Phonics is a key area of learning in Grade R, 1, 2 and 3 and should be made to be an enjoyable learning experience for children. This fun phonics activity is detailed below.

You will need:

  • 1 x shallow Gratnells Tray (F1) with a lid
  • Shredded paper/tissue paper
  • Selection of star words using a phonic sound of your choice for eg. “aw” (quantity dependable on the challenge set for the children). We have provided you with a list of phonic sounds for each grade that can be used ?



  • Type up/choose the selection words to focus on with the ‘aw’ phonetic.
  • Write and cut out the star words.
  • Fill the F1 tray with shredded paper and hide the words within.


What to do:

  • Ensure the words are hidden.
  • Explain to the children that they need to find a word and decode to read it aloud.
  • After the child has read the word, they put it to one side.
  • The child with the most correctly read words at the end is the winner.


Other things to try…

  • How many words can the children remember?
  • Add in some ‘alien’ words, for the children to sort.
  • Put the words into sentences.

Share pictures of your phonics fun on social media using #Briteidea #Whatsinmytray #phonicsfun #learningthroughplay