As your kids are getting better at understanding the letters and their corresponding sounds, they might start to show an interest in reading. Here is some quick info about the process of learning to read and a few simple ideas of how you can increase phonemic awareness.
Each word is made up of small parts of sounds (phonemes). Ex. "Stop" has four phonemes /s/ /t/ /o/ /p/. Having phonemic awareness means your child can hear, identify and manipulate the individual sounds in words.
Phonemic awareness helps children read and spell.
Here are a few games you can play with your child in the car, in line at the grocery store, or while you are reading together.
1. Find words that all start with the same letter. Or which word doesn't belong. - bug, bun, rug.
2. Blending individual letters to make a word. Ex. /b/ /a/ /t/ squished together makes bat.
3. Rhyme together. Ex. "The pig has a . . . ?" Wig!
4. Clap out the syllables in words.
5. Identify the first sound in a word. Ex. What's the first sound in van?
*Information comes from Put Reading First (2001), a pamphlet put out by the Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement and the National Institute for Literacy. For more information or to get your own copy go to nifl.gov