Ready to level up your phonics lessons this year? Set yourself up for success with the best phonics worksheets for Kindergarten! These printable activities cover all the key skills you'll need to cover throughout the year and were designed with a synthetic phonics perspective to ensure they're aligned with evidence-based best practices!
Are you a kindergarten teacher? You're teaching your students some of the most important skills they'll ever learn. These early literacy skills set the pace for a child's ability to learn how to read and become competent writers.
As a former Kindergarten teacher and Assistant Principal, I know how important it is to find quality resources for your students. Not all worksheets are created the same. Many are too simplistic or rely on out-of-date practices instead of actually teaching your kindergarten students how to read!
I have designed a range of phonics worksheets that provide students with cumulative review. This is the systematic addition of new skills to previously learned and related skills. Cumulative practice activities allow young children to consolidate new phonics skills whilst simultaneously reviewing previously taught skills. You can read more about cumulative review here.
Now that we understand more about how students actually learn how to read, it's incredibly important to use research-based practices and teach phonics systematically. But before you even get into the CVC words and long vowel sounds, it's vital to focus on phonological awareness skills, especially phonemic awareness.
All written language starts with oral language. If your students can't segment and blend phonemes, they're not ready to read. Your students need explicit, step-by-step instruction to strengthen their phonemic awareness skills.
Before you teach phonics...
I highly recommend placing phonemic awareness skills front and centre in your reading instruction! This is the most developmentally appropriate way to teach reading, plus it's so much easier! When students can really identify and manipulate the sounds in spoken words, they have a strong neuronal network for the language they can rely upon when they jump to reading.
Remember that letters are symbolic: they represent spoken sounds. Everything goes back to oral language!
You'll find that all of the activities below bring this awareness to the forefront. They're hands-on, engaging, and really require the student to do the thinking; they're certainly not busy work! Many of these activities would be great for independent practice, to work on in small groups, or even to send home for some light homework if needed!
Free Phonics Resources for Kindergarten Teachers
This website is chock full of resources to help you adopt a Science of Reading instructional approach, including some amazing free kindergarten worksheets! Not only do I have a huge collection of printable phonics worksheets, but I also have a free 250-page ebook called Phonics & Beeyond to help you set up a synthetic phonics-based classroom from day one. It's packed with tips, resources, sample lessons, and more and is entirely free!
Related Posts that you might also be interested in:
- Phonemic Awareness vs Phonics: What's the Difference?
- Phonics Tools for the Classroom
- Best Alphabet Manipulative Resources on Amazon
- Phonics Worksheets for Kindergarten - using phonics printables effectively for cumulative review
Paid & Free Phonics Worksheets for Kindergarten
Ready to dive in? In addition to my cumulative review phonics worksheets, the following kindergarten phonics worksheets are a great way to consolidate the lessons you teach in class to help reinforce your students' new learning about reading! Many of these resources are free, although there are also paid printable activities included on the list too.
You'll quickly notice that not all of these activities are regular "worksheets." I like to create resources that can be used again and again, and many of these would make wonderful activities for small groups, independent work, or even homework. Some of these are actually templates you may want to add to plastic sleeves like these, so your students can use them again and again.
I also offer a variety of digital, interactive slides to help you teach key phonics skills to your whole class! They are included in the Unlimited version of The Hive, our all-in-one digital teacher platform designed to simplify and streamline your whole day.
Fine Motor Skills
Don't forget to focus on developing those fine motor skills before expecting students to write! These resources will help your students develop the hand strength and fine movements needed for writing.
Letter sound identification is a pivotal skill for young students learning to read. When they're ready, you can connect the phonemes your students already know to individual letters of the alphabet. In the following activities, students will need to match the individual sounds with each letter. I recommend turning this into a game. Use manipulatives like magnetic letters or these DIY alphabet stones to make this learning three-dimensional.
Find 12 DIY alphabet manipulatives you may already have in your classroom!
Upper and Lowercase Letters
Once your students really know their letter sounds, they're ready to learn how to form the individual letters in both lower and uppercase. Try these templates and mats to practice letter formation every day.
Students typically learn the complete alphabet in Kindergarten. These printable worksheets are a great way to really practice putting the alphabet to use!
These are my favourite alphabet manipulatives on Amazon, and they really help young learners tie these abstract skills to hands-on experiences!
Since oral language is the heart of all literacy, I like to use sound boxes for orthographic mapping with my students every single day. This is a fantastic way to encode spelling patterns and individual words to memory.
If you're new to working with a Science of Reading approach, sound boxes may seem confusing or intimidating. They're really incredibly simple, and I have several posts and resources to guide you through the process.
The best part is that orthographic mapping is much more effective (and faster) than using flash cards. Memorising words with flashcards can take up to 500 repetitions! That's a lot of effort. With sound boxes, your students will tie the oral language that they already know to the different letters. This requires so much less mental effort and will help your students learn even tricky words with ease.
Here are a few of my (free) word mapping resources to get you started:
Identifying the initial, final, and middle sounds in words is an important phonemic awareness skill. These tasks and fun games will help your students identify the beginning sound and end sound in different words
Early readers spend a lot of time really learning these basic words! CVC words are simple words written with a consonant-vowel-consonant pattern. They always have short vowel sounds, and because of their short length and predictability, they're fantastic for teaching little learners how to decode.
Learn how to teach CVC words the right way. I have tons of resources and games to make learning these new words fun.
I recommend using hands-on activities whenever possible! Not only will your students practise their fine motor skills, but they'll have another way to remember all the new skills they're learning. Since written language is abstract and kindergarteners are still so concrete, physical play and manipulation are a great way to simplify learning new skills for early learners.
As I explained in my post about how to teach high frequency words in Kindergarten, the best way to teach sight words isn't rote memorisation. Students will learn these critical words so much faster using orthographic mapping. Remember: relying on visual memory isn't nearly as effective as actually encoding words to long-term memory.
This can be hard for parents who have spent years quizzing their little ones on sight words with flashcards! This handout for parents about sight words makes it much easier to explain why we are teaching phonics differently now and how to help.
Long & Short Vowels
These fun activities help your students understand the difference between long and short vowel sounds!
There are still so many skills to cover, like vowel blends, consonant blend, consonant digraphs, word families, rhyming words, r-controlled vowels, etc.
There are activities to match all these new phonics skills available in my massive Freebee Library as well as the full Resource Library. These are some of the best ways to help your students really master their early phonics skills and are available instantly. Check out all of my exciting tools for teaching phonics today!