Noisy Letter Jump Phonics Game!

 A fun and active way to learn letter names and sounds with young children- noisy letter jumping!

This is a game we used to play a lot while I was teaching Reception classes (4-5 year olds) and was always a favourite in our outdoor play area. There’s research to show that if children can connect an action or movement while learning something new it is easier for them to retain that information. So action games linked to learning are brilliant for young children!
Letters and sounds phonics alphabet activity for kids

It is extremely simple to create, requiring just chalk and the ground, yet is a great way to consolidate phoneme-grapheme correspondence in an active way. It’s also a great assessment tool to quickly see which letters they are not so secure on and need to become a target for practise.

To play this game with my 3.9 and 2.3 year olds I used only the letters from their own names, “mummy” and “daddy” (most of which overlapped anyway. With pre-writers/ pre-readers it’s important to begin with the letters that are most relevant to them and which they will be learning first. Theres no need to introduce letter sounds in alphabetical order!

We played this in 2 ways. The first was for Cakie to jump from letter to letter, noisily shouting out the sound (not the letter name) as she landed in it. She jumped on the S and shouted “Sssss Ssssss Ssssss.” We changed the volume to add to the fun, so the next time she had to whisper, say it s-l-o-w-l-y, squeaky, scared etc.

The next way we played was more of a challenge, and very fun for jumping too! She chose a place to start and I called out a letter sound she had to jump on next. She looked for it, checked she was right and jumped!

Pop joined in by jumping and laughing along with us, occasionally calling out sounds when she heard them used by me or Cakie. Soon she will learn them too!

Learning Links:

  • literacy: phoneme-grapheme correspondence, letter recognition, learn significant letters (from own name and family)
  • physical: jump with 2 feet together, co-ordinate body to move to a selected location
  • maths: (use numbers instead of letters) recognise and name numerals, count in order up or down to 10
Cakie: 3 years 9 months
Pop: 2 years 3 months
Bean: 17 weeks


  1. says

    Thank you so much for this post I find the way that letters are learnt at school really confusing (wish I had an early years backgound like you) It is a fantastic idea to do this game I will definately be trying it out with my daughter. I have been looking especially at the letters in my daughters name so I am glad I am doing that bit right. Would love to hear more ideas.

    • says

      Yes learning how to read and write is a seriously complicated business! And so much of it happens naturally over time- it’s hard to break it onto separate stages sometimes.
      More ideas will be coming along as we do them as C is just starting to be interested

  2. says

    I love this – I hope I’m doing it right but with J and T I’m not telling them letter names we are just using sounds and I’m taking batteries out of anything that they have been brought that does any different (WHY????)

  3. says

    Lovely idea and looks like a lot of fun! I’ve done a similar thing in the past with older children and using numbers. Someone calls out an addition/subtraction (etc) question and then the winner is the first child to jump onto the correct answer. Wouldn’t it be great if more playgrounds had letters and numbers on the floor so that fun games like these can be played? :-)

  4. says

    We had a go at this on Friday afternoon…it was brilliant fun for my 5 yr old and 3 yr old. And even my 19 month old made some of the letter sounds as he stood on random letters! Lucy x