Phonological Awareness is the ability to hear and manipulate smaller sounds in words.
Part of this includes the ability to hear and create rhymes, to say words with sounds or with sections left out and the ability to put two-word sections together to make a word. Most children who have difficulty in decoding written words — the “sounding out” phase of learning to read — have trouble with this.
Fun ways to learn phonological awareness:
- Make up silly words by changing the first sound in a word: milk, nilk, pilk, rilk, filk.
- Say words with a pause between the syllables (“rab” and “bit”) and have your child guess what word you are saying.
- Read stories with poems, rhymes or different sounds to your child.
- Sing songs and repeat them. Most songs break words up into one syllable per note. (ex. “Mary Had a Little Lamb”; “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”, etc.)
- Pick a sound for the day. Notice it at the beginning of words and at the end of words.
- Play with a word from a storybook: What rhymes with it? What words start with the same sound, etc?