Apple Phonics Work Mat

Practicing phonics skills in kindergarten just got more fun with an adorable apple-themed work mat! September in kindergarten is all about letter recognition, forming CVC words, fall, and apples! That’s why we created this apple phonics word work mat printable for you to use with your students. Keep reading for teaching tips and ideas, and then grab your adorable FREE printable at the bottom!

It’s September! That means it’s back-to-school time (or you’re a month or two in) and you’re seeing apples everywhere! Woohoo! As the year gets going, students will enjoy having a fun activity to work on letters and words. That’s why you will love using these simple and differentiated word work mats. Grab your free printable at the bottom!

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This activity goes well with these resources:

See Apple Phonics in Action:

Apple Phonics Word Work Mat:

Prep Work:

Once you download the work mat, you’ll be able to use it all month long, and for years to come. Here’s how to prep:

  • Print the apple work mat (can be printed in color or black and white!) and the apple word printable.
  • Laminate both pages to keep them in good shape or use the printable as a consumable page.
  • Grab plastic sleeves and dry-erase markers for each student to be able to re-use them again and again.
  • Use any letter manipulatives you choose! Try magnetic letters, playdough, letter erasers, or word tiles.


You’re ready to go! Give each student a set number of letters to place along the bottom of the large work mat. From there, they will write the letters on the tree on their individual page. Then, the fun and learning begin!

  • Ask students to practice their letter sounds for each letter they see on the bottom. Example-
    “This is the letter A, and A makes the sound /ă/. To create the /ă/, the jaw drops, and the tip of the tongue presses into the bottom front teeth. The body of the tongue rounds upward.” (Tip: Read all our Science of Reading articles here, and make sure you have a sound wall in your classroom for real photos of each phoneme)
  • Once students know the letters, have them move letters up to form words! They can practice saying the sounds and words out loud with the finger-tapping technique! Give one tap for each sound on your finger from left to right. Thumb: /c/, pointer finger: /ă/, middle finger: /t/. Keep in mind, if you have a student using their left hand they would go pinky to thumb.
  • Write each word in an apple! That’s it, it’s so simple and fun!


At Simply Kinder, we know that not every activity is “one size fits all”, so we always want to provide you with different options! You can do this activity-

  • Whole Group: Use the “I do, we do, you do” model to teach and check for understanding.
  • Small Group: Use it during centers or in small groups for students who need extra practice.
  • Intervention: Pull students one on one for some additional intervention work
  • Accelerated: Have some students who are flying past CVC words? Great! Add in additional letters and have them practice CVC-e words, blends, rhymes, and more!

Apple Phonics Word Work Mat Freebie:

Now that you have some amazing apple work mat activities for kindergarten planned, grab the free printable of your own! 

PRO TEACHER TIP: And you don’t have to just use this for phonics, you can use it for any concept where you want students to have a dedicated workspace like adding or subtracting.

Just enter your information below and the Simply Kinder Freebie Fairy (who is busy making an apple pie) will send that right over to your inbox. Already a subscriber? No worries! Unlock your freebie here too.

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Make sure to share how you’re using this freebie in the Simply Kinder Teachers Facebook Group or tag #Simplykinder on Instagram! And most importantly, let us know if you love this monthly freebie so we can keep making a new one for you every month!

An Apple Phonics Word Work Mat to use for CVC work, letter recognition, and more! Perfect for Kindergarten and First Grade!

This post was written by Johanna, an experienced early elementary teacher who loves learning about new teaching ideas for preschool, kindergarten, and first grade!

At Simply Kinder we work together to bring you ready-to-use resources to partner with great teaching for any curriculum, a Facebook community where teachers talk all things Kindergarten, and low-prep learning ideas that your students will love. Be sure to stay up to date with all things kindergarten on InstagramFacebookPinterest, and through email. Simply Kinder: where teaching Kinder is definitely better together!

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Original price was: $36.00.Current price is: $9.00.

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