11 Free Games for Learning the Letter Sounds (That Kids Will Actually Love) - Elementary Education

11 Free Games for Learning the Letter Sounds (That Kids Will Actually Love)

Are you looking for some fun games to help your class learn the letter sounds? If so, you’ve come to the right place! Here are 5 of the best games for teaching letter sounds, as voted on by kids and teachers alike.

games for learning the letter sounds - title images

1. Learning the Letter Sounds With Fun: Knockout

This is a great game for kids of all ages and can be played in teams. To play, simply place a letter on each slide or picture and have the students at the front of their lines try to answer correctly. The first team to get all their letters correct wins!

2. Learning the Letter Sounds With a Classic: Hangman

This classic game is always a hit with kids! To play, simply think of a word or phrase that has several letter sounds in it. Then, take turns guessing letters until one person can guess the word or phrase. To play a more human-friendly version of this game I have created an alternative called Pizza Man. Instead of drawing the traditional person hanging from a noose, you instead draw a man holding a pizza box.

3. Learning the Letter Sounds Hands-On: Word Ladder

This is a great game for kids who are just learning their letter sounds. To play, simply choose a word and then have the player to your left change one letter to make a new word. The game continues until someone can’t make a new word.

4. Learning the Letter Sounds With Prizes: Letter Sound Bingo

This is a great game for kids who are just learning their letter sounds. To play, simply give each child a bingo card with different letter sounds on it. Call out letter sounds and have the kids mark off the ones they hear. The first person to get bingo wins!

✨ Bonus: Have your students create their own bingo cards by drawing pictures of things that begin with each letter sound.

5. Learning the Letter Sounds By Exploring: Letter Sound Scavenger Hunt

This is a great game for kids who are just learning their letter sounds. To play, simply hide objects around the room that have different letter sounds on them. Then, have the kids search for the objects and bring them to the carpet (whole class), small group instruction table, or to their desk.

Bonus: This is a great way to get a quick assessment before teaching new sounds and also post-unit as a summative assessment.

6. Learning the Letter Sounds With A Partner: Letter Sound Snowball Fight

This is similar to the snowball fight greeting in the morning meeting slides I shared here. To play, simply write different letters on pieces of paper and then crumple them up into balls. Then, have the kids stand on opposite sides of the room and have a snowball fight! The object of the game is to “hit” the person across from you with a snowball. If they catch the snowball, they must call out the letter sound on the snowball. If they are hit by it or drop it, they must find another snowball. Once they call out the sound of that letter, play continues and the other partner is the thrower.

learning the letter sounds with a snowball fight

✨ Bonus: play this game when it’s hot outside and have a Summer Snowball fight.

7. Learning the Letter Sounds Using Your Eyes: I Spy

This classic game is a great way to review letter sounds. To play, simply choose an object in the room and then give clues about that object by saying, “I spy with my little eye something that starts with the sound of (letter).

learning the letter sounds: a girl making binoculars with her fingers

✨ Bonus: Place new objects around the room that start with specific letters if you are targeting a certain letter sound that week.

8. Learning the Letter Sounds With Listening Skills: Telephone

This is a great game for kids of all ages! To play, simply have the kids sit in a circle and choose one person to start. that person whispers a word or phrase with several letter sounds in it to the person next.

learning the letter sounds with two girls playing telephone. 1 whispers into the other's ear.

9. Learning the Letter Sounds With Objects: Which One Doesn’t Belong?

This is a great game for kids who are just learning the letter sounds. To play, simply put several objects in a bag or bin (e.g. crayons, markers, Play-Doh, etc.) and have the kids reach in and choose one. Then, ask the group which one doesn’t belong and why. The object of the game is to find the one item that doesn’t begin with the same sound as the others.

10. Learning the Letter Sounds With A Challenge: Memory

This classic game is always a hit with kids! To play, simply gather a collection of items that begin with the same sound. Show the class the items on the tray for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Then, have the kids take turns trying to remember the items that were on the tray. See how many you can remember! The repetition of seeing and saying the items will help with learning the letter sound.

learning the letter sounds with memory

11. Learning the Letter Sounds With Following Directions: Simon Says

This classic game is always a hit with kids! To play, simply choose one person to be Simon. Typically, that person then gives commands to the group that start with “Simon says.” For example, “Simon says touch your nose” or “Simon says “stomp your feet.” To put a letter sound focus on this game instead, Simon can give commands that start with a certain letter sound. For example, “Simon says to say a word that starts with M” or “Simon says touch an item that starts with D.” This is a great way to review all of the letter sounds that have been taught.

Do you have a favorite game for teaching letter sounds? Share it in the comments below!

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