I Spy Beginning Sound Game with Printable Mats for Phonics

I have mentioned before that my 5-year-old is struggling to learn to read. We are slowly working on reading in English as he continues to take more and more interest in reading. We are working on learning phonetic sounds of letters. To do this, we are really working on many sound games like I Spy for beginning sounds. To help us play our beginning sound game, I created some fun Phonics I Spy mats!

I Spy Beginning Sound Game

Age: 4+


We use these cards to practice beginning sounds. The cards all represent phonetic sounds. I tried to choose images that would be generally known to children. They are fun and engaging for children!

The cards feature only lower case letters because most of our written language is lower case. Children see these letters more frequently and are more likely to recognize them.



Print, cut, laminate, and done! Well, just add a manipulative for extra fun!

When presenting this material, I do not typically present all of these cards for activities at home. I do not want my son to get overwhelmed. I rotate the mats that we use weekly or every few days depending on how quickly we go through them.

Related: You’ll also love our Beginning Sound Clip Cards

Ask your student or child to join you. Present one mat. You may want to add a small manipulative, such as gemstones or bingo chips for the child to place on the objects.

  • Place the mat in front of the child. Say, “I spy with my little eye something that beings with the letter sound  _”.
  • Wait for the child to show one of the objects on the mat. They can place a manipulative on it, or point with their finger.

Psst! At 5, I expect my son’s days to be filled with playing outside, exploring nature, and playing with Lego more than doing academic work. That being said, when he is interested in something, I make sure to give him the opportunity to learn about it! He is currently very interested in reading, but is having a hard time with it so we are working on it at home.

He does attend a public school, where I also teach English, including my own kiddo!


I created the set with some Montessori principles in mind. I wanted to make sure that children could easily use them. These mats were created with these things in mind:

  • real images
  • no background on images
  • easily identifiable objects
  • clear font
  • hands-on component if used with a manipulative
  • answer key

Because this set also comes with an answer key, children can use the key to check their work independently.

Get Your Set

Download Printables long

Beginning Sound I Spy Mats

I Spy Mats on TpT

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One Comment

  1. Alice July 24, 2018 at 4:05 pm - Reply


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