Our Phonics Journey...

Phase One Phonics


In Nursery we explore Phase One of the Phonics learning scheme, Letters and Sounds. In Phase One children are able to develop their speaking and listening skills, through a huge range of activities, which will enable them to embark on the next stage, Phase Two, which is when children begin to learn to read. Each week this page will be updated with a few examples of activities that the children have enjoyed. If you would like some ideas of other activities you can do to support your child's learning at home please ask a member of our team, or take a look at some of the ideas in this document.

Week One - Environmental Sounds


We have been developing our listening skills by tuning in to sounds that we hear all around us. We have played lots of games and have shared our favourite sounds.


What’s in the Box? 

Hiding in this box are lots of noisy things… They made noises and the children had to guess what was inside. The children even took turns to lead the game, creating their own sounds.


Drumming Outdoors

We used sticks and boomwhackers to drum on different objects outside. We drummed in lots of different ways, loud, fast, slow etc. We then chose our favourite objects to drum with and drum on and tried to explain why.


What’s that Sound?

This is a great interactive game on ‘PhonicsPlay’ in the Phase 1 section. Each bubble has a different sound inside. The children loved pressing the bubbles and guessing what the sound could be.


Week Two - Instrumental Sounds


We have had a very noisy week, developing our awareness of sounds made by a range of instruments. We have become more and more confident over the week in our performances and have been choosing sounds to support our songs and stories.


Musical Show and Tell

The children all chose an instrument and a song to sing to perform to their friends. They played the instruments in lots of different ways, loud, quiet, high up, to the side etc. They all took a bow to show that they had finished and loved it when their friends clapped!


Story Sounds

An adult told a noisy story. The children had to choose instruments to make the sounds needed in the story, for example a rainmaker when it was raining or a drum when the giant was stomping. We also used instruments to support singing nursery rhymes, using a cymbal as a crash when a monkey fell out of bed.


Which Instrument?

We had two sets of identical instruments, one set hiding under a blanket. An adult played an instrument under the blanket and the children worked out which instrument it was. Then the children took it in turns to play a hidden instrument for their friends to guess.


Adjust the Volume

This is a very noisy game! Every child has their own instrument and plays them all at the same time. The children watch the adult carefully, playing their instruments quieter when the adult's arms were down and louder when the adult's arms went up. The the children took turns to be the 'conductor', leading their friends.


Week Three – Body Percussion


We have been developing our awareness of sounds and rhythms using our whole bodies. We have been moving around in lots of different ways, making a range of sounds with our bodies and have been trying our best to remember a few simple sequences.


Listen to the Music

We have experimented with making lots of different sounds using our bodies and tried to copy each other. One person used an instrument to make a beat and everyone else tried to follow their beat, making a sound using their bodies at the same time. We stomped, clapped, patted our knees and did lots of other noisy movements.


Noisy Neighbour

Early one morning the children were all fast asleep, when suddenly… There was a noise from the house next door! The children woke up. They took turns to guess what could be making the noise and then kindly asked their noisy neighbour to be quiet. “Noisy neighbour, please be quiet! We are trying to sleep!” The children got woken up lots of times in the night but had lots of fun trying to guess what could be making all the noise.


Roly Poly

The children love the suspense in this activity. Start off slowly rolling your arms while slowly saying “Roly Poly ever so slowly…” Gradually or suddenly increase the speed, “Roly Poly faster…” As the movements become faster say the rhyme faster. Sometimes we stop and giggle while we wait until it is time to move again. The children also made suggestions of different movements, for example “Stomp your feet ever so slowly…”

Roly Poly

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Week 4 - Rhythm and Rhyme


We have been developing our appreciation for rhythm and rhyme in speech. We have played lots of rhyming games and have used body percussion to help us to notice the rhythm in words and sentences. 


Rhyming Silly Soup

We have loved making silly chilly soup! The children took turns to choose an object to go into our rhyming soup. We 'bounced' the words on each hand to hear them side by side, which helped the children to hear if the words sounded the same. They all had a turn at stirring the soup while singing "We're going to make some silly soup, we're making soup that's silly. We're going to cook it in the fridge to make it nice and chilly!" When the soup was ready we all got to taste it, it was ever so cold!


Cake Bake

This is a fantastic interactive game on the phonics play website and is very similar to silly soup. The children have loved making rhyming birthday cakes, making sure that all the ingredients sounded the same!


Playing with Words

This is a great activity for developing children's awareness of rhythm in spoken words. We gathered a range of objects and took turns to say the object names in different ways, slowly, fast, low, high and in a variety of strange voices. We also used body percussion, clapping, tapping or stomping the syllables in each word.


Cake Bake - Word that rhyme with 'cat'

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