Preschool and Kindergarten activities
Hearing and recognizing words that rhyme is a key skill to your child developing an understanding of sounds. Rhyme games can be fun to play!
Hearing Words that Rhyme: Encourage your child to listen for words that rhyme when you say them aloud, such as fun, sun; hat, cat; and fish, wish. See if your child can produce new words that rhyme with the words you say — fan, pan, ran, can, tan.
Nursery Rhymes: Mother Goose rhymes can be fun to recite and sing. You can sing the rhymes, read nursery rhyme books, and use finger plays to act out a rhyme (i.e. The Itsy Bitsy Spider). Ask your child to tell you the rhyming words they hear in the nursery rhyme.
Read Books with Rhyming Words: Many children’s books are filled with rhyming words and reading them aloud helps your child to hear and recognize words that rhyme. Books by Dr. Seuss, Is Your Mama a Llama?, Sheep in a Shop, Falling for Rapunzel, Rhyming Dust Bunnies, and Rumble in the Jungle are just a few books that are fun and engaging to read aloud to your child.
Sing Songs with Rhyme: Songs like Down by the Bay, Hey Diddle Diddle, and The Name Game are fun to sing with your child. We know from brain research that rhythm and song can help a child retain a skill or concept, and it is a fun way to engage in word play.
Letter Names and Sounds
Work with your child to learn the names of the letters and the sounds the letters make through fun activities:
Sing alphabet songs – you can find some fun ones on You Tube!
Look for letters in environmental print (signs, packages, labels, book titles, etc)
Model how to write the letters in your child’s name and encourage him/her to copy the letters
Play with magnetic letters to build words or match the first sound to pictures
Build letters out of Play Doh or modeling clay; use cookie cutters for letters and spell words with dough or clay
Make an alphabet book with pictures of things, animals, and people that are familiar to your child. Write the uppercase and lowercase letter on each page and label the pictures.
Read alphabet books aloud with your child. Ask them to find letters in the book.
Kindergarten and Primary Students
Parents can use the activities listed above, in addition to the following activities to develop your child’s decoding skills.
Blending sounds into words: This activity helps your child to read & decode words.
Students hear individual sounds and blend them together to make a whole word. This is a skill that helps students as they learn to decode words in print. Parents and children can say sounds aloud, and blend them into a word. For example, /s/‑/u/‑/n/, sun.
Segmenting words into sounds: This activity helps your child learn to spell words.
When your child wants to spell a word, ask him/her to identify the sounds they hear in the word. They can say the sounds they hear, and then your child can write the letters that make those sounds to spell the word. Encourage your child to spell words on their own. They can label pictures, make lists, or write sentences with the words they spell.