Fishing for Phonograms (Letter Sounds)

We like to make learning fun around here. My goal for my kid’s education is to encourage an attitude of life long learning. That doesn’t come from boring workbooks (although I do use them). Instead, I try to make learning fun, especially for the little ones.

One of the activities I use to help teach my children the sounds of the letters of the alphabet (called phonograms) is a little game called “Fishing for Phonograms”. It is a fun and educational way for children to learn the letter sounds.

Here is my youngest one “fishing” for her phonogram fish….

Here is how you assemble the game:

 1. Print out or draw 26 fish patterns on card stock paper. One fish for each letter of the alphabet. Click here to download printable from Grocery Shrink.

2. On the back side of each fish write one letter of the alphabet in lower case. (We do ours in both cursive and in print.) The reason for teaching them lower case letters first instead of the upper case letters is because most of what we read is in lower case.

3. Laminate the fish for extra durability then place one paperclip near the mouth of each fish.

4. Now that your fish are complete, you need to build your fishing pole. We had an unused kids pole so we just glued a magnet to the end of it but you can take a stick, some yarn and a magnet to make a more rustic fishing pole.

Here is how you play the game:

Lay the fish on the ground with the letters (or phonograms, as we call them) facing down. Use a blue blanket as water if you have one.

Now let each child take a turn “fishing”. When they snag a fish have them say the sound that the letter (or phonogram) makes. If they get the sound right, they get to keep the fish but if they got it wrong then they throw the fish back in. When all the fish are gone, the child with the most fish wins!

For very young children, or those still learning their letter sounds (phonograms), you can help them with the sounds they do not know. Then let everyone take a turn and when all the fish are caught you can have each child throw his or her fish back in the “lake” as everyone says the letter sounds together. No need to have a winner (and a loser) as this may discourage new learners.

This idea came from Grocery Shrink.

You might also be interested in my Learning with Candy Land post.

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