5 Fun Ways to Teach Vowels, Vowel Combinations, and Digraphs!

Enrichment Therapies

January 3, 2017

By Megan Hughes, M.A., CCC-SLP Speech-Language Pathologist

Is your child having difficulty learning their vowels, vowel combinations, and digraphs? Needing a fun and motivating way to help them learn these sounds? Here are some fun ideas:

  1. Around the World: Place vowel flashcards around a bucket and place your child behind one flashcard at a time. Have them say the sound the vowel makes and then throw a ball into the bucket. Then the child moves on to the next flashcard. See how fast they can travel around the world. See instructions for more fun ways to modify this activity!
  2. Ball Toss Game: Toss a ball back and forth with your child. Give the child a vowel (i.e.,”a-i”) then toss the ball to them. The child catches the ball and says the sound the vowel makes (i.e., ay as in “say”) as he/she shows it back to you! Keep tossing back and forth until practice is complete.
  1. Dice Game: Purchase blank dice at your local store. On one die, write target vowels on each side. On the other, write a consonant on each side. Roll the dice and read the nonsense word that has been created. Then roll again and keep practicing!
  1. Ladder Exercise: Place flashcards in a row, as if each card was a rung of a ladder. At the “top” of the ladder place a basketball hoop or bucket. The child starts at the “bottom” of the ladder and walks his/her way up the ladder by saying the sound of each vowel. If a mistake is made, he/she must throw the ball from the missed flashcard and then start back at the bottom. The goal is to make it to the top of the ladder without a mistake!
  2. Football Game: Just like the “Ladder Exercise” listed above. Make a paper football and print the Football Field. Write a vowel on each side of the yard line. Have your child start at the team’s 10-yard line and have your child work their way up the field by saying each vowel that is on the line. If a mistake is made, he/she must punt the football from the yard line and move back to the 10-yard line. The goal is to make it to the end zone without a mistake.

Check out this blog post to download vowel flashcards! They come in handy when playing these games.

Use these fun games to further your child’s knowledge of their vowels, vowel combinations, and digraphs. Knowledge of these sounds helps increase your child’s speed and accuracy for recognizing vowels in words AND improves their ability to sound out words while reading. Have fun with these activities and look for quick gains in their overall ability to sound out words!

Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center has locations in the Iowa City, IA area and Des Moines, IA area. We provide individual speech-language therapy and tutoring as well as offering small group academic programs.  At Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center our passion is to help kids achieve effective communication skills and gain academic success.  Contact us for more information on how we can help your child succeed.


740 Community Drive, Unit A

North Liberty, IA 52317



5530 West Pkwy, Suite 300

Johnston, IA 50131


Related Posts