Pictophonics Card Games

Pictophonics Card Set

The Pictophonics Card Set helps you teach your beginner or struggling reader how to decode, blend, and acquire good phonemic awareness. Each visual character represents a single phonetic sound, which helps children sound out even irregular or long words.


The pictophonics cards provide lots of ways to play – you can use them as flash cards, for word building, in rhyming games and more. Here are some of our favourite games!

Game 1: Flash Flip

Players: 2
Card sets: 1
Difficulty: Easy

This is a great way to introduce the trainertext characters.
First go through the cards asking the child to say the name of each character. If it’s their first time meeting the characters, guessing their names is great fun!
Then go through and ask them to say the sound of each character. Remember, the first sound of the character’s name is the phonetic sound they represent.
You may find some characters are easier for the child to recall than others. In this case, we recommend separating the deck into two piles and working on the characters and sounds that are more challenging for the child.

Game 2: Secret Word Creator

Players: 2
Card sets: 1
Difficulty: Easy

Put three cards down in a row and ask your child to sound out the characters and tell you what word you have created.
Then it can be their turn to create a word for you!
For example, you might lay down the toad about to explode, the igloo with a blue hairdo and the pig in a wig. Ask the child to sound out this word, t-i-p and blend it together to make the word ‘tip’!

Game 3: Sound Switch

Players: 2
Card sets: 1
Difficulty: Medium

Once you can make little words with images, you can start building phonemic awareness by swapping the cards to make new words.
For example, put the moose, astronaut and toad down to make the word ‘mat’.
Then ask your child to change one of the cards to make the word ‘mad’.
If selecting the right one is hard, then try giving them 3 characters to choose from, with the right one in the mix.

Game 4: Sound Scramble

Players: 2
Card sets: 1
Difficulty: Easy

If you notice a child sometimes confusing vowel sounds, then this is the game for you!
Select two vowel sounds and an additional 3-5 consonants.
Work together to create as many different words with those sounds as possible.
It’s okay to create nonsense words!
The goal is to get them engaged with manipulating those vowel sounds so that they become more deeply embedded.

Game 5: Nonsense Word Creator

Players: 2
Card sets: 1
Difficulty: Easy

This is a fun game which appeals to most children’s silly side! Nonsense word creator is a great way to build phonemic awareness.
First build a nonsense word for the child, start with three letters but you can increase the length of the word gradually to suit the ability of your child.
See if the child can decode and blend this word together.
For example, place the Zuto from Pluto, the Egg with Little Legs and the Bear with Long Hair down on the table. Z-e-b – ‘zeb!’
See if the child can create their own nonsense words too!
Here are some nonsense words for inspiration: sib, lem, ank etc.!