5 Ways to help your child with Phonics at Bathtime

Supporting your child with Phonics

Being able to turn your thoughts into words that other people can understand is a magical skill!  The early years of school, children learn such a lot about how to turn sounds (phonemes) into letters (graphemes) and it is great to find ways at home to gently support and encourage your child, especially if they are finding it a bit tricky.

Bathtime is perfect for practising Letters and Sounds

Since bathtime is a regular event when screens are away and adults and children are totally focused on each other, it's a perfect occasion for reinforcing the Phonics learning that children have been doing at school. The games below are great for having fun together with letters and sounds, and helping your child with a bit of Literacy learning at the same time.

5 Simple Bathtime Games to help Phonics Learning - for free

There are lots of games that you can play with no equipment at all that can help children to get more confident with recognising sounds and, for older children, working on their spelling:

1) 'I Spy'
You can do it the normal way focusing on initial sounds, or there are lots of other options such as "I think with my little brain of a word with 'ir' in the middle of it" or whatever sounds your child has been working on recently.

2) 'Mallet's Mallet'

Do you remember this 90's TV program with a foam mallet to bonk the loser on the head?? Two people take it in turns to think of a word without hesitating or repeating.  Mallet did it with general word association but you can also do it with phonemes: take it in turns to think of words with 'oy' in them, or 'ch'. Maybe the first person to hesitate/ repeat gets a wet flannel in the face! 

Foam bath letters offer many more games to gently practise phonics. Our favourite at Spark Bubble is 'Fish n Spell' since it comes with fishing rods and makes word games extra enjoyable. 

3) 'Fish a word' 

Give your child the letters they need for a grapheme they know, such as 'igh'. Now let them use their fishing rod to pick out other letters and see what words they can make.  To increase the pressure, you could time how many words they can make with this sound in 3 minutes. 

4) 'Which letters?' 

If your child needs to practise some tricky words, or other spelling words, then give them a handful of letters (including the correct ones) and see how long it takes them to spell the word.

Alternatively you can make anangrams by placing the correct letters in the wrong order on the side of the bath. Your child can work out the word and rearrange the letters correctly.

Bath crayons open up many more options for phonics games in the bath. We think the very best ones are these Bath Crayons from Kitpas. With your crayons you can play loads of games including:

 5) 'Improve my sentence'

You write a sentence on the bath that includes some spelling mistakes and boring words. See if your child can be the 'teacher' and turn it into a fantastic sentence. 

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