I have gotten a lot of questions over the years about what’s the MOST important exercise for teaching a child to read, and there really isn’t ONE, reading is a whole buffet of things that come together. If there is one thing for parents to do it is to read to your kids, after that there are many other little things to work on in fun ways. In my book Raising A Rock-Star Reader my co-author and I share 75 things parents can do to help support their child, and today’s post is another bite-sized activity that will help your child on their journey to reading.
Breaking up words into syllables is important because it helps children break apart words which ultimately will help them with writing, especially invented spelling and decoding words.
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Gather your materials. I used a cheap cookie tray, some number magnets, and toy animals. I get asked a lot where I get toy animals from, and mine are really an odd collection, but I found this awesome huge collection online that could be very useful for a homeschool or classroom.
Start by putting out the animals. I wasn’t even done before I had a helper.
Have your helper clap out the syllables – even if they do it in their heads correctly, get them to clap the words out for you too. Then place the number by the animal. I have met more than one child who will “know” the number, but then they can’t actually break the word down which defeats the purpose. Have fun with this, be silly. When we got to rhino, we compared the syllables in rhino and rhinoceros.
For more quick little lessons like this check out my book; Raising A Rock-Star Reader It is packed with fun ideas for families, book lists and pictures of some really cute kids reading ( two of whom I gave birth to 😉 ).