12 decks of advanced code playing cards


Download and print 12 decks of our child-sized (5 X 6.5cm) advanced code playing cards for fun reading practice. These decks focus on three vowel sounds, four consonant sounds, words with Latin suffixes, and homographs (words with two pronunciations). They are a good fit for the Phonic Books (Talisman 2/Titan’s Gauntlets)/Sounds-Write teaching sequence. Words face both up and down, for easy reading from either side of a table.



Download and print 12 decks of our child-sized (5 X 6.5cm) extended code playing cards, for fun reading practice. Words are printed facing both directions, so they are easily read from either side of a table.

These decks firstly focus on the following sound/spelling relationships:

  • /you/ as in “music”, “argue”, “dune”, “stew”, “Europe”, “view”, “beauty”, “nuisance” and “vacuum”.
  • /u/ as in “much”, “front”, “cousin”, “blood” and “does”.
  • /o/ as in “doll”, “swamp”, “fault”, and “cough”.
  • /s/ as in “since”, “cent”, “purse”, mess”, “scene”, and “whistle”.
  • /l/ as in “later”, “grill”, “beetle”, “final”, “model”, “lentil”, and “idol” (linguistics purists, please note that these words contain only syllabic /l/ after an alveolar stop).
  • /j/ as in “joint”, “legend”, “large”, “judge”, and “adjust”.
  • /f/ as in “drift”, “effect”, “graph”, “laugh” and “sapphire”.

Then there are four decks of words created via the addition of Latin suffixes, with similar-sounding final syllables as follows:

  • “ture” as in “future”, “signature” and “agriculture”.
  • “tion” as in “action”, “tion” as in “Egyptian”, “sion” as in “tension”, “ssion” as in “obsession”, and “cian” as in “politician”.
  • “tia” as in “inertia”, “tial” as in “essential”, “tious” as in “cautious”, “tient” as in ‘patient”, “cia” as in “acacia”, “cial” as in “facial”, “cious” as in “gracious”, “sia” as in “aphasia”, “xious” as in “noxious”.
  • “sion” as in “decision” and “sure” as in “pleasure”.

To bring the set up to an even dozen, there is also a deck of homographs, which have more than one pronunciation, as in “row”, “tear”, “console”, “moped”, “second”, and “rebel”.

These card decks can be used as part of most phonics/morphology-based reading/spelling teaching sequences, but most closely follow the teaching sequence used in the Phonic Books Talisman 2 and Titan’s Gauntlets series of books, and the Sounds-Write synthetic phonics program.

We suggest printing the cards on A4 200gsm cardboard, and if you plan to use them a lot, laminate them. We highly recommend that children practise their scissor skills by cutting them up, rounding the corners if a more professional look is sought.

The cards can be used to play any card game requiring a typical deck of playing cards, but players must read the cards’ words as they play them. We’ve made some videos of example games to get you started:

If you’re looking for more/different games, do an internet search for “kids’ playing card games”, and you’ll find plenty, including lots of videos showing how to play. Enjoy!


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