Phonics is a widely used method of teaching children to read. It is based on connecting the sounds of spoken English with the letters that represent those sounds. Today's crop of websites stand at the intersection of education and recreation, using online games to reinforce phonetic concepts.
With phonics games, phonics worksheets, reading and spelling games, Fun Fonix is, you guessed it, all about phonics! The activities and printables are organized into an introduction to hard consonants and short vowels, and three printable books: short vowels, digraphs, and long vowels with a silent "e." The e-books are supplemented with a worksheet maker that includes spelling, reading, word search, phonics mazes, bingo boards and crossword puzzles.
Earobics is a K-3 "reading intervention" product from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. GameGoo is the free, online educational practice game component. For a list of educational standards addressed in each game (such as identifying the letters in words), follow the Home button to the Teachers & Parents link. The games are arranged on the menu from advanced (the pink row) to beginner (the blue row.) Unfortunately, a few of the beginner games didn't load for me, and that's why I didn't award GameGoo the five-star rating they'd otherwise deserve.
These phonics games from Sadlier-Oxford are organized by grade level for students from PreK through grade six. To play the games, you'll need to turn your pop-up blocker off for the site, because each game pops open a new browser window. Concepts reinforced in the games include short and long vowels, consonant blends, suffixes, dipthongs, contractions, and homonyms. For teachers and home-schoolers, there are professional development videos on how and why to teach phonics, discussed by literacy professionals in a roundtable format.
Although lacking a pretty interface, SoftSchools has a nice collection of interactive phonics flashcards and phonics worksheet generators. The flashcards come in two flavors: uppercase and lowercase. On the first side of the virtual card is a three-letter word; click "flip" to see a picture of the object. The worksheet maker produces printable activity sheets for short vowels, long vowels, matching words, beginning sounds and ending sounds.
"Where children have fun learning to read." Modeled on recommendations from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the Starfall reading program teaches phonemic awareness, systemic phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. It starts with the ABCs for preschoolers, and also serves early readers with folk tales, plays and comics. There are lots of interactive games, as well as printable worksheets. For easy access to the printable resources, visit the Download Center.