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10 Fun Ways to Build Phonemic Awareness at Home

Posted April 07, 2021 in Articles

10 Fun Ways to Build Phonemic Awareness at Home
10 Fun Ways to Build Phonemic Awareness at Home
10 Fun Ways to Build Phonemic Awareness at Home

Author: Amy Erich, Director of Literacy Development

People often think reading begins with learning to sound out words you see. But most young children are actually getting ready to read long before they understand letters correlate to sounds. Reading begins with kids tuning into sounds they hear. This is called phonemic awareness and strengthening it can look a lot like fun and games. Amy Erich, Lawrence's Director of Literacy Development, shares 10 activities parents can do at home.

1. Simply talk about letters and their sounds. You can exaggerate sounds in your everyday conversation to help your child make connections. Letters like: m, s, and f are great to start with because they are distinct and can be exaggerated easily. “Please pass the mmmmmmmmilk.” “Look! There's a ssssssssssnake!” “You have fffffffive markers on the table.” It's also easy to describe how to make the sound with your mouth. “Close your mouth and lips to make the sound. Now put your hand on your throat. Do you feel the vibration?”

2. Build letters out of things found in nature (sticks, leaves, rocks, etc…). Repeatedly say the name of the letter and the sound it makes while building.

3. Try using chalk to practice letters and sounds. Instead of just asking your child to write a given letter, give them a sound and ask them to write the letter that makes that sound.

4. Go on a rhyming hunt around the neighborhood. Pick a word, go for a walk, and look for things that rhyme with your word.

5. Write several letters in chalk and use a watering can to water the letter away as you say the letter name or sound. Grow an alphabet garden this way!

6. Play I Spy with letter sounds! For example, “I spy a Duh - Aw - G Ask your child to blend the word together to find what you spy. If that is too tricky, break the word into beginning and ending sounds: “I spy a Duh - AWG.

7. Fill old condiment bottles with water. Children can trace chalked letters and words with water. You can also do this with a paintbrush.

8. Draw a hopscotch board with letters or words instead of numbers. Ask your child to say the sound or read the word before hopping onto the square.

9. Create an obstacle course and integrate letters throughout. Have your child follow the alphabetical order though the course.

10. Chalk large letters on your driveway or sidewalk squares. Run, hop, scooter, or bike to them! Call out a letter for your child to stop at—“start at Aaa and ride to Sss.” Then pick another sound and do it again!

Download phonemicawarenessfun.pdf

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