Friday, December 12, 2014

Follow the Phonics Footprints (a Treasure Hunt)

My five year old son's alternative kindergarten program has begun introducing the school district's phonics program. The kids (my son included) are picking up on it super quick, too. 

To reinforce the letter sounds my son has already learned in school, I devised a fun treasure hunt for him.

If you're interested in doing this activity at your house, here's what you need.
A-Z footprints PDF
A small prize (I used a pack of Pokemon cards)

You can download the A-Z footprints I used here; they're free on Google Drive. Depending on the distance of your treasure hunt from start to finish, you may want to print more than one set of pages; I used two.

For added durability, print onto heavyweight cardstock. Cut out. Yes, it's a lot of cutting, but there's no need to be tidy and particular; just get the job done. Your kid will be so focused on getting to the prize, they won't knit-pick your cutting skills.

Shuffle the footprints and begin placing them on the floor in a path. Make sure that you add extra footprints that form new paths to throw off your little girl/guy. 

When you've placed the last footprint, add a prize nearby. Now carefully retrace your steps and with a notepad write down all the letters that will get your son/daughter from the starting point to the prize. 

Once your child is ready, ask that they stand before the first footprint and say the sound that the letter on it makes. You child will look at the footprints before them and move to the letter. Continue making the phonics sounds until your child has moved from one footprint to another all the way to the end and retrieved the treasure.

My son got stuck a few times, but I was able to sing the Jolly Phonics songs he's learned to trigger his memory. He was so proud of himself for finishing the hunt and VERY excited to get his prize!


  1. Nice piece of information!!! My son is 3 and half years old. He has learned some phonics, When I read to him, I always tried to use his phonics to teach him reading words. He now knows about 20 - 50 words. I wonder what are the effective ways to increase the words he knows.

    1. Use the list of Dolch sight words as a reference. There are loads of great ways to help kids memorize these most-commonly occurring words. My sight word insect swat is just one. Try to make it fun!