Phoneme Awareness letter sounds: More Games for Parents to Use with their Kids
Phoneme awareness is the ability to identify and manipulate the individual sounds, or phonemes, in spoken words. Phoneme awareness is a key building block for success in learning to read. These games can help parents work on phoneme awareness with their kids at home.
- Word Building:
This activity is a great way to help children understand how different phonemes (sounds) can be combined to create words. First, the parent writes down a selection of words on individual pieces of paper (such as ‘cat’, ‘dog’, ‘bat’). The child then must build the words by saying the correct phoneme(sound) in the correct order. Again, the child has to say the letter ‘sound’ not the ‘letter symbol’.
- Sound Matching:
This game is a great way to help children identify different sounds and their corresponding objects. To play, the parent needs to gather a selection of objects that make different sounds (such as a bell, a drum, a spoon, a pot lid, a rattle…). Take each one of the objects individually at first. Demonstrate the sound for each object. Next, ask the child to close their eyes. You will take one object and make a sound. The child opens their eyes and identifies to the parent ‘which’ object made that noise. To up the challenge level, use two objects at a time and ask the child to identify which two objects made the sound pattern. Do this for three objects and so on. Do not go beyond the child’s age ability for memory. For example, a young three- to four-year-old may only be able to hold two objects in their memory. An older, six-year-old may be able to hold four objects in their memory. Remember, this is not a ‘memory’ exercise so much as it is a phoneme or ‘sound matching’ exercise.
- Word Ladder: [for first graders on up]
This activity is a great way to help children understand how different phonemes (sounds) can be combined to create words. To do this, the parent needs to write down a selection of words on individual pieces of paper (such as ‘cat’, ‘dog’, ‘bat’). Say the sounds for each word. Ask your child to ‘create’ new words by adding or removing phonemes from the existing words. For instance, ‘cat’ could become ‘scat’ (adding a sound at the beginning of the word) or ‘cats’ (adding a sound at the end of the word). The first sound in ‘cat’ can be removed to make the word ‘at’.
Don’t forget to look for online sites and apps for your child to use to practice and strengthen their phoneme awareness!
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