Father and Son Reading a Book


Teachers Call This Skill:


Try not to get confused by the fancy name “Phonological Awareness.” It just means the ability to hear and manipulate sounds in spoken language. Children who have phonological awareness can tell you the sounds they hear in words, separate the sounds and change out sounds to make new words.

This is important for reading because children must first be able to hear the sounds and patterns in words before they can identify what letters represent those sounds.

Phonological awareness can and should be directly taught to children. Parents can be the best teachers by singing with their kids, rhyming words and asking them the sounds they hear in different words.

If you can sing a song or rhyme a word, you can build your child’s phonological awareness.

Important Reference


Beginning Sound Basketball 

To practice identifying the first sound in a word:

  • Say a word

  • Child bounces ball and says the 1st sound multiple times

  • Child then says the rest of the word

Elkonin Boxes

To practice segmenting or breaking words apart into sounds:

  • Use pictures or real items.

  • Say a word

  • Then push a lego, coin, bean, etc. into a box for each individual sound.

What’s In My Bag?

To practice blending sounds together to make words:

  • Fill a bag with toys or items from around the house.

  • Say the sounds to 1 thing in the bag without showing item to the child.

  • Child guesses what you have by putting the sounds together.

  • Child can hold item after guessing.

Variation if too difficult:

  • Put 3 items in front of child.

  • Say the sounds of one of the items.

  • Child chooses the correct item