Water ping pong

by Fellowship Agency December 12, 2019

Phonics is a key area of learning in Key Stage 1 and therefore should be made to be an enjoyable learning experience for the children. These phonics activities are tactile and sensory to give the children a new way of learning.

Learning outcomes

You will be able to:

  • decode and read words with split digraphs.

You will need (per class)

  • 1 x shallow Gratnells Tray (F1) with a lid
  • 2 x fishing nets
  • 20 x Ping pong balls with words written on (quantity depends on how many words you want to challenge the children with).
  • Water


  • Choose the selection of split digraph words.
  • Use a permanent pen to write the words onto the ping pong balls.
  • After the words have dried, place them into the tray with water.

What to do:

  • Explain to the children that they need to use the fishing net to catch a word.
  • When they have caught one, they need to read the word correctly.
  • After the child has read the word, they put it to one side.
  • The child with the most correctly read words at the end is the winner.

Other things to try…

  • How many words can the children remember?
  • Add in some ‘alien’ words, for the children to sort.
  • Sort the words into the different split digraph groups (a-e, e-e, i-e, o-e, u-e)
  • Put the words into sentences.
  • Share photographs of your phonics fun on social media using #WhatsInMyTray.

Health & Safety

As with all Gratnells Learning Rooms What’s In My Tray activities, you should carry out your own risk assessment prior to undertaking any of the activities or demonstrations.