Free Phonemic Awareness/Phonics Blending Games Online

A variety of free online blending games suitable for use at home or in school.  We’ve reviewed each one for your convenience.

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Make a Phonics Word

This is a relatively easy game that’s good for starting out with blending.  Students just drag the letters into place and each letter is then sounded out and then the word is blended. Click on the following link to access the Make a Phonics Word game.

Phonics Picture Matching (Easy)

Students need to read the words and match the correct one to the picture in this game.  The words are then sounded out by the narrator and the phonemes are pronounced very clearly. 

The game is quite simple but can be made more difficult by choosing letter-sound correspondences from different phases of the UK phonics curriculum.

Click on the following link to access the Phonics Picture Matching Easy game.

Phonics Picture Matching (Hard)

This is very similar to the Phonics Picture Matching Easy game described above.  However, it’s a little bit harder because there are more words and pictures to read and match in each section of the game.

Like the previous game, you can choose letter-sound correspondences from different phases of the UK phonics curriculum.

Click on the following link to access the Phonics Picture Matching Hard game.

Alien Phonics Words

In this game, different words are shown and students have to read them and decide if they are real words or Alien words (pseudo or nonsense words).  This is a useful activity, but it’s probably better to leave it until students are beginning to read simple words quite confidently.  Pseudo words could confuse a complete beginner or a struggling reader. Click on the following link to access the Alien Phonics Words game.

Reading Bear Blending Presentations

The presentations are available in several different versions.  For example, words can be sounded out and blended slowly or quickly and there is an option to let the child sound out each word first before the presenter says it.  There are also review presentations for each section which is really helpful.

Click on the following link to access Reading Bear.  You can learn more about the presentation features in the video below:

Starfall Word Machines

In this simple blending activity, you first choose a vowel sound to focus on.  Then, each time you pull a lever the machine brings up a new CVC word and sounds it out for you. After running through a group of words once with the sound on, you could then ask your child to blend them with the sound turned off. Click on the following link to access the Starfall word machines.

Starfall Books

Starfall has produced a series of short animated books that use progressively more difficult phonics words.  Most of the words in the books are phonetically decodable. You can ask your child to read any words at their current level and if they get stuck the words are sounded out and blended automatically if you click on them.  Some of the images also become animated when you click on them which children find very entertaining. Click on the following link to access the Starfall Learn to Read books.

Read a Word – VocabularySpellingCity

In this game, a word is narrated, and the student has to click on the written word that matches the spoken word.  If the correct word is chosen, the narrator then spells out the word.  Unfortunately, they do this using letter names rather than sounds which is not as effective for developing phonemic awareness.

Different groups of words can be selected for the game.

Click on this link to access the Read a Word game and a variety of other free Vocabulary Spelling City games.  You can select different word lists when you click on the game.

Pick a Picture

In this simple game from new.phonicsplay.co.uk, students read the word and click on the picture that matches it. Click on this link to access the Pick a Picture game.

Buried Treasure

In this simple game from new.phonicsplay.co.uk, students have to read the word and decide whether it’s fake or real. Click on the following link to access the Buried Treasure game.

Dragon’s Den

This game has a similar format to the Buried Treasure game described above.  Students have to read a word and decide if it’s a real word or not.

Click on the following link to access the Dragon’s Den Game.

Picnic on Pluto

This is another simple game from new.phonicsplay.co.uk.  Students have to read a word and decide if it’s a real word or not.  

Click on the following link to access the Picnic on Pluto game.

Sentence Substitution

This is a more advanced game for children who are capable of reading simple sentences, words that contain digraphs and some phonetically irregular words (common exception words). The idea is to read the sentence and then swop words to make some different sentences. Click on the following link to access the Sentence Substitution game.  

Poop Deck Pirates

In this game from ictgames.com, the pirate throws a coin.  If it’s a real word, the student clicks on the tick to keep it; if it’s not a real word, they click the cross and it drops in the water.

CVC words or other letter-sound correspondences can be chosen for each game.

Click on the following link to access the Poop Deck Pirates game.

The Dinosaur’s Eggs

This game from ictgames.com is good for practising reading digraphs and trigraphs.  You select a grapheme and the narrator says a word containing the sound represented by the grapheme.  The student has to read the words under the eggs and choose the one the narrator said.

Each time they get a word correct the dinosaur roars and the sabre-toothed tiger scratches the tree.

Click on the following link to access the Dinosaur’s Eggs game.

 

Foam Phonemes

This is a simple but effective tool from ictgames.com that could be used for blending or segmenting practice.  You can choose different graphemes from the rainbow wheels and then use them for making words.  The graphemes are sounded out when you click on them.

You could use the tool to make words and ask the student to sound them out and blend them or you could select a number of graphemes and ask a student to make a word using them.

Click on the following link to access the Foam Phonemes game.

 

Help a Hedgehog

Students have to read as many words as they can in 90 seconds in this game from ictgames.com.  You can enter your own words or choose a selection of CVC words or more complex words. 

If the student reads a word correctly you can click on the green tick (checkmark) and a hedgehog rolls across the screen.  If they get one wrong, you can start the egg timer again.  The idea is to see if they can beat their last score each time.

Click on the following link to access the Help a Hedgehog game. 

Blending Bingo

This is a fun bingo game from ictgames.com that’s ideal for a group of children or a full class. 

You can select sets of words at different levels of difficulty and print off a bingo card for each child.  When everyone is ready you pull the lever on the bingo machine and different words will appear.  The first child to complete their card wins.

Click on the following link to access the Blending Bingo game. 

CVC Maker

This programme allows you to change either the initial letter in a word or the ending of a word by clicking on the arrows either side of it.  This allows you to make lots of new CVC words.  It’s a simple but effective way to practice blending. Click on the following link to access the CVC Maker game and several other games by Crickweb.co.uk.  

The Word Wheels

This is similar to the CVC Maker programme described above, but words are created by starting and stopping spinning wheels.  Students also have to see if they can make a word to match a picture underneath so the game could also be used for segmenting practice.

Click on the following link to access The Word Wheel game and several other games by Crickweb.co.uk.

 

The Hanging Monkeys

Students have to read the word and match it to the correct picture in this activity.

To access this game, you will need to register with the Literactive site (it’s free).  Once you’ve done that, click on the Activities tab at the top, then on the Level 3 link in the left-hand margin.  You should be able to locate The Hanging Monkeys game and several other activities.

 

Snow Flake Game

In this game, students have to identify the real word on the 3 snowflakes before they fall to the ground.  They have to do this quite quickly so it’s definitely not for beginners.

To access this game, you will need to register with the Literactive site (it’s free).  Once you’ve done that, click on the Activities tab at the top, then on the Level 4 link in the left-hand margin.  You should be able to locate The Snow Flake Game and several other activities.

 

The Game Show

Students have to choose the correct word from the list to complete a spoken sentence.  A couple of the words in the game (fish and yellow) are a bit tricky for beginning readers but they are doable with a bit of support.

To access this game, you will need to register with the Literactive site (it’s free).  Once you’ve done that, click on the Activities tab at the top then on the Level 6 link in the left-hand margin.  You should be able to locate The Game Show and several other activities.

 

Gopher it!

In this game, students have to choose words that have the same word ending as the highlighted letter pair shown.  Other word endings in the game include ‘nt’ and ‘nd’. 

One slightly confusing thing about the narration is that it describes ‘ng’ as ‘ing’.  It also describes this letter pair as a blend when it’s actually a digraph, but it’s otherwise OK for kids who have met this letter combination and have moved beyond simple CVC words.

To access this game, you will need to register with the Literactive site (it’s free).  Once you’ve done that, click on the activities tab at the top then on the Level 6 link in the left-hand margin.  You should be able to locate the Gopher it! game and several other activities.

 

Jack in the Box

Students have to read some words containing ‘magic e, (or split digraphs) in this activity, so it’s only suitable for children who have met words like these before.

To access this game, you will need to register with the Literactive site (it’s free).  Once you’ve done that, click on the Activities tab at the top, then on the Level 7 link in the left-hand margin.  You should be able to locate the Jack in the Box game and several other activities.

 

Word Study – VocabularySpellingCity

This programme sounds out and highlights all of the phonemes in the words which can be helpful when teaching blending.  There are options to hide the image is you want your child to read the word without a picture clue.

To access the Word Study activity click on this link, then click on the Word Study image and choose a word list to study.  Some lists contain more advanced words that can only be read by children who have met common digraphs.

 

Phoneme Blender – Big Brown Bear

You can spin the letters like a fruit machine in this game to make a series of words for the student to sound out and blend.  It’s possible to spin all of the letters at once or just one letter at a time.  Both real and non-words can be made with the software and you can choose from alternative lists of letters.

Click on the following link to access the Phoneme Blender game.

 

Phoneme Bingo – Big Brown Bear

Several different word lists can be chosen for this bingo game and the timer can be altered to make the words appear faster or more slowly.

Click on the following link to access the Phoneme Bingo game and the following link to access the bingo card generator.  There is more information about the game here: http://www.bigbrownbear.co.uk/bingoCard.htm

Further Resources:

Another way to access free online games and activities is to register for some of the specialist reading programmes that offer free trials.

For example:

Parents and teachers can register for a 30-day free trial with Reading Eggs.  This allows you to access over 500 highly interactive games and fun animations for developing Phonemic awareness, Phonics, Fluency, Vocabulary and Comprehension.

 
Learn to Read! For ages 2-13

A 30-day free trial is also available from ABCmouse.com.  This is a leading online educational website for children ages 2–8. With more than 9,000 interactive learning activities that teach reading, math, science, art, music, and more.

Get 30 Days FREE of ABCmouse.com!

IXL Learning cover 8000 skills in 5 subjects including phonics and reading comprehension.  You can click on the following link to access a 7-day free trial if you live in the US.

If you live outside of the US, you can get 20% off a month’s subscription if you click on the ad. below:

Although it’s not quite free, you can get a 30-day trial with the award-winning Hooked on Phonics programme for just $1.

Instantly download our free phonics and phonological awareness worksheets and printable resources.  Easy-to-follow and effective activities to improve reading and spelling.  Letter sounds, CVC words, consonant blends, letter teams etc.

Click on the following link to access more free phonics and phonological awareness online activities and games.

The best free games and activities online for rhyming, syllables, phonemic awareness, letter sounds, blending and segmenting.

You might also find our article on Phonological/Phonemic Awareness Activities for Parents and Teachers useful.