• Activities that will help increase your child’s phonemic and phonological awareness. 

    Phonemic and phonological awareness is your childs ability to hear and manipulate (segment and blend) sounds in words.  This is an important skill on the continuum of a child learning to read. 

    Smash Words
    This activity challenges your child to combine two sounds to make a real word. Choose a word and break it into two sounds. For example, "cat" is broken into the "c" sound and the "at" sound. Say each sound separately. Your child smashes the sounds together to create the word. To make it more interesting, have her smash her hands together as she blends the sounds into the word. For a more advanced child, provide a word and have her separate it into individual sounds.

    Different Word
    In this phonemic awareness activity, children listen to a list of several words to determine which one doesn't share a similar sound. For example, you might say the words "picture," "paint," "rabbit" and "penny." The word "rabbit" doesn't fit since it has a different beginning sound. You can focus on beginning, middle or ending sounds with the words.

    Listening Awareness
    Have child close eyes and listen for three sounds you make.
    Ex: Parent claps hands, snaps fingers, and stomps feet.
    Child opens eyes.
    Parent says, "First you heard ______.
    In the middle you heard_____. And last you heard ______."
    Child fills in blank.
    Continue listening game using the following:
    • animal sounds (moo, oink, quack)
    • color words
    • familiar items (tree, grass, truck)
    • letters of alphabet
    • sounds of alphabet "b-a-t"

    Other Activities
    Play “I spy” with rhyming words. After looking around the room, you might say, “I spy with my little eye something that rhymes with sock.” Your child could answer “clock.”

    • Clap the syllables of names of people in the family, places the family has visited, food in the pantry, toys in the toy box, or friends at school. For example, as the family passes in front of a Target, the parent might say, "There is Target. Let's clap to see how many syllables are in Target." The parent and child then would clap their hands to each syllable in the word Target.

      • Play “I spy” with beginning sounds and syllables. For example, after looking around the room, you might say, “I spy with my little eye something that begins like /f/ and has 3 syllables.” Your child would have to answer “fireplace.” Then switch roles. 

    • Or make up sentences together with the stipulation that every major word has to have the same beginning sound ("Six silly snakes sat slowly on a sandwich").

    • Finally, you can try substituting sounds to make new words. Say a word such as “pig.” Tell your child to take away the /p/ sound and change it to /b/. Then ask what the new word is (big). You can continue working with each word, changing it by just one letter (either at the beginning or the end) until you have come up with 5 or 6 new words from the starting point.

    • Another good practice activity for phonemes is for the parent to segment little words with the child. You can start by segmenting the onset (beginning sounds) and the rime (ending sounds). You and your child can do this to the song “Bingo.” There was a kid who had a pet and cat was its name-o.
      /c/ - /c/ - /c/- at, /c/ - /c/ - /c/- at, /c/ - /c/ - /c/- at, and cat was its name-o.
      (other verses can include: /d/-og, /r/-abbit, /h/-orse, /g/-erbil, /p/-ig

Last Modified on August 24, 2018