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Phonics: Sing and play

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Give your phonics teaching a boost with these interactive resources that introduce letter sounds and letter formation through song

The first in Tim Harding’s Come Alive Phonics series, aptly titled Playing with Sounds and Letters, has just been published. Drawing on years of experience as a teacher, headteacher and trainer, Tim Harding has created these original songs, animations and activities to teach letter sounds and letter formation together. It’s a multi-sensory approach that harnesses the power of music and movement to actively engage children and support memory.

Letter D

Using singing to teach phonics makes sense on many levels. Singing is a naturally enjoyable means of repeating sounds, words and ideas without it becoming boring. Children will happily sing lyrics again and again, not knowing they are practising sounds and committing them to memory. Taking a playful and active approach like this also helps to tackle the Letters and Sounds programme while staying true to the child-initiated play-based approach of the EYFS. A ‘singalong’ approach to phonics teaching also reinforces the important skills of Letters and Sounds Phase 1.

Using the interactive resources

  • Access the resources below.
  • Click on the green button to play the song and introduce the letter sound – encourage the children to follow the character as it moves around the letter onscreen.
  • Click on the purple button to let children take the character around the letter shape themselves.
  • The blue button gives a reminder of the correct letter sound.

These ideas and activities are tasters from Playing with Sounds and Letters Sing and Play Pack and Interactive CD-ROM by Tim Harding. They are reproduced here by kind permission of Yellow Door. For further information visit or call 0845 603 5309. If you’d like the complete alphabet, take advantage of our special ChildEd PLUS reader offer and get a ten per cent discount on Yellow Door’s Playing with Sounds and Letters resources by quoting ‘ChildEdPhonics08’.

Using the poster

Talk about the pictures and see how many things you can spot beginning with the focus letter. Encourage the children to create stories about the character using lots of words beginning with that letter. Use the writing sheets on the back of the poster to practise letter formation.

Writing the letter

  • Use the thumbnail in the bottom right-hand corner of each picture screen to access the activities relating to that letter.
  • Click on the green button to play the song and introduce the letter shape.
  • Click on the purple button to reveal three objects beginning with that letter. Children can click on an object and drag it around the letter to help facilitate their learning.