Phonics stocking stuffer

8 Replies

It’s the first day of summer here in Melbourne, after a long, hard year of lockdown. We’ve been mostly working online since March, which was quite a learning curve, so I’ve had almost no energy for blogging or the website (sorry). We’ve now had no new COVID-19 cases for a month (hooray! it can be done!) so are cautiously looking forward to the silly season.

If you’d like a simple, inexpensive phonics game as an end-of-year school activity or Christmas stocking stuffer, you might like my new printed (no laminating or cutting up required!) word-building card game. Lots of kids didn’t learn very well this year thanks to COVID-19, but we’re all pretty weary, so it seems like a good time to build skills and knowledge through games.

Here’s a 90-second video about the game:

Children who only know one sound for each letter of the alphabet will need adult help with the sounds for the consonant digraphs and trigraphs in this game (sh, ch, th, wh, ll, ss, ck, ng, tch, dge), but children who know these spellings can play more independently.

If a child builds a word they don’t know, you might like to tell them what it means and put it in a sentence or two, to build their vocabulary, or just skip over it if it’s not a common word.

Older/more advanced learners can put up to three adjacent consonants in their first words (e.g. bench, truck, splint and strengths), which are then much harder for their opponent to change. Knowing the consonant combinations used in English syllables helps with spelling and reading.

The game – 52 child-sized cards and 2 instruction cards in a box – costs $12 including GST from our online shop, plus $9.20 for packing and postage to anywhere in Australia, or you can click-and-collect from our office in North Fitzroy. Please ring first (03 8528 0138) to make sure our reception will be staffed when you visit, and it won’t be waiting room Peak Minute.

Sorry we can’t currently ship this game overseas. The DSF online shop also sells this game, and may take overseas orders. You can also get this game from the lovely people at Childplay toy shop in Clifton Hill, where I never fail to find the best gifts for kids.

The download-and-print version of this game is also still available, either by itself or in a set of three games, but you have to provide the cardboard and colour printer, laminate it and cut it up, and the end result isn’t as robust or professional-looking.

An earlier version of this game contained spellings like ‘v’, ‘j’, ‘ff’ and ‘zz’ which aren’t in many words, so that version was a bit harder to play. These spellings have been replaced by more common ones in the new game, so it’s easier and more fun for beginners and strugglers. I’m hoping to be able to produce more printed resources in future, if these cards are a success.


8 responses to “Phonics stocking stuffer”

  1. Nan Shiels says:

    Thanks Alison-this is great game of endless fun. I’ve bought it and played it with my Prep-grade grandson.
    He’s quickly learning how to beat me!!! Will have to order more for the next batch coming through.
    Have a happy Christmas and well-deserved break.

    • alison says:

      Dear Nan, thanks so much for the lovely feedback, glad to hear your little grandson is smashing phonics. Have a wonderful festive season too, all the best, Alison

  2. Andrea Hewett says:

    I’ve just got my copy of this card game it’s a winner with the students I’ve played it with so far! My older boys group chose to stay after their group and keep playing it, and not one parent had the heart to stop them! It got a bit fast and furious at times, but lots of laughs were had. Thanks, Alison

    • alison says:

      Hi Andrea, great to hear you like the game and the kids do too. Thanks so much for the lovely feedback, and I hope to see you in actual person sometime before the next year is out. Stay well, Alison

  3. Bernadette Janis says:

    Thank you Alison! This game is exactly would I have loved and appreciated as a child many years ago. The good news is now I get to play it with my students and family members. It is really neat, and I can’t wait to get started. Happy Summer and Merry Christmas!

  4. Susan S says:

    Hi Alison, thank you for the wonderful resource. I have just finished teaching a Phonological Awareness Program at my school and am recommending your wonderful game to the parents. It will support phonemic awareness skills over the holidays and looks like a lot of fun. I was happy to hear that it is stocked at Child play in Clifton Hill which is a favourite of mine too. You rock Alison! Cheers Susan

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