Time for Phonics is an online educational games website with fun games that focus on helping kids to practise their phonics. The games have been developed with a leading phonics expert and parents can currently sign up for 30 days free access. After that if you want to continue your subscription it is just £10 a year.
As I’m always looking for something fun and educational to keep my 4 year old daughter entertained at home, we tried out the site and had a lot of fun with the phase 2 phonics games.
There are currently 3 varieties of game on the Time for Phonics site, split into categories for each phonics phase, from 2-5. The games are..
- Desert Island
- Space Farm
- Space Football
The games are quite similar in concept but with different graphics and characters for each one.
In all of these games, the focus is about decoding the words and then deciding whether each one is a real word or a “silly word” and that decides which character gets to take the word.
My 4 year old really liked this concept, and she had so much fun working out whether to give the word to the unicorn or the horse, and so on. That motivation kept her engaged with working out the words for much longer than she usually would, as she was enjoying the process.
Working out real words and silly words is a concept that comes up in the year 1 phonics screenings in schools, with the purpose of cementing children’s phonics knowledge and making sure that they really can phonetically de-code all of the words they come across and not just memorise each word.
But for N, she just found it lots of fun because she had not really come across the concept of made up “silly words” before. So after playing these games on Time for Phonics, she incorporated that concept into her learning and she has been asking me to do the same thing with writing words on our chalkboard. So she will ask me to write something and then say whether she’s feeding it to the unicorn (for silly words) or horse (for proper words). I found this so cute that she took this concept on board straight away from the Time for Phonics games, and that has made her want to spend more time figuring out lots of words.
As N is only just turned 4 and is still in nursery, she still needs help on figuring out a lot of the words and blending all of the sounds together – but the more she is getting interested in playing these games I can see straight away that when she has something like this which keeps her attention and enthusiasm, she can manage to focus and sound them out much better.
Time for Phonics is a sister site of MrsMactivity.co.uk and has been created by qualified teachers and designers who are experts in providing excellent learning opportunities for children.