Phonological awareness refers to recognizing and manipulating sounds in spoken language, like words, syllables, and onset rimes. It includes a group of skills such as identifying rhyming words, segmenting sentences into words, blending and manipulating sounds, and identifying syllables… Which can prepare them for the next step which is reading. In order to build phonological awareness for preschoolers, there are plenty of activities. 



Phonological awareness activities for preschoolers:


1. Building phonological awareness through rhyming:


  • Read rhyming books or poems: read to your children rhyming books/texts or poems, then ask them to recognize words that rhyme with each other. Afterward, you can make your kids repeat the rhyming words or even give other words that rhyme with those words


  • Rhyming riddles: for example: ” I think of a fruit that rhymes with pig. What is it answer: “fig” … This is considered as one of the most famous phonological awareness activities. 


  • Odd one out: Give your kid 3 Picture cards, 2 of which rhyme. Have your child name the picture words, then flip over the odd one ( the card that doesn’t rhyme). It’s an enjoyable rhyming activity that kids love. 



    2. Building phonological awareness through alliteration:


    • Mystery bag: In a bag, put a group of items whose names start with the same sound (the target sound). Give your kids hints and information about the items, then let them guess what you hide in the bag. Remove the object from the bag as soon as they guess correctly. Example:” This is a mystery bag; we have three items that start with /c/. The first one is solid, breakable, people usually use it to drink coffee. what is it ?” Answer “cup”…


    • Tongue twisters: Tongue twisters are often similar words that follow one another but differ in some syllables. Write some tongue twisters on the board or on a paper, then ask your students/ kids to read them aloud. Afterward, ask kids to read them again but faster, then as fast as they can three times in a row. This often causes a good laugh. This game is a fun phonological awareness activity that makes kids excited to learn and show off their ability to do tongue twisters. 


    • I spy: It’s a famous game. If you are in the bedroom, for example, ” I spy something pink flowery that starts with the same sound as Pamela “Your kid would then identify the intended object that begins with /p/ “pillow”, for example



    3. Developing phonological awareness through segmenting:


    • Hop letter sounds game: Show kids a picture of an item, then have them hop for each sound. For instance, show them a pen, children say /p/, /e/, /n/, and they hop 3 times. It’s a great way to teach kids to separate the sounds in a word and count them.


    • Bounce to it: it’s another phonological awareness activity that helps preschoolers to segment and count sounds in a fun way. It’s just like the previous one, but instead of hopping, kids will bounce a ball once for each sound. 


    • Syllable shopping: While at the grocery store or in the supermarket, have your kid tell you the syllables in different objects/ food items. For example, carrot : car – rot : 2 syllables. Pineapple: pine – ap – ple : 3 syllables … 



    4. Promoting phonological awareness through blending:


    • Snail talk: Tell preschoolers that you’re going to say a word using “snail talk” a slow way of saying words. Choose a simple word and stretch it out very slowly (eg: hhhhhaaaaannnnnddddddd), then ask them to tell you the word. It’s a simple phonological awareness activity to teach your kids the blending skill


    • If you think you know this word: This activity is to the tune of “if you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands” song. Sing with children the song : 

                          If you think you know this word, shout it out!

    If you think you know this word, shout it out!

    If you think you know this word,

    Then tell me what you’ve heard,

    If you think you know this word, shout it out!

    Afterwards, say a segmented word /d/ /o/ /g/ then ask kids to blend it “dog”.


    • Syllable pairs: Use two-syllable picture cards. Cut the pictures in half, shuffle them, then layout on the table, face down. Kids take turns to turn two cards. Ask them to say the relevant syllable for each picture. When a pair is turned over, the kid should say the syllables e.g. “ta” and “ble” make “table” and he keeps the cards.



    The previous

    phonological awareness activities are awesome ways to make preschoolers enjoy the process of learning and get them excited to go to school. They can be used by both parents and teachers, at home or in the classroom. Moreover, they’re really efficient at teaching kids the skills of alliteration, rhyming, blending… which are the keys to reading success.




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