Blends are clusters of two or three consonants which appear together in a word. Each letter in a blend makes a sound and these sounds are then blended together. For example, in the word play, the p and the l must be blended together to read the full word. In the word scrape, three consonants make up the blend: s, c, and r.
Blends are not to be confused with digraphs and trigraphs, where a group of two or three letters respectively corresponds to a single sound.
For example, the word splash contains a three-consonant blend of s, p, and l. Each letter makes its own sound. These sounds are blended together into spl-. On the other hand, the -sh in splash is a digraph because two letters make a single sound.