Wow-what a title. 5 phonological awareness activities for preschool. How can it be easy when the title isn’t even easy to say? Reading is kinda technical, although, in preschool and homeschooling preschool, we don’t really have to be super technical. We do have to keep some skills in mind while planning lessons and our learning environment. Phonological awareness is best defined as the ability to notice and eventually play with individual sounds in spoken words. It’s all about sounds, and this is a major component of literacy in preschool and PreK. Skills under this umbrella include rhyming, segmenting syllables, alliteration, isolating and matching initial sounds in words, and blending. This isn’t a complete list of phonological awareness skills, and like I said, reading instruction can get super technical, but this is a good start.
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Before children are ready to match written letters to the sounds they make ( phonics), they need to have a good foundation in phonological awareness. Listening skills aren’t usually included officially for phonological awareness, but they are exactly where we need to start when laying this foundation, so I include them here.
5 Simple Phonological Awareness Activities for PreK and Preschool
Clap Out The Beat
Listening is a huge part of literacy foundations, and if we expect our children to learn all the letter sounds and to be able to discriminate between them, we need to work on listening skills in general. Clap out a beat using your hands, and then ask students to stamp it out with their feet. Now stomp out a beat with your feet and ask them to repeat it by clapping.
Stomp Out The Syllables
Clap or stomp out the syllables in your students’ names and help your students learn that words are made up of specific sounds. Explain that words and names are made up of chunks of sounds. Then clap them out. Segmenting syllables is a basic literacy skill that comes well before most others, even though many skip right over it. I like sneaking this in during snack time. Let’s clap out our snack: app(clap)-les (clap), ba(clap)-na(clap)-na(clap), crack(clap)-ers(clap). Fitting these skills in a little here and a little, there really do add up!
This syllable blending activity is adapted from a suggestion from the book Speech to Print by Louisa Cook Moats, which is a wonderful read that includes so much detail about phonological awareness if you are a grad student but not such a great bedtime read for most parents or busy teachers. I am so excited to do this activity with my Prek students. Grab a stuffed animal or puppet and pretend that they talk TOO slowly. “Oh, man, Quinn talks too slowly. Can you listen to what Quinn is saying and say it faster?” Now say 2 syllable letters, slowly breaking up the syllables.
“Tooth….brush….” kids –> yell out a toothbrush!
“ba…con” kids–> yell out bacon!
If they have mastered two syllables, start blending with three.
Find The Same Sounds
This game is perfect for small groups or what I like to call teacher table. Grab some toys that start with the same sound. My letter sound cards are perfect for this activity. Aim for at least three toys or other items for each sound. Pop them all in a pile or basket. Now pick one out and ask your student to find the others that start with that sound.
I Spy A Rhyme
Rhyming is my favorite way to play with words and sounds. It’s easily my favorite phonological awareness skill to work on. This skill is crucial because it helps children learn how to break the sounds in words apart, which is vital for literacy development. This game is a little like I-spy. Using figurines or my letter sound cards, place 4-5 on the table. Then it’s time to search for them. ” I spy with my little eye something that rhymes with nook object rhymes with vest.” <– a nest.
“The object rhymes with mail.” <– nail.
The rhymes can be made up too. Bouch for couch, nable for table, etc. because the goal is to play with rhyming sounds.
Another great rhyming tool are these printable rhyming blocks.
Looking for more great preschool activities including lots of phonological awareness activities for preschool? Check out my new book Everyday Preschool!
HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT TO FIND INSIDE EVERYDAY PRESCHOOL:
- Over 170 simple preschool activities that use everyday materials. You don’t need to invest a lot of money to teach your child at home.
- Activities are short, with minimal prep, so you can fit some learning into your busy day.
- The book is organized into nine categories of learning; literacy, math, science, sensory, art, fine motor, gross motor, social-emotional, and bedtime reading tips.
- Everyday Preschool activity book was created using various state standards for PreK and has tips for making activities easier or harder to fit your child.
- An Appendix filled with an extensive book list links to free printables, song lyrics, nursery rhymes, my favorite playdough recipe, and more.
HERE IS A SNEAK PEEK INSIDE EVERYDAY PRESCHOOL