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The Best Phonics  Tutor Blog

Updated: Aug 29

Expert tutor blog with hot tips for supporting your KS1 child-phonics, reading, writing and tutoring.

Kara Cook-Primary Tutor & Phonics Expert
Kara-Primary Tutor

Hi! I'm Kara. I am an expert phonics tutor, reading specialist and

an experienced primary teacher. I love helping children learn to read and write!

Stay tuned for more blogs about phonics, reading and early literacy here!

Subscribe to my list for helpful tips and tricks for helping you support your early reader!


Updated: Aug 25

Morning Routine Hacks: Incorporating Phonics with your Year 1 Child for a Smooth Start to the School Day - Part 1

How to Energise your day: Phonics Hacks for Year 1 Back to School Success (C)2023 Best Phonics Tutor
Part 1 Phonics Hacks

Phonics Hacks for Back to School Year 1 Success
Part 1

How to Energise Your Day: 5 Fun Phonics Activity Hacks for Back-to-School Year 1 Success

Mornings with young ones can be a whirlwind, but fear not! There are several ways to turn school morning chaos into a calm and enjoyable experience, especially for children transitioning into Year 1.

Here are five phonics activity hacks to make your Year 1 child's Back-to-School morning routines smoother and more educational.

These school readiness ideas infuse early literacy, phonics and positivity into your routine with enriching phonics-reading activities, setting the stage for a positive and productive day.

#1 Rise and Shine with Phonics Yoga (C)2023
Phonics Yoga

1. Rise and Shine with Alphabet Yoga

Engage your child's body and mind with Alphabet Letter Yoga.

Encourage your child to strike poses resembling letters while saying their sounds.

It's a fun way to boost flexibility and reinforce letter-sound recognition and phonological awareness.

You can enhance this simple yoga activity by playing calming music for your child to move to.

Set up a yoga mat and watch your child get creative with their Phonics Yoga!

Phonics Yoga-girl relaxing and moving like the letter Y (c)2023
Phonics Yoga

Starting the day with stretching and physical movement will leave your child feeling calm, refreshed and ready to take on their busy day at school!


#2 Interactive Phonics Story Wake Up (c)2023
Phonics Story

2. Interactive Phonics Story Wake-Up

Get up a little bit earlier and enjoy reading a fun book together!

Replace the alarm clock with interactive storytelling. Read a book emphasising a specific letter sound, encouraging your child to spot words that start with that sound.

Choose a favourite book that is lively-one your child will be excited to get up to read with you.

#2 Interactive Phonics Story with your child
Enjoying phonics-reading fun!

There are so many great phonics and early readers books to choose from.

There are fantastic Back-to-School offers to get you started at Books2Door.

#3 Phonics Breakfast Hunt
Phonics Breakfast Hunt

3. Phonics Breakfast Hunt

Turn breakfast into a phonics treasure hunt! Hide sticky notes with letters around the kitchen, and have your child say the sound of the letters they find.

Make this even more enjoyable by creating breakfasts that match the sounds your child is learning.

Imagine your child's delight to find and eat the matching plate of 'bear' pancakes when they find the 'ear' (air) sound or the 'ow' for owl-shaped scrambled eggs on a bacon log!

Phonics Breakfast Hunt
Yummy Phonics Breakfast

#4 Musical Phonics Jingle
Phonics Jingle

4. Musical Phonics Jingle

Craft a catchy morning jingle with phonics sounds.

Sing it during tasks like brushing teeth, making routines musical and fun.

Children love to make up silly songs that rhyme so this is one sure the please your child's creative endeavours.

Why not get some musical instruments and play along with their diddly? If you are stuck for ideas, you can always sing a favourite song or use it as inspiration to create your own!

Phonics Jingle
Phonics Jingle

Here's a favourite morning song that my Year 1 children always enjoyed each morning.

Your child will have fun singing along and dancing to this Back-to-School classic!

When your child comes up with their own phonics jingle...make sure you record it!

Wake Up! by Out of the Ark Music

#5 Letter-Sound Scavenger Hunt
Phonics Scavenger Hunt

5. Letter-Sound Scavenger Adventure

Encourage exploration with a letter-sound scavenger hunt. Find objects starting with the day's letter sound. It's learning through play.

Give your child the sound of the day and see how many things they can find starting with that sound.

For example, "Today's sound is 'i'? What can you find that starts with the 'i' sound?"

Take this activity outside...can your child find an 'i-i-insect'?

Phonics Scavenger Hunt
Phonics Scavenger Hunt

What's next?

Start the new school year off with phonics fun. Include these phonics hacks into your morning routine to transform it into a joyful and enlightening experience for both you and your child.

Stay tuned for Part 2, where we'll reveal the rest of the exciting phonics-infused morning routine hacks!

Share your own experiences and stay connected with me on @just2imaginetutors using #PhonicsMorningMagic.

Looking for more fantastic ideas to help your child get ready for school? Sign up for my free helpful tips and tricks delivered weekly to your inbox!

Sign up by clicking on the link below.

Happy Morning routines with Phonics Morning Magic!

xx Kara

Primary Tutor & Phonics Expert

Updated: Aug 19

Essential Skills Every Child Needs Before Starting Reception

How to prepare my child for Reception this summer

Getting Your Preschooler Ready for Reception

Starting reception is an exciting milestone for parents and children, marking the beginning of their educational journey. As a parent, you can play a crucial role in ensuring a smooth transition and getting your preschooler ready for Reception.

How to prepare your Reception child

Essential Skills Every Child Needs Before Starting Reception

In this guide, I will provide essential tips and strategies to prepare your child for this important milestone, drawing from my experience as a reception teacher. I understand the challenges parents face, as highlighted by a mother's frustration with conflicting advice online. This inspired me to provide a reliable guide, sharing my expertise and supporting parents during this significant transition. Let's make this journey a positive and memorable one!

Reception Ready: Start talking about school early

1. Start talking about school early: Introduce the concept of school early on.

Discuss what school is, what they will learn, and what to expect. Use positive language and share the exciting aspects of the school experience.

Reading books about starting school together can familiarise your child with the idea.

Popular books like: Harry and the Dinosaurs Go to School and

Charlie and Lola-I am too absolutely small for School are both great places to start!

Reception Ready: visit your child's new school

2. Visit the school: Take your child to visit the school before they start.

Contact the school office of your child's primary school to schedule a tour or attend open house events.

Explore the classrooms, play areas, and meet potential teachers. This firsthand experience will alleviate anxieties and create a sense of belonging.

Most schools offer transition days for your child to meet other children and to get familiar with the surroundings.

Talk to your child's new reception teacher to see when these dates can be arranged or if they do home visits.

Reception Ready: Establish school routine

3. Establish a routine: Prepare your child for the school schedule.

Practice the school morning routine, including waking up early, getting dressed, and eating breakfast at the same time every day. Make sure your child has enough time to get ready in time to leave. A consistent routine will help them adjust more easily.

Some things to try...

Perhaps your child has some friends from preschool who will be starting reception at the same time. You could plan to meet friends and mums/dads at the school gate or somewhere along the journey to school if you walk. Practise the school run a few times during the summer holiday so that you are both prepared for the school morning journey.

Reception Ready: Encourage independence

4. Encourage independence: Promote independence by letting your child practice everyday tasks.

For example, encourage your child to dress themselves, use the toilet independently, and carry their own backpack. This prepares them for responsibilities and boosts your little one's confidence.

Reception Ready: Teach social skills

5. Teach social skills: Practice sharing, taking turns, and using polite language with others.

Organise playdates or group activities to interact with peers. Role-play scenarios reinforce social skills and build positive relationships.

Offer lots of opportunities for your child to experience meeting and playing with other children. Creating good friendships is key to a successful first year at school!


Preparing your preschooler for reception involves a combination of practical steps and emotional support. By following this ultimate guide, you can help your child navigate this exciting milestone with confidence and ease.

Remember, every child is unique, so adapt these tips to suit your child's individual needs. With your love, guidance, and support, your preschooler will be well-prepared for a successful start to reception this summer.

In part 2 of this guide, I will share more tips for helping your child to adapt to Reception in September. Stay tuned!

Hi, I'm Kara, a primary tutor and phonics expert and I’ll teach you the latest phonics and reading tips for supporting your early reader.

My blog is chockful of super actionable tips on how to support your child's transition into Reception or Key Stage 1. I'll also offer advice about your child’s early literacy goals so they can grow in confidence and fluency.

I’ll be sharing my free literacy resources so be sure to subscribe! ♥️📨

Follow me, Like and Share @just2imaginetutors

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