If you’re looking for fun ways to teach kids about homophones, keep reading for some of our favorite homophones games for kids!
As a full-time writer and mom, it probably shouldn’t come as a surprise to hear that I geek out whenever my daughter asks me about things related to grammar and language arts. She’s currently in grade 2 and learning about the different parts of speech, and whenever we spend time reading together, I find her becoming more and more inquisitive. She’s always been a strong reader and speller, and it’s been fun seeing her pull it all together so she can start writing all of her stories and ideas down on paper.
Of course, there are many different parts of the English language that I completely take for granted, and when my daughter started asking me why some words are spelt the same or sound the same but have completely different meanings, I found myself researching homophones. I wanted to find simple and fun ways to explain the whole ‘same but different’ concept to her, and I found some pretty amazing homophones games and activities for kids that I’m excited to share with you!
What Are Homophones?
Before we dive in, I want to take a moment to explain exactly what homophones are.
Simply put, a homophone is a word that is spelled and/or pronounced the same as another word, but has a different meaning. Here are some examples to help visually explain what homophones are:
How to Teach Kids About Homophones
Learning about homophones can be a bit confusing, but this collection of tips and ideas for teaching kids about homophones will inspire you to find simple and fun ways to explain the concept and make the process a little easier.
- Focus on spelling first. Many homophones sound the same but have subtle differences in the way they are spelled, so if your little one struggles with his or her spelling skills, learning about homophones is likely to be a little more challenging and frustrating. Focus on spelling first before diving into homophones lessons to ensure greater success.
- Provide meaning and context. Another thing to keep in mind when it comes to teaching kids about homophones is to ensure you’re providing a frame of reference. Is your child/student familiar with the definitions of the homophones you are trying to teach? Are you providing context when discussing the differences between each word? The more relevant information you provide, the easier the lesson will be to grasp.
- Teach concepts separately. Another great tip to consider is spacing out your lessons such that you aren’t confusing your students/children. For example, before you can teach a child that THERE, THEIR, and THEY’RE are homophones, you want to make sure he or she has a good grasp of what each of these words mean and how they are used correctly in a sentence. Focus on one lesson at a time to keep feelings of overwhelm and confusion to a minimum.
- Create a ‘homophones journal’. Have your children/students write down all of the pairs of homophones they learn about throughout the school year in a small notebook for easy reference when they are feeling unsure about which word to use during their language arts lessons, and challenge them to write a sentence using both pairs of a homophone each day/week.
- Practice! Practice! Practice! Like multiplication tables, learning about homophones really comes down to consistent practice, so find ways to incorporate this into your daily lesson plans and/or discussions wherever possible. Review the concepts you’ve already taught your child/students regularly, and each time you encounter homophones together – while reading, talking, etc. – use it as a teaching opportunity.
- Make it fun! There are so many fun homophones games for kids you can use to make teaching homophones less overwhelming. We’ve shared 16 of our favorites below!
I was going to write a huge list of homophones for this post, but as I started doing my research, I realized there are already a ton of great ones you can download/print to help with your lesson plans:
Free Printable List of Homophones | Teachers Pay Teachers
Illustrated List of Homophones | Teachers Pay Teachers
Tricky Homophones Chart | Teacher Created Resources
Free Illustrated Homophones List for a Writer’s Notebook | Teachers Pay Teachers
16 Homophones Games and Activities for Kids
And now for the fun part! Check out this collection of homophones games and activities for kids that are sure to get your children/students excited about learning!
FREEBIE! Homophones Games Board and Cards | Teachers Pay Teachers
Homophone-opoly | Teachers Pay Teachers
Homophones Puzzle | Amazon
Homophones Pear Matching | Teachers Pay Teachers
Homophone Clip Cards | Fun with Mama
Homophone Memory | Teachers Pay Teachers
Homophone Spinner Games | The Literacy Nest
Homophones Bingo | Amazon
Hold the Phone for Homophones Free Printable Game | File Folder Fun
Homophones Bump Games Pack | Teachers Pay Teachers
Learning Resources Double Duel A Sound-Alike Word Game | Amazon
Homophones Matching Cards | twinkl
Homophones Task Cards | Teachers Pay Teachers
Homophones Word Squares Game | Teachers Pay Teachers
To, Too, and Two Homophones Game | Teachers Pay Teachers
Homophone Cupcake Matching Game | Teachers Pay Teachers
I hope this collection of homophones games and activities for kids helps you find fun and engaging ways to get the children in your life excited about grammar and language arts! Remember to focus on spelling and vocabulary first, to provide context and teach concepts separately, to practice as often as possible, and (most importantly) to keep it fun!
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