Plenty of research has been done pronouncing the importance of phonological awareness for kids, or the ability to identify and manipulatewith oral language. In fact, one article published by the Victoria State Government in Australia said, "Phonological awareness is a crucial skill to develop in children. It is strongly linked to early reading and spelling success." This means that playing with words and word sounds is a critical pre-reading skill for children. While there is a lot of emphasis on learning letter names and identifying the written letters, there often isn't as much placed on the sounds and being able to play with and maniuplate them.
But, there's good news! Introducing games that build those skills for our kids does not take a lot of work, but does require us to be intentional with our time. Little Man and I like to play these games while riding in the car, waiting for the doctor, while I'm making breakfast or any time we're having to wait. After reading through the list, choose one you can introduce today and think about a time when you can play.
7 No Prep Word Games
1. Sing. A great song to sing and have fun with is "Apples and Bananas" because it plays with the sounds of words.
2. Read poems and rhymes
3. Play "I spy" with sounds - I spy something that stats with the /ssss/ sound?
4. Say words fast - What word is foot......ball? They should respond "football". (Side note: Little Man likes this game and loves to say the words SUPER fast.)
5. Break apart words- say dollhouse. Now take away doll. What's left? - This one is more challenging and they may need a visual. See the video below where I used my hands to help Little Man "see" the word.
6. Point out rhymes when you're reading together
7. Exaggerate a sound when reading together and then point that sound out when you're not reading - While reading the word "toad" emphasize the /t/ sound. Then while on a walk point out that trees also have the /t/ sound.
Let me know in the comments, which idea you're going to be trying first.