Multisensory Monday- Phonemic Awareness Blending Boards

Today is Multisensory Monday!  Let’s admit it! Phonemic Awareness activities can be a bit boring! I often use Penny Push activities, Elkonin boxes, colored blocks and chips to practice segmenting (taking a word apart) and blending (putting separate sounds together in sequence).   Lately I have been searching for a fun way to liven up these, sometimes mundane, but essential Phonemic Awareness activities.

I found one that has worked wonders with my students and of course, I must share!

Phonemic Awareness Blending boards are an incredibly powerful, fun way to practice segmenting and blending sounds in words. These boards have 7 colorful animals cut into three parts (heads, torso and tails) that represent a three-phoneme word (beginning, middle and end). Students create mix-matched animals to represent the three different phonemes they hear in a word. Then they use colored chips, blocks or fun little erasers to place on the corresponding animal part. Finally, they sweep their finger across to blend the sounds together.

Three Activities Using Blending Boards:


To blend, students must put together the phonemes they hear in a word so the teacher must place the manipulatives on the animal parts as she says each sound.

  • Create a crazy mix-match animal with three different parts using the blending board book
  • The Teacher asks…

“ What word do these sounds make?”  /m/  /a/  /d/

  • The teacher places a manipulative on each animal part while saying each sound
  • The student blends those sounds together while pointing and sweeping across left to right “ m a  d”  ……”mad”
  • Repeat with different words—can change animal parts to keep students engaged!


To segment, students need to pull apart the word they hear so they must place the manipulatives on the animal parts.

* Create a crazy mixed matched animal with three different parts using the blending board book.

  • Teacher says a word: “dog”
  • Students segment the word they hear and place a manipulative on each corresponding animal part while saying each phoneme separately “/d/ /o/   /g/”    then sweeps finger across the animal left to right and says whole word “dog”

Manipulation: (advanced skill)

*  Teacher says a word “sad”

  • Teacher segments each sound in the word while placing a marker on each animal part

“ /s/  /a/  /d/ “ then sweeps finger left to right  across saying whole word  “sad”

  • Teacher says “Now change /s/ to /m/ (switches manipulative to represent changing first sound
  • Teacher asks “What word do you hear now?”
  • Student says “mad”
  • Repeat with any of the three positions (initial-medial-final or head-torso-tail)


These blending boards are available for immediate download for $5.99 by clicking the link below or you can create your own!

Have Fun!

Sam Brooks MSE, CDP

Samantha Brooks is an Instructor with Brainspring Educator Academy.


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