Phonics Phase One Aspect 1: Environmental Sounds

This aspect is all about sound discrimination – helping children to be able to listen carefully to distinguish sounds means that they will find it easier to distinguish the phonemes in words. This is also a great opportunity for lots of discussion with children, extending their vocabulary, which in turn improves their cultural capital. Research shows that the size of a child’s vocabulary is the best predictor of their future success so this is the perfect time to develop their language skills.

Activity Village has a number of resources below to help with teaching Aspect 1.

Phonics Phase One Aspect 1: Environmental Sounds

Activity Ideas

  • A listening walk - go for a short walk with the particular aim of listening to the sounds around you. We have a resources below to help.
  • A listening moment - spend a quiet minute indoors or outdoors listening to all the sounds around you, then discuss.
  • Animal sounds - what sounds do familiar animals - pets and farm animals - make?
  • Hunt the teddy - hide a toy and then encourage one child to find it by singing or talking louder as they get closer.
  • Nature sounds - can you sound and move like the wind? the rain? a storm?
  • Shakers - collect small opaque containers and fill them with different things - pebbles, rice, feathers. Invite the children to shake them and then look inside to identify the objects.
  • Stories - tell stories with lots of sound effects and encourage the kids to join in!

Our Phonics Phase One Aspect 1 Resources

Describe The Picture Game

Describe The Picture Game

This game encourages careful listening and helps children to develop their vocabulary and observational skills. It also incorporates maths skills as you can use number, shape and information about size to help with the descriptions.

Phonics Phase One Environmental Sounds Flash Cards

Phonics Phase One Environmental Sounds Flash Cards

These environmental sounds flash cards are a great discussion point and can be used to extend children’s vocabulary and develop their understanding of the world. Use them before a listening walk to make predictions about what noises the children think that they might hear.

Phonics Phase One Favourite Sounds Colouring

Phonics Phase One Favourite Sounds Colouring

This is a great starting point for discussing children’s favourite sounds. Go through the pictures and ensure that the children understand what each picture represents. Discuss what sound each picture makes.

Phonics Phase One Favourite Sounds Drawing

Phonics Phase One Favourite Sounds Drawing

This is a great way for children to think about their favourite sounds and record what they like and what they don’t like pictorially. If you have more than one child, you could compare their favourite sounds or rank them in order of popularity.

Phase One Phonics in the Garden

Phonics Phase One in the Garden

Our ‘Phonics in the Garden’ is full of ideas for listening games that can be played in the garden. They cover most of the aspects of Phase 1 and help children to develop speaking and listening skills and give you some great ideas of ways to introduce new vocabulary.

Phonics Phase One Listening Walk Colour In

Phonics Phase One Listening Walk Colour In

Help the children to develop their memory skills by asking them after a listening walk if they remember which environmental sounds they heard. Discuss the sounds and ask the children to colour in anything that they heard.

Phonics Phase One Listening Walk Tick Sheet

Phonics Phase One Listening Walk Tick Sheet

Take the children on a walk and encourage them to listen carefully to the sounds that they hear. Remind the children how to be good listeners and discuss the importance of listening carefully when they are outside. When you return from your walk, make a list of the things that you heard.

Phonics Phase One Loud Or Quiet ?

Phonics Phase One Loud Or Quiet

Do the things in the picture make a loud or quiet sound? This Phonics Phase One activity has been designed for Aspect 1 - to encourage children to listen, and think about the sounds they hear.

Phonics Phase One What Noise Does That Make ?

Phonics Phase One What Noise Does That Make ?

This is a really fun activity to do that encourages children to explore sounds and use their imagination. Ask the children to colour in the monsters on the sheet and then discuss with them what noise they think each monster would make.

More Ideas

Farm Animal Masks
Using masks is a great way to encourage children to make animal noises. Use them whilst singing songs such as ‘Old MacDonald’, or you could play a game where the child must hide with the mask on and make the animal noise. The other children guess which animal they are.
Farm Animal Masks


Next Step...

Phonics Phase One Aspect 2: Instrumental Sounds
Phonics Phase One Aspect 2: Instrumental Sounds

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