A Fun Activity on How to Teach Consonant Blends.

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Are you teaching Consonant Blends with a delicate approach?

{Disclosure: Some of the links in the post below are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.} 


A funactivity onhow to teach (1)

Phonics may seem simple to teach. You might think it’s putting alphabet sounds together and you call it a day.



We got this!

If you have been teaching phonics for even a day, you know that’s not the case.

The English language has often been described as the hardest language to learn.

Therefore, why wouldn’t it be the hardest language to teach? Makes sense, huh?


photo credit

I am a firm believer that children (and adults for that matter) learn better when they can put their hands on what they are learning. Can feel it. They get a clearer understand of how and why something works.

Teaching phonics is no different. Making it fun will increase the understanding. By giving a child something to relate to. They will often retain the information by visualizing what they saw and felt.

Let’s face it. When it comes to Grammar rules in general, there are so many “rule breakers” out there. Just like the “10 Reasons Why English Is Weird” picture above.

Lot’s of rule breakers in the house! Letters can be downright troublemakers! Thus, making it hard for us to teach.

Consonant Blends should be taught with a delicate approach.

What do I mean by that?

Well, different blends have different sounds. Therefore, you cannot use the same “rules” for all of them.

Some come together and simply blend their own sounds. Such as: ft, lk, lp, lt, mp, nd, nt, sk, st, ts, xt.  There are many more. These are just an example.
I call these letters – dating. {I’ll get to this in a moment}

While others come together and make their own new unique sound. The letters together will make a sound special only to them. Such as: sh, th, ch, tch, wh.
I call these letters – married.

The proper names are Consonant Blends (together, still using their own sounds) and Digraphs (make a unique sound when combined). But you are most likely not going to say to your young child “okay, this is the difference between a blend and a digraph.” You will have lost them a this point and have created a bigger headache for yourself. A pre-k, kindergartner, or even young elementary student isn’t going to understand what the proper names of letter combinations are called.

Here is a activity/game that will help children understand the difference. And remember what type of blend is which.

Consonant Blends (1)

Consonant Blends…Married or Dating?

-{Before I get started with this, I need to tell you that I explained to our kids that when you are dating, you are an individual, still with your birth name. And so, you are still two different people with two different last names.
When you get married, however, you become one. Now sharing the same unique name. You can explain that when you are married you now both share the same last name. Whereas this may seem a bit corny, it helps the child(ren) to understand better.}- So, will you join me in all my corniness?

Let’s Play Married or Dating. 

You will need:

  • index cards
  • a marker
  • a list of blends – they should be mixed; some blends & some digraphs
  • to channel your inner creativity – drawing
  • at least 2 willing kids ~or~ a child and a willing partner…. like a parent.

{I always encourage you to try and find your homeschool supplies at yard sales and thrift stores first. If you don’t have the supplies needed for this fun activity and you want to dive into it asap, you can purchase the index cards & permanent marker through Amazon.}

Consonant Blends Activity Cards

Teaching the Concept:

  1. Meaning or Concept. This activity is to determine which blends are married by coming together and making their own new unique sound or just dating by still having their own sound, just blended or said together. The dating consonants only hold hands. While the married consonants hug and become one.
  2. Explain Married or Dating. The version I mentioned above about the rules or guidelines of Dating verses Married can be used. Or, you can create your own version or meaning. It’s your choice.
  3. Drawing the visual. You will need to draw a visual for your kids. (Like the top picture above) You can do this ahead of time, while you are explaining the concept, or directly after. You can laminate the index cards for lots of future use.
  4. Create the cards. Create ALL the consonant blends cards. Blends and Digraphs. Writing one blend per card. Of course, you can create just the blends you are working on if that suites you better. ** Side note: You may want to use two different colored index cards when making these for younger children. Blends on one color and digraphs on another. At least to begin with until they understand the difference.

Playing the Game
There are different variations you can play:

  • *Physical Activity. Show a blend card. Have the partners call out the sound(s) of the blend. Then the partners walk 3 to 4 steps forward either holding hands (dating-blend) or hugging (married-digraph) while they walk. *This is what is shown on the scope video below.
  • Sorting. Using the pictures of the letters you drew, make two columns. The child can then sort the blends and place them in the correct column. The blends will go in the “dating” column & the digraphs will go in the “married” column.
  • Flash Cards. Use the index cards as flash cards.
  • Hide & Seek. Hide cards and call out either married or dating. They go find a card with the correct blend.
  • Go Fish. Make duplicate blends index cards. Two of each blend. So you will have sets. Play go Fish with the index cards. Same rules. You may have to deal out fewer cards than 7 to each player. Depending on how many blend cards there are.

Here is a Persicope video I did to show as an example of how to play the *Physical Activity game.


Feel free to leave me a comment below. I would love to hear how you played the game and if your child(ren) enjoyed the Dating or Married? Consonant Blends Activity.

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  1. Good morning, Brandy!

    Thank you so much for linking up on the Sunday Blog Hop 🙂

    This is a great post. I love how fun and easy you make it for children to learn consonant blends. You’re so right about English being a difficult language to learn. I was overseas for a summer and learned the language while there. In just a matter of weeks I was able to read it. It takes some people a lifetime to master English 😉

    Thanks again for linking up! I hope to see you again next week.
    Jenn Peters recently posted…Sunday Blog Hop ~ September 6th 2015My Profile

  2. Well, the thanks goes to you, Jenn. Thanks for providing the link-up.

    I adore teaching our kids in a hands-on manor. I have fun and they have fun. I find it so much more productive for us this way.

    What an experience to get to be overseas for a summer!

    It’s my pleasure. See you next Sunday!


  3. You are so very welcome, Stephanie! I’m thrilled you enjoyed it.

    Thanks for stopping by and thanks for leaving a sweet comment.


  4. Hello!

    I found your blog on the Sunday link up, and I’m quite glad I did! I recently began homeschooling a couple of kids for a missionary family out of the states, and I was struggling with the introduction of diagraphs for an ELL. This is so cute and useful! I’m definitely going to use this for some upcoming lessons!


  5. Bekah,

    Oh, that’s great that you found this helpful and useful. That was my goal when sharing it.

    How wonderful for you homeschool for that missionary family. What a blessing you are!

    Thanks for leaving me this sweet message.

    Please be sure to visit back here often. I will be posting more ideas. Similar to this one. You can always subscribe and be sure to get all the posts (among other goodies) delivered to your email inbox with a newsletter.


  6. Word blends are so important to learn. My son is learning how to read which has made me realize how frustrating English is! AHHHHH! Thank you for sharing this on Welcome Home Wednesday. We hope that you come back next week. I’ll also keep an eye for you on Periscope ;)!
    Lyn @MidMichiganMom recently posted…Welcome Home Wednesday Link Party #5My Profile

  7. Oh’ thank you, Lyn.

    I am going to try to do more scopes. Also, I will be doing more posts on blends. Come on back and take a look around. Thanks for your comment. I will see you next Wednesday. 🙂


  8. Thank you, Betsy.

    I look forward to linking up again.

  9. Amy, you are most welcome!

    I’m glad you and your boys got some use from it.


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