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Home > Blog > September 2011 > Raising a Reader: Phonological Awareness
Choose any Mother Goose rhymes.
Choose any Mother Goose rhymes.

Raising a Reader--Phonological Awareness

Are you trying to raise a reader? One of the key skills young children develop on their way to reading success is phonological awareness, or the ability to discriminate between different sounds. When children hear and manipulate the tiny sounds (phonemes) that make up words, they become stronger readers. These skills allow us to break words up into littler “chunks,” as well as make it possible for us to create rhymes.

There are several ways that you can practice phonological awareness skills with your toddler or preschooler. One of the simplest is to make up rhyming games, simply by replacing the initial word “chunk” of a given word with another sound. Start with a word like “bird,” and make up nonsense works like “dird,” “fird,” “mird,” or “pird.” These nonsense words help a child’s brain strengthen the wiring they need to discriminate between different sounds, and also stimulate the parts of a developing mind that crave creative play. You can also come to Baby and Toddler Storytime to practice these skills.

Another way to encourage phonological and phonemic awareness is through rhymes and songs. Pick your favorite Mother Goose or other folk rhyme, and get to work. Anything from “This Old Man (Nick-nack Paddy-whack)” to “Three Blind Mice” are going to serve up rhyming words, some nonsense rhyme, and lots of sounds to play with.

Counting syllables and breaking larger words into chunks is also part of this skill set. Have your older child tap out the syllables of a longer word (or place name). This is a great game to play when you’re on the bus: Say the names of the streets you are passing and tap out the syllables on the handrail or on your child’s arm or leg. When you integrate word play into your everyday life, you are empowering your child and practicing the skills she or he will need to be successful in school. Remember, it’s never too early to raise a reader.

Tags: Children's books, Pre-K, early literacy

Point out to children what letters common words start with.
Point out to children what letters common words start with.
Here's a classic example of this same kind of learning.
Here's a classic example of this same kind of learning.
Wed, September 21, 2011
This is an execellent article on how to raise a reader. I would only add to this article, by saying if your child enjoy electronic equipment, try to make accessible items that encourage reading skill, including writing their own stories, for the older toddler, and items that introduce or reinforce the basic alphabet, phonics, and word/picture association. It has done very well with my grandchildren.
Wed, September 28, 2011
nice pics
kareem - olney
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