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14 of the Best Free Online Short Vowel Phonics Games.

The best online short vowel games, tried and tested by teachers and free to use on Whiteboards, computers and mobiles. Vowel games are a great way to practice and consolidate phonics vowel sounds for young learners.

Short Vowel Online games include: Vowel Spelling, Phonics Hop, Fling the teacher, and En Garde. Short vowel sounds are a difficult skill for students. There are spelling and pronunciation rules to be learnt and implemented. We have found online short vowel games that are used by teachers in classrooms daily.

We will split these into short and long vowel games in posts for your convenience. The vast majority of these are free, or have free samples. We include examples of our own games, which are 100% free to play online as we know the annoyance when it lets you play for 5 minutes and then tries to have you sign up!

We also have articles on the best games for other English and Phonics subjects as well. These include:

Short Vowel Online Games

The list below have been tried in classrooms all over the word, to varied effect. It is always worth having options in the classroom, a choice of ways to teach phonics and for that matter anything else, is going to help cater to learner differences. The ones below vary in delivery and in quality but all are fit for purposes. There are others online but unfortunately some of the higher ranked ones are no longer suitable, this list goes someway to address that.

Kisi Phonics Short – Vowel Spelling

This is a Sample game, and they have more similar games on the site, an those follow a similar pattern. This games only has 5 words unfortunately as it would be quite good for short vowels in the onset position. It covers the A E I O U sounds and uses words like apple, umbrella, egg, igloo and octopus. You have to drag the correct vowel to the front of the word. You can check it out by pressing the picture or by pressing here.

Short vowel free online games

Phonics Hop and Pop

This is one of our games and includes 2 vowel games. If you have seen other pages on my site you may have come across this game. It is free to play online, on apple and and on Android though we link to the Apple and Online versions here. You can choose from 9 different phonics subjects and one of these in each game are vowels. One game has you listening then pressing the correct long or short vowel words and the other game has you having to read the word and then pressing matching words as they fly across the screen, these games are called Word Hop and Panda Pop. They are designed to practice both reading and listening skills. The CVC game is also useful to practice short vowel sounds as well.

Do you need cool worksheets as well?

Turtle Blends Short Vowels Games

This short vowel is free, although it uses Flash so it may become unstable after December 2020 as that’s when most browsers stop supporting Flash. It is simple and effective, but there are some issues that I will address at the end. The game has two sections. The first is like the picture above. The short vowel is omitted and the student has to work out which vowel it is. The sounds should lay but didn’t on my computer, so if you are a teacher running this you will have to read the words so your students can hear the short vowel sound. You can play it by clicking the picture.

The second game has some issues. It shows a picture but no word and you have to say which short vowel sound is in the word. However, as you can see below this is pretty confusing as the pictures could be one of many different words. If the sound works this may not be an issue… if it doesn’t however it will be.

I choose green and shirt ( they mix up the vowels sometimes) The answer was cloth…. which is super confusing. I would stick to the first game and miss out the second.

Fun Fonix Short Vowel Game

This is another Flash Game, so again check it before your classes use it after December 2020. However as basic as it is, and it is a very basic game it is actually quite effective. The sound blending of the CVC is great and even though the pictures are basic they are better than the game above. This is very much a case of substance over style. Definitely try this one as a consolidation or fun activity. They have other similar games on their site that are worth a look as well.

ESL Phonics Games

This site has a few Short vowel games as well, we will look at three of them in this section. They are quite basic but actually quite fun as well. All of them follow a similar pattern of spelling a word where, most of the time it is an initial sound.

Fling the teacher.

Students have to build a trebuchet by answering questions. If they get 15 correct they can throw their teacher away! Don’t worry they say thank you at the end! The words are simple and even younger students will be able to play this game

Short Vowel Invaders

This is a lovely idea, although perhaps a bit more on the game and less on the learning side of things. It is the classic space invaders game but every 30 seconds or so there is a short vowel spelling question. The word is written so it is easily followed. You will need the keyboard controls to run the game, or possibly an interactive white board.

Short Vowel En garde

Perhaps a little violent for kindergarten or very young learners. You are a musketeer and have to fight an evil palace guard by spelling short vowel words. You also have to try to hit him in the correct place. You only Knock him out but still! It uses sentences as well, so the sounds are not in isolation. The words may be a little difficult for young learners, words like enter, epic, exit are included here.

Learning Games For Kids

There are a few on this site that are designed for native speakers but still can be used in ESL classrooms. I will highlight 4 of them below with links. These seem to be some of the best free options there are.

Letterfall Vowel Game

You are a small mouse trying to collect the letter of the word. This are short vowel words. The cat with throw things at you to lose points and if you collect the wrong letter you will also lose points. The came continues until you can get 15 words. It is actually quite difficult, but after a few tries you can get the hang of it.

Short Vowel Audio Game

This is a fairly simple audio / pairs matching game. Students simply have to match the words as they are read out. They are all short vowel words though they are longer than the usually CVC words that would be used at this level. This game is not flash so will be available after December 2020.

Short Vowel Spell

A Spell as many words as you can. You can choose the short vowel sound A E I O or U and then have to try to think of 10 words that use this short vowel sound. It is pretty good, but some words they clearly didn’t think of when they made the game. For Example, bed or beds wasn’t recognized as a word. However there are plenty of options so you should be able to get to 10 words reasonably easily.

Short and Long Vowel Sorting Game

This is the one we found most useful from this site, and we will include it in our Long Vowel games list as well. You have to listen and read the word at the top and decide if it a long, short or other ( they call it pesky) vowel sound. This is much more useful as you are asking students to listen for differences in how vowels are pronounced. Only thing i would say is they tend to have too many short vowels, but still its a good game to teach the sound differences.

Teach your Monster to Read

I know we always mention this game but it is really really good. It actually covers all phonics sounds, but that is a bonus as it does them systematically and in order. So students get to learn the sound and then construct words with the sounds they have just learnt. It is not strictly a short vowels game, but the fact that it does all phonics so well it is worth mentioning it here. We have linked to the minigames below so you can try some with your class.


Starfall put its short vowel games, and stories into the top 5 CVC sections of this linked page. There rest are either digraphs or long vowel sounds. These are great to add as part of a lesson though, and children, especially younger children really get into the stories and interactivity of the site.

Education.com (free for a little bit)

Education.com has good looking and useful games. I will link to just the selection page as it comes with a proviso. You can play for a few minutes then they try to get you to sign up. If you are a school this may be feasible but for most parents it is not. SO feel free to try them out, they are good, and then you can decide if the cost is worth it for you .

About the Author

Hi I’m Marc. A teacher of over 15 years, mostly English but dabbled in outdoor pursuits and media. Thought is was about time to sharing both what I have learnt during that time and the resources I have put together. On this site we aim to teach the theory and share our thoughts, but also go that one step further and give you access to the hard resources you need for your class or for you children. Feel free to take a look at our resources, email us on info@makingenglishfuncom.wpcomstaging.com, or jump on the Facebook group to ask questions. Happy learning, teaching or playing!

I have been a teacher of English for over 15 years, in that time i made hundreds and thousands of resources and learnt so much i think its worth sharing. Hopefully to help teachers and parents around the world.

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