Time for Phonics With Mrs Mactivity!

28th January 2021

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This is a guest post from Heather McAvan a former teacher and author who is also the founder of Mrs Mactivity and Time for Phonics

During the first lockdown in 2020 home learning was new, daunting and overwhelming. I hope it gives some comfort to know that even as an experienced teacher and owner of a primary resources website, I struggled to get my four year old daughter to do any learning at all. Of course we had plenty of walks, did baking and played (which is also learning!) but I felt increasingly under pressure to help her with phonics, since really, reading is everything.

Without the ability to read, she was really limited in what she could access in ALL areas of learning, and she (and I) was finding it increasingly frustrating. In vain I searched for something she’d be interested in and could tear her away from episodes of Pokemon, but one thing I did realise was she’s a dab hand on a tablet, so that led me to think that the answer to my problem lay online. Alas I hit another brick wall, nothing out there could keep her interest for longer than about five seconds – so I thought, I’ll launch something myself, as I know I can’t be the only one in this position. They do say that necessity is the mother of invention, and in my case – it was! 

Roll on to Autumn 2020 and we’d entered a second lockdown. Schools weren’t shut yet but I knew it couldn’t be long, and it was time to act. Thus Time for Phonics was born! 

Working with leading phonics expert Sophie Pickles, talented designer and illustrator Hayley Price, and awesome web designers and game makers madebystudio, we devised a series of online phonics games that focus on the key skills of segmenting and blending, with lively whimsical characters that we know kids will love.

Going with what I know my own children respond to, we introduced space unicorns, space pirates, dinosaurs, footballing aliens and more to bring a slightly weird but lovable aspect to the games. Children will love playing the games, and you’ll know they’re learning exactly what they need to in order to develop key reading skills and make progress.

The interactive phonics games work on tablets, mobile devices, computers and interactive whiteboards and can either be used independently by children, or as a group. You can use them on your online learning platform during live lessons for a fun interactive experience, or as a parent with your child at home. Once schools are back of course teachers will be able to use the games on their whiteboards too as part of their phonics lessons.

Access to the games is currently free, but you can also sign up as a school or setting to be able to access our hands-on phonics scheme. Don’t miss out! Sign up today

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