Parents of young children often ask me what they should be working on at home to get their child ready for preschool or kindergarten.  My answer is always the same (and I wish I knew this earlier when I was teaching my own children the foundational skills of reading),

Don’t underestimate the power of phonological awareness activities!

It is a critical first step for learning to read and spell.

** Phonological awareness is the ability to identify, count, and manipulate the parts of words. **

Here are a few activities to keep in mind:

Read MANY books aloud

Play rhyming games

Example 1: “I spy something that rhymes with bake.” (cake)

Example 2: “Rhyming Robot wants to find a match for each of his favorite words.  If one of his favorite words in shake, which of these words can he have: meat, steak, or corn? (steak)

Example 3: Read many book with rhyming patterns and have your child find the rhyme.

Example 4: “I’ll say three words that rhyme and sound alike at the end.  You say one more word that rhymes. hinky, pinky, stinky, _____”

Play alliteration games

Example: “Let’s make a silly sentence with /j/ words.  Jimmy John jumped …”

Practice blending syllables

Example: In your best robot voice, say “I am a robot.  What word am I trying to say?”

play  –  ground,  fire   –  truck,    bird  –  house,    ta  –  ble

Practice counting syllables

Example: Put objects in a brown paper bag.  Have your child reach in and take something out.  Then tap the syllables as you say the word.

eraser (3)      napkin (2)      fidget (2)      calculator (4)

Play sound matching games

Example“What sound is at the beginning of your name? That’s right, /d/.  Let’s think of something else that starts with /d/.”

And, remember to have fun, be silly, and enjoy learning together!

Reading Rocks … and so do you!

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