12 decks of up to 4 ways to spell sounds playing cards


Download and print 12 decks of our child-sized (5 X 6.5cm) extended code playing cards for fun reading practice. These decks add a few new spelling patterns and syllable structures plus mix and revise patterns from previous decks. The last seven decks target 2-5 spellings of a single vowel sound,  and are a good fit for the Sounds-Write/Phonic Books (Alba/Totem) 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 add syllable types, mix and revise some spellings from earlier decks, then target several spellings of a single vowel sound. They focus on the following sound-spelling relationships:

  • Final-syllable “le” as in apple, handle and juggle.
  • Final-syllable “ing” (present participle) as in lifting, kicking and selling.
  • CH and TCH as in latch, twitch and quench.
  • CH, SH and TH as in children, publish and width.
  • CK, NG, QU and WH as in quick, thick and whack.
  • A…E, AI, AY and A as in take, wait, play and vacant.
  • EE, EA, E, Y and EY as in week, seat, he, baby and hockey.
  • O…E, OA, OW and O as in home, boat, slow and go.
  • ER, IR and UR as in term, bird and curl.
  • OU and OW as in loud and cow.
  • IGH, I…E, Y and I as in night, time, my and find.
  • OO, EW, U…E and U as in soon, crew, June and truth

These decks can be used with most early vowel spelling teaching sequences, and work quite well with the last couple of Magic Belt/That Dog books and then the Alba/Totem sets of books from Phonic Books. However spellings in the first few Alba/Totem books are in the Basic Code set of playing cards.

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. We store all our decks like this:

These 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:

We hope you enjoy using them!