Phoneme Awareness letter sounds: Games for Parents to Use with their Kids. Most parents are familiar with the basic building blocks of reading – the alphabet. But did you know that there are smaller units of sound within each letter? These are called phonemes, and they are the key to helping your child become a successful reader. Phoneme awareness games are a great way for parents to help their kids learn to identify and manipulate these important sounds. There are a variety of games you can play with your child to help them develop this important skill. One simple game you can play is called “I Spy.”
- I Spy:
Play this classic game with your child to help them identify different phonemes (letter sounds). The parent names an object in the room and says its beginning sound out loud. The child then must find the object that makes that sound. You can increase the challenge level by naming an object and then say its ending sound or middle sound. The child then must find the object.
- Simon Says:
This game is a great way to get children to listen carefully and identify different sounds. The parent makes each sound in a word (such as the word ‘ba’) b ah. Have your child repeat those sounds. Increase the challenge level by adding more sounds in a word. An ultimate challenge is to have the child repeat the sounds in a different order (such as ah b) Remember to say the ‘sounds’ for the letters and not the letter names. Phoneme awareness is all about sounds in words, not letter symbols!
- Sound Patterns:
This activity helps children to identify different phonemes and their order. The parent gathers a selection of objects that make different sounds (such as a bell, a drum, and a xylophone). Using the musical instrument make a pattern of sounds and ask the child to repeat the same pattern. Example: two bell rings…one drumbeat…and two of the same xylophone notes. The pattern is ring, ring; bang; ding, ding or 2-1-2. The brain searches for patterns and connections when reading. Reading success begins with mastery of the identification of sounds and sound patterns first.
Only after mastery of phoneme awareness…should letter symbols be matched to their sounds or the ‘alphabetic code’.
First things first.
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