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Sound Out Words with Phonics Trains

Sound out words with this phonics train letter activity for early years

When it comes to learning phonics and words, doing it through fun activities makes it so much easier for little ones to understand.
Here they can complete 4 steam trains by placing the right letter, picture and word on each one. In order to find the correct word they will have to sound out words and blend the letter sounds together to read each one.
With free printable downloads provided below, it’s a quick and easy learning activity to set up.


Time: 10 minutes
Ages: Little kids
Difficulty to set up: Easy peasy
Skills: Sound out words



You will need:


Sound out words with a phonics train game - learning initial sounds - playtime learning

Step 1: Print out the activity sheets

Click on the links to download and print out the sheets:

Train and Words printable download


You will now have 4 steam trains. Each train has 3 blank spaces where your child has to place the matching:

Letter   – Picture  – Word

All 3 must match. The letters are ‘n, c, e, s’ which are common first letters that children learn in school.

The words provided are easy 3 letter words that they can sound out.


Sound out words with this phonics train letter activity for early years

Step 2: Cut out the letters, pictures and words

Cut out all the letters, pictures and words.

Shuffle them and place them face up on the table, next to the train and carriages.


Sound out words with this phonics train letter activity for early years

Step 3: Match the letters, pictures and words on each train

Start by picking up a letter and asking your child to tell you what sound it makes. Repeat the sound together a few times.

Ask your child to place the letter on the blank space on the train engine.

Can they find a picture that begins with the same initial sound? Sound out a few of the pictures together to see. When they find one they can place it on the next train carriage.

Next they need to find the word which matches the picture.

Go over each word together, sounding out the letters individually and blending them to read the word.

For example: ‘ssss’  ‘uh’  ‘nnnn’ is ‘sun’

Can they find the right word to match the picture? When they do they can place it on the third carriage of the train.

Keep playing until your child has completed each of the trains and filled all the blank spaces.

Once they become more familiar with the game and reading out those first words, you can extend the activity.

Ask them to write their own letters, draw a picture and write the words in each box. You can help them by providing dotted lines for them to trace over at first.

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