Product Review: Teaching Phonics with Hope Education

We are thrilled to have had some of our favourite phonics resources tested and reviewed by Nursery teacher Miss Lynch and her class. She had some great ideas on how to use our Alphabet Play tray mat, Acorns and lacing snakes… she even created a FREE downloadable resource to use with the snakes.

Take a look at what Miss Lynch had to say…..

“This term has been all about beginning our phonics lessons – children in Nursery are either working on Phase 1, but we have a lot of high fliers who are working on Phase 2 and beginning to learn their sounds. I know that there are people who don’t believe in teaching sounds to children in Nursery, but I truly believe that the children are ready and the parents have made so many comments about how their children are suddenly starting to recognise sounds that they have been taught.. with standards rising higher each year then why not begin teaching sounds if they are ready and in an age appropriate way. Hope Education sent over some resources that my children have truly loved using in the class, whilst learning their sounds to boot!

First up was the Alphabet Play Tray Mat which fits perfectly into a Play Tray . The colours are so lovely and vivid and it’s such a great, versatile activity to put out in the tuff spot!

We have also been using our beautiful Alphabet Acorns which are perfect for this time of year – the children have really enjoyed opening them up and guessing what is inside using their initial sound knowledge

…and last, but certainly not least are these super cute A-Z Lacing Snakes which have been a big hit!

We used our Alphabet Acorns with our Alphabet Play Tray mat to match the sounds, we also added some pebbles to support children with their letter correspondence. The main thing I love about the alphabet mat is that the main letter being represented is in lower-case.. something that can be a struggle to find in resources to support phonics, as generally only the lower-case sound is taught first. However, the upper-case letter is also on the mat too so children who do recognise upper-case are also supported.

They also soon discovered that the acorns are perfect for stacking and began working on those hand muscles seeing how high they could stack their acorns!

sound pebbles to support children with their letter correspondence. The main thing I love about the alphabet mat is that the main letter being represented is in lower-case.. something that can be a struggle to find in resources to support phonics, as generally only the lower-case sound is taught first. However, the upper-case letter is also on the mat too so children who do recognise upper-case are also supported.

They also soon discovered that the acorns are perfect for stacking and began working on those hand muscles seeing how high they could stack their acorns! 

I put the lacing snakes in my Finger Gym area as the threading is perfect practise for little hands to develop those fine motor skills! They were a huge hit and the children really enjoyed threading the beads on to the laces – the beads are lovely and chunky, again with lower-case letters which I love! The laces are also really good quality, some of the laces I’ve had in the past have been really thin and frayed way too easily but you can tell that these will definitely withstand lots of years of use from heavy handed nursery kiddos!

On Friday we had a Phonics Stay & Play in Nursery where we invited parents in to see how we teach Phonics in Nursery and how they can support their children at home. As well as Phonics progress books, they accessed a huge range of activities that we put out, including our trusty resources from Hope.

I added some SATPIN cards to the A-Z Lacing Snakes so that children could begin to work on their blending skills with the sounds that they know. If you would like a copy of these then simply click here or on the image at the bottom to download them completely FREE! They are a perfect accompaniment to the lacing snakes and my children really enjoyed copying the words on the snake, so even those who can’t blend can practise their correspondence.

The children absolutely love their phonics lessons and it’s so nice that these skills can then be reinforced throughout play to help children consolidate their learning. Phonics is definitely one of my favourite lessons to teach and I’m always looking for new ways to support my children with their Phonics knowledge and make lessons more interesting!”

Thank you to Miss Lynch and of course her class for this fantastic review. Don’t forget you can download her great Lacing Snake resource here or any of her other here.

All images belong to Dani Lynch (misslynchslearners.blogspot.co.uk)