If you’re looking for fun activity to help your child hear the differences among the short vowel sounds, you’ll love what I’m sharing today!
I’m so excited about this newest printable, I’m almost giddy. I just love how they turned out… and you’ll love how beautiful and simple the game is! All you have to do is print a board and grab a die.
26 Free games for short vowel sounds
This game provides a ton of practice hearing the different short vowel sounds.
1. Each player chooses a playing piece. You might want to borrow game pieces from one of your board games (ours were from the game Sorry).
2. Place your pieces on Start.
3. Take turns rolling a die. When you roll it, you do not move forward that many spaces. Instead, look at the key on top of the game (each game is different). On this board, if you roll a 1 or a 2, you move to the next picture with the short a sound in the middle. If you roll a 3 or 4, move to a picture with the short o sound. Roll a 5? Move ahead 2. Roll a 6? Roll again.
4. Keep taking turns rolling the die and moving to the appropriate picture. You never share a space with another player, and you reach the last space by rolling the sound for that particular vowel (or getting a number which tells you to move ahead 2).
5. The first to the end wins.
And think about how much practice the game gives. Every picture your child moves past, he has to say the name and listen for the middle vowel. That’s a lot of practice!
And in case you were wondering, you’ll get other combinations of two vowels besides short a and short o. In fact, every possible combination of two vowels is included in the download.
Your child is ready for an additional challenge? No problem. I’ve got every possible combination of three vowels included in the pack as well.
And, yes, every combination of four vowels is also included. The last game in the download is one with all five short vowels.
See why I’m excited?! I’m already planning some more games like this one… stay tuned for Roll a Blend, Roll a Digraph, and Roll a Long Vowel. Oh, the possibilities!
(Update: here they are!)
To prepare: Choose the game you’d like to play. Print that page on cardstock for durability. Laminate if desired. And that’s all the prep you have to do. 🙂
Get your free short vowel games!
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Decodable Passages: CVC Words
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You page came up in my search for short vowel games and this is fabulous!! Thank you so much for creating and sharing the short vowel games!
Heather Groth, Customer Support
We’re glad to have you join us, Julia! We hope that you and your learners enjoy them!
Thank you for offering these! I’m tutoring a new reader and these games are perfect for taking the monotony out of practicing short vowels.
Thank you for sharing all these wonderful resources with us! They look so great! We are getting ready to start on our 3rd year of homeschooling with a 1st and 2nd grader. I’m reinforcing all the phonics concepts they learned last year and this will help so much! – Anna
I’m so glad these are helpful for you, Anna!
Hi! This is great! My one concern is the first one looks like a picture of ham, and the vowel sound in ham doesn’t match the vowel sound that a typically produces. Do you have any suggestions when using this product if confusion arises?
This is Kate, Anna’s assistant. If you slowly make the following sounds, you’ll notice that short a is not the same in all of them: -am, -at, -an. Kids will get used to the short vowel sounds when they learn word families. Accents also play a role. For example, Anna uses apricots as a short a word in her picture cards. Anna’s co-course writer Becky (This Reading Mama) uses apricots as an example of long a because she lives in a different region of the US. The sound is still “short a” even if it’s not identical in “-am” and “-at.” Here is my suggestion: do plenty of word family activities before playing this game. Make sure the children know that ham, ram, lamb, etc. are all short a vowel sounds. Hope this helps! 🙂
I am working on a project to help elementary teachers using effective activities that are aligned with benchmarks and I found your activities materials which I believe will motivate students to learn. I am asking permission to borrow your ideas for CVC game board.
Hi Aileen! Please send me an email so we can discuss this more. 🙂 anna(at)themeasuredmom(dot)com
Just wondering – what are the colored spaces for?- – With regards to a game board that has 3 short vowels. Based on the instructions, the kids seem to always move to a picture space. In this game board there’s no option to move head 2 spaces or roll again.
They are just space holders. 🙂
This game looks fantastic but unfortunately it seems the link takes me to a phonics book instead of the game. Am I using the wrong link? Thank you!
It works now. 🙂
i am a big fan of your resources! I love them and the fact that you share so many freebies makes it more interesting. You’re not only an amazing mum and teacher but also a beautiful person indeed!! Huge thanks for sharing your work and resources with the people all around the world. I am a Primary school teacher in Melbourne, Australia just wondering if you’re thinking of making your resources in different fonts? Just a little suggestion and also appreciation of your incredible resources ??
HI Sonia! At this point, no, I’m just making them in the traditional font that we use in America. Not that I won’t want to help, but I only have a certain amount of time to create. 🙂
I can’t seem to print this file. The link takes me to another pack. Can you please send me the file? Thanks!
This is Kate, Anna’s assistant. Once you enter your email address, the file will be sent to you immediately. Please check your inbox, and if it’s not there, check your spam/trash/junk or promotions folders. If you still can’t find it, please try using a different email address. Thanks for giving it another try!
Hello, I’m having a bit of trouble downloading the short vowel game boards as when I click on the link it asks for my email which I gave and then I was sent a link for some long vowel books.
Please let me know if I’m doing something wrong 🙂
I’m so sorry for the trouble, they have just come through- thank you so much xx
This is absolutely perfect and just what I have been looking for!!! My tutoring student loves games and challenges, and needs lots of practice on the short vowel sounds. I am really grateful and impressed that you have offered so much here for FREE!!! So many resources offer a tiny free tidbit that just makes you realize you need to purchase the rest in order to get full use of the game. Thank you for offering such a complete resource for free
Yay! I’m so glad you can use these, Susan! 🙂 Thank you so much for your comment.
Thank you so much for your free printables. They have been such an inspiration as I begin my small groups. I am new to the lower grades and have been feeling overwhelmed with what to do during small group time. As a teacher, spending my own little bit of money on resources (print outs, printer ink, lamination sheets, etc.) gets exhausting and your resources have been such refreshing blessing. Thank you for all the time and thought you have put into these resources.
I’m so glad these help you, Christine!
Thank you so much for all your creative, free activities! My dyslexic students love them, and I love have alternatives to my same old boring stuff! YOU ROCK!!!
Thank you for your kind words, Lisa!
Your materials are simply AMAZING!! I love every single one. Thank you for all of your great resources!
You’re welcome, Heather! Thank you so much for the kind words!
Thank you so much
I enjoyed and benefited a lot
I do not know how to thank you, Anna, may God bless you
You’re very welcome, Janna! 🙂
Just wanted to express how much I am enjoying all the activities, varieties, ideas and practical applications you share with us. For those of us who work with the most challenged and struggling students with little resources and budgets, these have been amazing.
Thank you so much for sharing. You are greatly appreciated.
P.S. I really love your personal family touch, it lets us know you’re in touch with where we are.
Thank you so much for taking the time to give me this encouragement, Pam! It means so much!
Thank you sooo much for these center ideas. as moved back to kindergarten after 14 years of 1st and 2nd grade. I only have 2 years left before retirement so I don’t want to spend. Getting these free print outs has been a blessing. Again thank you
You’re very welcome, Marlene – thanks so much for your comment!
Wow , I have read this page up and down including all the comments on how great it is but still cannot find WHERE to see and print it out. I have signed up twice and that doesn’t seem to help either. Still searching.
Scroll to the bottom of the post and look where it says “Get your 26 free games HERE.” Click on HERE. If that doesn’t work, click the troubleshooting box beneath it.
OK found it. Thank you so much. It’s great and I can’t wait to try it out.Thank you for all your work and patience.
Thank you so much for these free resources! They helped!
That’s great to hear, Doris!
I just want to say thanks! I’ve been searching for something to help us differentiate the sounds in the middle better. This is perfect, thanks for sharing it for free. We will be back for more if the need arrises. 🙂
I’m so glad you can use these, Danielle!
Jennifer A. Lawrence
Hi! I LOOOOVE YOUR WORK! I was curious. I can’t seem to locate the roll a short vowel game. I have the blends and digraphs. Can you direct me to that? Thanks again! You are so amazing at creating these beautiful activities! Jflore@hotmail.com
Hi Jennifer! You left your comment on the Roll a Short Vowel games – just click on the brown word HERE to download. Did you mean something else?
Printed off the short vowel games and started using them with my 1st grade Title kiddos–they absolutely love them and beg to play them every day! I was searching to see if you had finished the blends and other boards you were speaking of, but didn’t find them. Any idea when they might be ready? They would be perfect for my 2nd Graders. Thank you so much for all you do–so grateful!!
They’re ready, Cheryl, and I just added links to them at the end of this post. Enjoy!
Love this! I will definitely have to share! Thanks for posting!
Thanks for visiting, Kristie!
Just happened upon your site from pinterest! I should be sad that today is my last day of fall break and I have to go to work tomorrow but I am so happy and excited that I found your game board freebies and cannot wait to share them with my students! So adorable! So just what I need for my kids! So amazing that they are free! Thank you for sharing your talent!!!
Thank you so much, Chris – your comment was a real day brightener!
where can I get printout
I am unable to find the game printot page
It says “Get your free games HERE.” Click on HERE.
Your materials never cease to amaze me! Thank you.
You’re very kind, Lois – thank you!
What a great idea. Thanks so much for sharingj!
You’re welcome, Susan! I hope you get a chance to use them. 🙂
I LOVE your printable activities! Thank you so much for sharing your great ideas!
Thank you so much, Melissa!
Thanks so much for these colorful game boards. I’m working on segmenting with my intervention K kiddos. I think I’ll use the game boards for that without the dice pictures on top. Thanks, again.
I’m so glad you can find a way to make them work, Dawn!
This is PERFECT for this week!!! I’m doing This Reading Mama’s “Reading the Alphabet” with my 4-year-old, and we just finished short i. We’ll do the short a/short i combination page tomorrow. He’ll love it!
Yay! Have fun with them! 🙂
I just LOVE EVERYTHING that you are doing for students! You have such a creative way to engage students in activities that promote learning and are also fun at the same time!! It’s been truly wonderful and extremely convenient to have educational resources already designed and ready for use by us educators.
Keep doing what you’re doing because I can’t get enough!!!
Thank you, Danielle – your comment was a real day brightener! I really love to hear that classroom teachers can use my materials. I know how much time, energy, and expense go into teaching – so I am thankful to lighten your load at least a bit!
I have to send another comment. I did not download the games before the previous comment – I just wanted to thank you. Now that I did download the games, I want to doubly thank you. I so love how each game board is different and works on different sounds. Such a super idea and fun too. Thanks!!!!
So glad you to hear you like them, Debbie! They were so fun to make, and I can’t wait to create more versions… there just aren’t enough hours in the day. 🙂
I just want to thank you for sharing your wonderful learning materials. I am so looking forward to using the short vowel game. It will be a great resource for many of my kids!
You are such an inspiration to me! Thanks to you for providing so many activities that my students use as independent “word work” options while I am conferring with individuals or conducting guided reading groups. I think you’re incredible!
Oh, I love to hear that these fill the time when you’re differentiating instruction, Ann! I’d love to visit your classroom. Go, you!
My beginning readers are so into games right now, these will be perfect! Thank you so much!
You’re very welcome, Jan!
This is awesome, Anna!
Thank you, Kay!
It’s an amazing idea, but I’m alittle confused about the game rules. We’re supposed to put the dice on the start point. and then if I got (1) for example on the dice, Should I pick a picture with the sound (a), or move one step forward? if I moved one step and the picture has another vowel sound but (a) what should I do? Or if I picked a picture with the vowel (a) , what’s the point of winning by finishing first if I have the option to pick the closest picture to the end on the board with the vowel (a)?
Hi Hanan! If two people are playing, you need two playing pieces (coins, gems, whatever). Put pieces on start.
Then you roll a die on your turn. If you get a 2, and the top of the board says that a 2 equals a, then you move to the very next picture that has a short a sound.
So the number on the die doesn’t tell you how many places to move – it tells you which vowel sound to move to. Does that make sense?
And now that I have seen them – What lovely pictures (that shark racing through the water!) and what a wonderful way of combining the vowels! There are so many children who confuse vowels that are not at all alike. I have one child who still sometimes confuses /o/ and /i/. I can’t wait to play!
Yay! Have fun with them, Susan! I love that they’re low prep but promote LOTS of practice. 🙂
What a stunning idea! Why didn’t I think of that years ago? Thank you so much!
Wonderful idea, Anna! Love these!!!!
Thank you, Heather!
Wow, this is just what my kinders need! I love all of the combinations, which will allow me to differentiate for all learners in my class. Thanks so much!
You’re welcome, Karen – I hope you get lots of use out of them!
Thanks for this, and for all the other quality resources you provide! I’m so glad I subscribed!
It’s so great to have you following along, Kaidee :)!
THis will be great for extra practice in the classroom! Thank for sharing!
You’re very welcome, Rachel!