their the phonogram card with one word card of each pattern first. A longer game can be played by using all the word cards, with the winner being the player with the most word cards. POW!


Many of the phonogram cards include color clues. ā is gray, ē is green, ī is white, ō is gold, ū is blue. Below is an index of all the sorts included.


How to set up and organize: Print on cardstock and punch pieces with 1″ circle punch or cut out. Place word sorts in small ziplock bags with labels, and keep in quart ziplock bags with expanding bottoms by sections, or in a Sterlite flip top box. Tabbed index cards are helpful for dividing sections. An empty Extra Refreshers gum container works great for mixing up and drawing the cards.

Check out the Phonics Pow Toolkit and get your free Word Sort Games – Download pdf. Visit Word Lists for a free download of the words included.

An online word family sort (with short vowels) from Read, Write, Think based on Flash works with the workaround at the End of Flash.

Online word sorts are available at:

Links at Interactive Word Study Review Games

Fun Online Phonics Games

Learning to read isn’t an easy skill to master, and it takes time and practice. But sometimes practicing the skills needed for reading can be fun! Many websites provide free online games that make learning more fun. However, it is not always easy to find games that target a specific phonics skill. The games in … Continue reading “Fun Online Phonics Games”

Learning to read isn’t an easy skill to master, and it takes time and practice. But sometimes practicing the skills needed for reading can be fun! Many websites provide free online games that make learning more fun. However, it is not always easy to find games that target a specific phonics skill. The games in this post are targeted to practice the skills needed to understand the 44 sounds of the English language.

Symbaloo of phonics games at

Some online games require flash, which is no longer supported after 12/31/2020. Learn more at The End of Flash.  Some more mobile friendly games are collected at this Symbaloo. More online games at these Symbaloo collections.


Phonological & Phonemic Awareness: Symbaloo collection for Phonemic Awareness

Letter names and soundsAlphabet Games at Wakelet


Short vowels and Word families



Silent e

Bossy R

Diphthongs – vowel combinations that make (mostly) new sounds

Vowel Teams that are often long

Vowels that vary: Wild Old Words at

Short or Long Vowels


Consonant Digraphs

Consonants that vary


Open & Closed Syllables

Consonant -le: consonant-le at

Schwa: Schwa words at, Online Quiz at purposegames

Word Search Puzzles

websites in alphabetical order: – a teacher-created website that provides fun and educational games for kids. Pre-K through 5th grade, and includes games for learning letters (also numbers and more) It is free for use on pcs (ads) and can be obtained for mobile or tablet use with a subscription. – arcademic skill builders are free online educational video games that offer a powerful approach to learning basic math, language arts, vocabulary and thinking skills. These are highly engaging and some are multi-player. Apps are available for both Android and iOS. – has many resources on a variety of topics. To access worksheets and more resources there is a subscription fee, but there are many games available for free (with a sign-in) for learning reading skills. AlphabetSyllable CountingShort vowel sort, Short Vowel Sort, Long/Short sortBlends, and Silent E +more. Also Digraphs Hopper & Digraphs Photoshoot, Sight Words Balloon Pop and more, Compound Word Fish, Interactive Stories. – some free online phonics games – free online games (and worksheets) for phonics.


Galactic Phonics (Flash) – free resources created by teachers. It can be difficult to find games to practice diphthongs, this site has a good collection plus more. Find them all at Symbaloo. – free online games for phonics, mobile friendly

Kizphonics – an online phonics program which provides a few games on each level free, access beyond that requires a membership.

Learn English Kids -from the British Council – free online learning games

Literactive (Flash)– many online games for phonics skills including phonemic awareness. So many that I made a Symbaloo of them. There’s also a Tizmos collection. Great resource!

Making English Fun – many online games, apps are available.

Mr Nussbaum – has lots of mobile friendly literacy games and interactive resources. Build words with Word Maker and blend sounds with Sound Garden.  (Two Letters with both digraphs & blends available with upgrade) – a website from the Public Broadcasting System which is aimed at preschool kids.

phonics bloom – many games that work on pc and mobile devices, some free and more with subscription – free for schools, libraries, & educational organizations with 10 or more students. Parents can pay for access, and there is an app available. – provides free materials including some games (Flash) has lots of reading games. Many are available for both pc & mobile. – some content free, more with registration – an educational publisher of books and materials for grades PreK to 12+. Some games are available on pc only at SadlierConnect

Skillswise – provided by the British Broadcasting Corporation, this website includes a section of English Games. There is lots more about reading, writing, and math for higher levels. – provides many resources for free, including Phonics plus other resources. A premium subscription is available that removes ads and lets teachers set up student account to track progress. – tons of phonics games, free with sign-up, apps available. – provides some free content on phonics aimed at early grade levels, with expanded content available for a subscription. Starfall classic, free app is available.

teach your monster to read – free on PC with sign-up. App is available. – provides many resources for free on PC only. Premium subscription removes ads and allows mobile play. app is available – teacher made resources, whack-a-mole, random wheel, and more! A similar site is – some free online games for reading.

Too many people struggle with learning to read. Low literacy levels often lead to limited opportunities for employment, according to literacy statistics at Phonics Facts. Make a difference by sharing the resources at Phonics Pow to help others teach reading.

Phonological and Phonemic Awareness

Hearing and manipulating the sounds in language are important skills for learning to read. Phonemic awareness and letter knowledge have been identified in several research studies as the two key indicators of how well children will master beginning reading skills during the first two years in school. (The Threads of Reading by Karen Tankersly at

Understanding Phonological and Phonemic Awareness

Both are about the ability to hear & manipulate the sounds in language…

  • Phonological Awareness – in words & syllables
    • Phonemic Awareness – at the phoneme (individual sounds within words) level.

A Phonological and Phonemic Awareness tutorial at Wakelet includes videos to watch.

Printable Charts:

This chart runs top to bottom
Build a foundation of skills with increasing difficulty from bottom to top with this chart.

These Phonological and Phonemic Awareness charts are available free at the Super Tutor Tools store at Teachers Pay Teachers Super Tutor store.


More Resources

Phonological Interventions for Struggling Readers from Learning at the Primary Pond has this illustration of the progression of skills, and lots of ideas for activities for developing them.

Phonological Awareness at Dyslexia Help and provide helpful explanantions.


Use CVC picture cards to rhyme, say the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd sound, or listen for the difference between two. has great resources for phonological and phonemic awareness. More activities for phonemic awareness at Reading Rockets. In phonological and phonemic awareness, the emphasis is on hearing sounds. The activities below can be helpful additions to a Phonics Kit.



Syllable Counting: clap or tap, or feel your mouth drop.

Compound Words

Syllable Manipulation: WordList (pdf) to blend, segment or delete syllables.

Identify initial sounds

Phoneme blending

Phoneme segmenting

Phoneme segmenting and manipulation

  • Word list for deleting and substituting from ontrackreading
  • Word Building and Substitution free from Super Tutor Tools at Teachers Pay Teachers. Start with a word, then change one sound at a time and identify the letter.


PLAY Online games: Phonemic Awareness Symbaloo & many at Literactive

Some online games require flash, which is no longer supported after 12/31/2020. There is a workaround with the Ruffle fix at The End of Flash. Clever Learner, Literactive and others are working with the work-around on a laptop. Some more mobile friendly games are collected at this Symbaloo. More online games at these Symbaloo collections Abcya is free on pc only.

Download a Chart with online games in the sequence to build phonological awareness skills.