Pre-K

Working with Sounds (Phonological Awareness) 

Why This is Important

Phonological awareness prepares children’s ears for working with words and sounds. It includes identifying and making oral rhymes, clapping out the number of syllables in a word, and recognizing words with the same initial sounds like mom and make.

Goals for Strong Readers

  • Show understanding of the connection between sounds and letters.
  • With help, separate and say the first and last sound they hear in words.
  • Explore and recognize rhyming words.
  • Recognize own name.

Quick Activity

I say, you say
  • Say a word that has a rhyme (such as cat, which rhymes with hat).
  • Ask your child to fill in the rhyming word for your word. Examples: I say cat. You say _. Your child fills in hat.
  • Continue for as long as this game is enjoyed by you and your child.
  • Note: You may accept nonsense words from your child that rhyme with your words. (ex. night gight or rain zain).

More Activities and Games

Tongue Twisters
  • Recite simple tongue twisters with your child.
  • Encourage your child to slowly repeat each word you say until the tongue twister can be said smoothly.
  • Examples:
    • She sells seashells by the seashore
    • Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers
  • Make up a tongue twister with your child’s name: Lucy loves to lick lemon lollipops

Beginning Sounds: 

  • Say a letter sound such as /t/. Repeat the letter sound three times. 
  • Play I Spy, asking your child to identify something in the room that begins with a /t/ sound (such as table). I spy something that sounds like /t/ at the beginning.   
  • Repeat the letter sound three times.
  • Give your child time to look, think, and answer. Give clues, if your child needs a hint.
  • Continue with other letter sounds that begin the names of objects in the room.
  • Then, switch, and ask your child to name a sound, and you identify something in the room that has that beginning sound. Example: I spy something that sounds like /p/ at the beginning (such as paper). 

Ending Sounds: 

  • Say a letter sound such as /k/. Repeat the letter sound three times. 
  • Play I Spy, asking your child to identify an object in the room that ends with the /k/ sound (such as clock). I spy something that sounds like /k/ at the end.
  • Repeat the sound three times.   
  • Give your child time to look, think, and answer. Give clues, if your child needs a hint.
  • Continue with other letter sounds that end the names of objects in the room.   
  • Then, switch, and ask your child to name a sound, and you identify something in the room that has that ending sound. Example: I spy something that sounds like /k/ at the end (book).
Pre-K