This is part three of a set of posts offering ideas to boost pre-reading and reading skills through developing phonological awareness skills.
If your child is struggling with sound blending (synthesis) skills and as an introduction to teaching phonics (pairing letters with sounds), work on beginning sounds.
SORTING – Sort pictures, stickers or small toys by beginning sound. Start with a set of 2 sounds that sound very different — /m/ and /p/– for example. Increase the number of sounds to be sorted over time.
MAKE SOUND POSTERS – Draw a large letter and play a game thinking of words that begin with that sound. This is also a great activity to work on language skills. You can also play…without the drawing…while you are in the car, waiting in line or having dinner.
WORKSHEETS AND WORKBOOKS – Easily found online
GAMES – Fill a pot with rice or beans and letters. Take turns choosing a letter, then either thinking of a word that starts with that letter or matching that letter to a picture of an object that starts with that letter.
-Give your child an array of pictures. Call out a sound and have them find the word that starts with the sound. To make this game more active, post the pictures around the room so the child can dash to the picture and grab it.
-Play the above game in the opposite way. Call out a word, and have your child find the letter that the word starts with. Use refrigerator magnets on the fridge, an alphabet puzzle, flash cards, scrabble tiles, alphabet stickers….the options are endless!
When establishing phonics and letter recognition, it is important to expose your child to many different fonts, lower case and upper case letters. Always always associate the sound with the letter. Learning the alphabet is meaningless unless a child is able to associate the letters with sounds.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, the computer software Earobics is a great tool for practicing these skills.
Make learning to read fun! One Word At A Time…..One Sound At A Time