It’s true. Learning can be fun. Studies have shown that children learn best through play. And, I think I understand why: they’re interested, they’re attentive, and they’re having fun. Making learning fun is the best way to make sure your child enjoys learning and gets the most out of learning. So, why not make learning phonemic awareness fun? Here are some phonemic awareness activities parents will love because their children will love them, too.
Phonemic Awareness Activities Parents Need to Say
First of all, there are several activities that you can do with your child that simply involve saying words with our child. These are perfect for little one because they don’t take very long, and they don’t require much preparation or materials. They just require taking a moment to focus on phonemic awareness.
To begin, you can have your child count out the sounds in a word. You say a word. Be sure to emphasize each individual sound. Have your son or daughter count out the individual sounds as you say them. For example, You say “cat” by emphasizing /k/ /a/ /t/, and your child counts to 3. With this activity, not only is your child isolating phonemes, but he or she is also working on counting. You’re killing two birds with one stone.
In addition, when you’re talking with your child, you can have your child identify the initial sound of word that you choose out of the conversation. When using this activity, you’re using words that your child is already saying. You don’t have to set aside time for phonemic awareness. Actually, you incorporate it into time you’re already spending with your child. Fortunately, to make this work, all you have to do is to remember to do it.
Phonemic Awareness Activities That Require Sight
Not only can you emphasize phonemic awareness using sound, but you can also incorporate the sense of sight in to your activities, as well. Including more than one of the senses makes learning easier. It helps in retaining the information better.
To include sight, you can bring in the alphabet. You can start off by pointing to a letter and asking your child what sound the letter makes. From there, you can move to words. Here, you can point to each letter in the word and ask them what sound each letter makes. Once your child has identified each sound in the word, have them blend them together to make the word. Then, have them say the word.
Another way that you can use sight is to point to words that are visible in your immediate surroundings. For instance, if your in the car and your child notices road signs or billboards when at a stop, take a moment to use this as a teachable moment. You can use the same method as before, only now you’re using words that your child sees around them. Your kid will be engaged because you’re using cues that he or she has already picked up on.
As you can see, these are phonemic awareness activities parents don’t have to work too hard to use. Honestly, kids are naturally observant. They’re curious. They see a word, they point, and they ask what’s that. My daughters did it all the time. Once I started indulging them and taught them the word, they did it over and over. Eventually, they made a game out of it on their own.
Phonemic Awareness Games
Speaking of games, there are so many little games that you can play with your child that will help them practice phonemic awareness. Picking which one to play is simply a matter of knowing what your child likes. With these games, your child will be paying attention, learning phonemic awareness, and having fun. Plus, you’re assured that your child is doing something beneficial to them. It’s win-win situation.
Here are a few of my favorites:
- “I Spy”- Once you’ve taught your child a few words, you can use this game to reinforce what he or she has learned. To play, say, “I spy with my own eye, a word that begins with ____” and fill in the blank with a sound. Your child then has to find something that starts with that sound.
- The Rhyming Game
- “I went to the store and bought _____.”- Same as “I Spy”. Fill in the blank with a sound and have your child say a word that starts with that sound. To make it harder, have your child say a word that has the sound anywhere in it, not just the beginning sound.
- Matching Game- Say a word and your child says more words that starts with he same beginning sound or end sound.
- Sound Scavenger Hunt- Give your child a paper bag. Then, have him or her collect as many things that start with a given sound as he or she can find in the house. Be sure to let them know that the item has to be able to fit in the bag. It could be a disaster if the sound you chose was /k/, and he or she tried to put the cat in the bag.
- Jumping sounds- Sound out a word. Your child jumps for each individual sound in the word.
- Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes- You can start this one by actually singing the song a couple of times. Then, sound out a word. Your child uses the body parts from the song to identify the different sounds within the word. He or she touches a different part for each sound.
With these phonemic awareness activities parents can keep their kids moving while learning phonemic awareness.
Singing and Phonemic Awareness
Finally, in addition to all the activities I’ve already listed, you can use singing to teach phonemic awareness.
Of course, the easiest way to use singing is to sing the alphabet song. Only, when you do, pick a letter to focus on phonemically. In other words, pick a letter to review the sounds that it makes.
Along with the alphabet song, you can use other songs that contain phonemes already in them. These songs don’t have to explicitly teach phonemic awareness. Actually, you’re using them to draw attention to various phonemes and reinforce what your child has already learned. “Old McDonald” is a great example of this type of song.
Phonemic Awareness Activities Parents Will Love Because Their Kids Will Love Them
Learning phonemic awareness doesn’t have to be boring. More than that, it shouldn’t be. You want learning to be fun, so that your child will want to keep learning. These phonemic awareness activities will help because kids enjoy doing them. You’ll grow to love them because your kids will love them.
As always, I’d love to hear from you about this post. Feedback helps me know how I can help you better. More than that, we can help each other teach our kids to read at home. So, please leave me a comment.
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