Top Picks for Home Learning – Letters and Sounds

The following language resources have been chosen for parents to use as they play and learn with their children at home. They all work well for one-to-one learning, with some of the resources offering tactile and digital versions to use separately or in tandem.

Alphabet Pathway Mats

Each of the attractive plastic cards in this set features a large letter of the alphabet, which includes a line or lines for a child to copy the letter’s formation. Each card also shows illustrated objects that begin with the relevant letter sound for your child to identify.

Alphabet Pathway Mats

Activity idea:

Encourage your child to recreate the letter patterns in sand, soil, or play dough, and using paint, crayons and other writing tools. Select a letter and go round your home and outdoor space searching for items that begin with that sound. Lay your collection out and take a photograph of it along with the letter. Over time, you can create your own set of alphabet mats.

Phonics Pebbles

This set of pebbles includes the 44 most common phonemes (small units of sound), plus some pebbles that display alternative spellings. The pebbles can be used to blend sounds to make words and segment words to understand their constituent parts. They are durable enough be used outside and in sand, soil or water.

Phonics Pebbles

Activity idea:

Show your children a collection of objects containing the phonemes you have decided to focus on. As you put each item into a bag, say its name, emphasising the focus phoneme. Show your child the corresponding pebble each time and put these on a tray. Ask your child to take an object out of the bag, say its name and match its initial, end or middle sound with the correct pebble on the tray.

4-Pebble Wordbuilding tray

This tray has been designed to accommodate our alphabet and phonics pebbles, making it easier for children to lay out letters to form words. Its use grows as a child’s language proficiency increases. Begin by using the first three spaces to place letters in to create CVC words. As they are created, the child can blend the sounds by saying them out loud. The process can be reversed as letters are removed. It does not matter if the words are nonsense words to begin with. Building on this work, use all the tray’s spaces to create CCVC, CVCC and CVVC words.

4-Pebble Wordbuilding tray

Activity idea:

Choose a selection of objects containing the focus phonemes and hide them in a bag. Feel for one object and orally segment its name. Ask your child to blend the phonemes and say the word. If they are correct, show them the object. Segment the word again, this time asking your child to help you find the phonics pebble or a similar representation of the sound from a selection. Build the word on the wordbuilding tray, emphasising left to right directionality.

CVC Word Builder App

This app helps children to apply their phonological awareness using a digital device, either alongside our letter sets or independently. By using the structured games children will gain confidence in their abilities, learn how to apply their skills in different contexts and refine their understanding. Play the virtual game, then take the ‘real’ pebbles out to the sandpit or water tray!

CVC Word Builder App

Activity idea:

Our wordbuilding set of pebbles can be used alongside this app. When reading a book with your child, pause and explore the sounds that create consonant-vowel-consonant words (CVC) and build them using these pebbles or other representations of letters.

Rhyming Pebbles and Find the Rhyme App

This set of pebbles made up of eight rhyming pairs will help with your child’s understanding of sounds, and can be used in conjunction with or separately from our Find the Rhyme app, which uses a greater number of rhyming pairs.

Rhyming Pebbles

Activity idea:

Collect a selection of objects, pictures and photographs that relate to a rhyming pebble family, for example: bag, flag, rag and tag for ‘-ag’. Hide these indoors and/or outside. Give your child a rhyming pebble that relates to one of the groups of hidden items. Send them off to see what they can find. Use a sand timer if you want to add some urgency to the game. At the end of the game, talk about what your child has found.

Take a look at our full home learning range.

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