May 28, 2011

Every Child Ready to Read: Phonological Awareness

Phonological Awareness is the ability to hear the individual sounds in letters and words. Most children who struggle learning to read have trouble with this important skill. Rhyming is part of Phonological Awareness and is sometimes difficult to master. You can help:
  • Sing songs! Songs break words into smaller parts so children can hear the different sounds in words.
  • Sing or say nursery rhymes.
  • Play a rhyming game like this one:

I spy with my little eye,

Something that rhymes with _________

(Help your child as needed. Keep it fun!)

  • Read a book with rhyming words—many books for children use rhyme. Then go back and point out some of the words that rhyme. When your child is ready, encourage her to do the same and then make up other words that rhyme, too.
  • The library has many books and music CDs with fun rhymes. Ask your librarian for suggestions. One rhyme that’s fun and can go on and on is “Down by the Bay.” Raffi has a book and CDs with the music. There are others, also, all available at the library! You can make up your own, too. Try this one to get started:

Wiggle your toes, one, two, three.

Wiggle your toes like me.

Now tell the wiggles to go away.

(shake your index finger)

And please “Sit still,” I say.

(Repeat, using different parts of the body.)

(Try singing this rhyme to the tune of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”!)

In the picture above, children are playing with a 'Jack in the Box' craft they made in Toddler Time. It's a fun rhyme that children can do by pretending to be the 'Jack' in the box, getting down in a ball on the floor and then jumping up at the end. This type of rhyme also helps reinforce the rhyme and the sequence of it by encouraging a physical reaction to the rhyme.

Jack in the box,

You sit so still.

Won't you come out?

Yes! I will!

Keep it fun and rhyme, rhyme, rhyme!

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