15 decks of 1 way to spell vowels playing cards


Download and print 15 decks of our child-sized (5 X 6.5cm) extended code playing cards for fun reading practice. Each deck of cards targets one spelling of a vowel sound: ai as in rain; ee as in see; oa as in boat; ur as in turn; ea as in head; ow as in now; oo as in soon; oo as in  good; igh as in night; or as in fork; oi as in coin; ar as in farm; air as in hair; ear as in near, plus three decks of short/split vowel contrasts e.g. cap/cape, them/theme, fin/fine, cop/cope and cut/cute. Words face both up and down, for easy reading from either side of a table.



Download and print 15 decks of our child-sized (5 X 6.5cm) extended code playing cards for fun reading practice. Each deck targets a single spelling of a vowel sound, so is suitable for learners who need to practise just one new vowel spelling at a time. Words are printed facing both directions, so they are easily read from either side of a table.

These decks contain mainly one-syllable words, and focus on the following sound-spelling relationships:

  • ai as in rain, tail and wait
  • ee as in see, week and green
  • oa as in boat, road and soap
  • ur as in turn, burst and surf
  • ea as in head, breath and leapt
  • ow as in now, down and crowd
  • oo as in soon, boots and roof
  • oo as in good, look and stood AND igh as in high, night and bright*
  • or as in for, north and storm
  • oi as in coin, point and noise
  • ar as in car, farm and shark
  • air as in hair, chair and fair AND ear as in dear, fear and clear*
  • a/a..e word pairs, as in cap/cape, fad/fade and scrap/scrape
  • i/i…e word pairs, as in fin/fine, slid/slide and rip/ripe
  • e/e…e, o/o…e and u/u…e pairs, as in them/theme, cloth/clothe and us/use*

* There weren’t enough common words with these spelling patterns to make separate decks for each one.

These decks can be used with most early vowel spelling teaching sequences, but if you’re using the Dandelion Extended Code 1 resources, the first 12 decks match their teaching sequence (and the downloadable files are numbered accordingly). The last three decks contain the patterns targeted in the Dandelion Split Vowel Spellings books.

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!