|

How to Build Language Awareness

Four-year-olds benefit from hearing how language is broken into parts. This starts when kids can recognize rhymes (tall, ball), evolves when they learn to match words that rhyme or have alliteration (banana boat, silly songs), and grows into an awareness of syllables (base-ball, out-side).

Few young children spontaneously develop this awareness. You can foster it in your child by drawing attention to the sounds of letters, words, and sentences in daily activities.

  1. Sing songs that include rhyme and alliteration. Emphasize the sounds as you sing. These activities help children hear the sounds of speech.
  2. Play games to help your child hear the sounds of speech. Through clapping and tapping, children can increasingly understand that longer sound units are divided into parts (sentences into words, words into syllables).
  3. Read and reread stories and poems that have predictable sound patterns. When children hear the same text read multiple times, they begin to notice sound patterns.
  4. Encourage verbal play. Children adore jokes, riddles, and silly verses (the sillier the better). Encourage them to add their own verses and variations.
As your child's skills get stronger, try these activities:
  1. Play word games. Challenge your child to play with words. For example, ask her to think of words that rhyme with "cat."
  2. Hear word beginnings. Point out other words that begin with the same sound as your child's name, drawing attention to the similarities of the beginning sound. Use alphabet books or car games such as, "I'm thinking of something that starts with the 'buh' sound," to engage your child in hearing the similarity in the beginning sounds of words.

Get Ready to Read! Overview and Directions
Get Ready to Read! Skill-Building Activities

|

This activity is provided by the National Center for Learning Disabilities, Inc. Get Ready to Read!, a program of the National Center for Learning Disabilities, Inc, aims for all preschool children to have the skills they need to learn to read when they enter school. For more information go to Get Ready to Ready!


highlights

Vote Now for the Children's & Teen Choice Book Awards
Voting is open now through May 3 for the Children's and Teen Choice Book Awards — the only national book awards program where the winning author, illustrator, and books of the year are selected by young readers. Encourage your child to vote for his favorites today!

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!

8 Products to Help Your Family Go Plastic-Free
How can you minimize your family's exposure to harmful chemicals and lessen your impact on the environment? Try swapping out some of your everyday plastic products with these non-plastic alternatives.

Registered for Kindergarten — Now What?
Wondering what to do now that you've signed your child up for kindergarten? Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks