Our Under the Sea phonics play combines literacy with water for a fun way for children to learn while they splash around. Adding phonics pebbles to a tray of water gives children the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the sounds and practice saying and blending them.
For our Under the Sea phonics play we used an activity tray with bubble tube fish, shells, phonics pebbles and water. We also added some sorting bowls, scoops and tweezers for children to scoop and sort the pebbles.
The activity proved popular with children also practising their gross motor skills when scooping and sorting.
The children practised saying the sounds while they sorted them and also practised finding sounds for different words. For example for the word fish, they scooped ‘F’ and ‘SH’. Children could also take it in turns to choose from a stack of laminated pictures or phonics flash cards before scooping the relevant sounds to fit with the word.
This activity can cover a number of EYFS goals including:
- Language and communication – following instructions and discussion about how they will play with the tray.
- Physical development – Using tools (scoops and tweezers) to move pebbles.
- Personal, social and emotional development – working in pairs to identify and say sounds.
- Literacy – familiarisation with sounds and practice blending.
- Maths – phonics pebbles can also be swapped for number pebbles to help with number recognition as well as counting and simple addition.
- Understanding the world – water play helps children to experiment and discover the properties of water and other materials.
What fun phonics activity ideas do you have? For more Under the Sea ideas, visit our Under the Sea page or follow us on Pinterest.