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GUEST BLOG: What is phonics and how can you include it in every day play?

Hello everyone, my name is Hana and I am this month’s guest blogger. I am the owner of Phonics with Robot Reg St Albans and Harpenden. We provide fun high energy classes, teaching early phonics skills to children aged 1-4. A Phonics with Robot Reg Class is fun, varied and educational, and the best part is that children don't even realise that they are learning.

What is Phonics?

Phonics is the technique that children use in schools to learn to read and write. So, children will not initially learn the letter names but the letter sounds instead. This proves to be a more effective method. If they are just learning the words as is, then they are limited to only knowing that word, however if you teach the sounds, children can use that skill to move forward and read more words independently.

Children will also not learn the sounds in alphabetical order. It is usually taught in the SATPIN order. So, s, a, t, p, i and n will be the first 6 sounds they learn because they are the most frequently used sounds. Therefore, they’ll be able to independently be able to read more words than if they learnt a, b, c, d, e and f first.

Little countdown moment coming up… if you take 5 minutes to come up with as many words as you can using only s, a, t, p, i and n you will realise just how many there are.


Children are never too young to start their phonics journey. It’s not all about learning the sounds, it’s the groundwork you put in before that which is beneficial.

Environmental sounds, body percussion, instrumental sounds, rhythm and rhyme and voice sounds all contribute to developing their phonological awareness.

Environmental Sounds: why not go on a listening walk. What sounds can you hear around you? Are they far away or do they sound near? Is it loud or quiet?

Body Percussion: develop children’s awareness of sounds they can make with their own body. Clapping, clicking, stamping. Why not try some repetition. You may do clap, clap, stamp, stamp and get your little one to repeat it back.

Instrumental Sounds: why not make musical instruments? Pop some rice in a water bottle for a shaker. Discover that different instruments make different sounds.

Rhythm and Rhyme: nursery rhymes are great for this, or rhyming books can be lots of fun too.

FUN FACT: Did you know that if a child knows 8 nursery rhymes by the time they are 4, they are usually among the best learners in their class by the time they are 8!!

Voice Sounds: get little ones to distinguish the noises they can make with their own voices. Animal noises and vehicle noises are good for this. Lots of singing Old McDonald Had a Farm!


It’s great to try and make learning fun, so why not try some fun activities at home with your little one?

Building blocks are so versatile and can make the perfect phonics game.

This one is perfect for sound recognition. Getting them to hunt for the sounds and pop them on top of the corresponding sound.

This is a fabulous game to help with digraphs. Using trains to understand where the

phoneme is and the digraph is!

A digraph is when 2 letters make one sound. For example ch, sh, th, ai

Simply create some letters with real words and alien words on. Then get the little ones to pop them into the corresponding letter boxes.

Playdough has so many amazing uses! It’s perfect for developing motor skills or why not try this brilliant activity for little ones to practice spelling CVC words.


Why not follow me on social media for more fun yet educational activity ideas:

For more information on our amazing classes then visit: or email me at

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