Can kids learn while they’re playing games? Word building and decoding are key elements in language acquisition. To become proficient requires repetition, review, and experimentation. These tasks are easier for parents and teachers to encourage when the student is engaged. There are many choices available to make learning fun. The best online phonics program will offer a variety of games and activities to play while learning.

best online phonics program

What about a game of phonics dominoes? Each tile contains one consonant and a combination of two or three letters, so putting them together builds words, and provides the basic tools for many different spelling games.

3 Ways to Build Language Skills with Phonics Dominoes

  • Create words by sounding them out – Providing young learners access to parts of words gives them the opportunity to build and sound out words through discovery and play. Try using an online phonics program for kindergarten in conjunction with the dominoes to further engage early readers.
  • Learn new words – As kids experiment with changing the parts of words to create new ones, they will come across new combinations that make words they don’t know. You can pair the dominoes with an online research-based phonics program to build upon this newfound skill. Practice spelling skills. As sounds are combined to make words, rewards can be given for identifying a “real” word and kids will enjoy finding the nonsense words they can make.
  • Have fun with rhyming – Experiment with word families, which are words that follow a similar pattern e.g., log, dog, bog. From nursery rhymes through Dr. Suess or Shakespearean sonnets to rap and hip-hop, language and rhyming go together. Phonics dominoes provide an excellent opportunity for children to practice word families. The best online phonics programs also offer a variety of interactive activities for children to perfect these skills. Try playing with similarly spelled words. When parts of a word are the same, kids will need to focus to see that making one small change can completely change the meaning. Some examples of this would be row/grow/glow or mud/mad/made. By using a phonics program for kindergarten, including phonics dominoes, phonics cubes, magnetic letters, and more, you can easily manipulate and add letters and sounds.

There are lots of ways to “sneak” learning into fun activities. Try domino type “tiles” to play games. Tiles with consonants and short syllables can be put together end to end to form a string of words. This game can be played alone or with a group of players taking turns. Numerous other games can be played with the domino format that will help build language skills and provide learners entertainment. A high-quality online research-based phonics program is the perfect complement to phonics manipulatives. At Essential Skills, we may not have dominoes, but we do have the best online phonics programs available for early readers.