Phonological Awareness Family Activities

Phonological awareness activities for home and community can be found in the items listed below. Have fun!

  • Songs and chants
  • Word play, games, rhymes and riddles
  • Storybooks, poetry, nursery rhymes, Dr. Seuss
  • Oral Storytelling
  • Clapping, jumping, manipulating letters, blocks

Everything should be playful, engaging, interactive, social, deliberate, and purposeful, stimulate curiosity, and encourage experimentation with language. (Yopp & Yopp, 2000).

Activity 1 – Everyday Activities (Burns et al., 1999)

Take advantage of everyday activities to talk about words and sounds. For example, when buying fruit at the market, you might ask the child which sound is the same in the words peach and pineapple, or in peach and tea. This activity promotes children’s awareness of sounds and language.

Activity 2 – Rhyming Games (Burns et al., 1999).

Make up your own games with rhyming words, silly sounds and chants, like the one below. This activity also promotes children’s awareness of sounds and language.

Ba Be Bi Bo Bu-dle-oo-dle-oo!
Ba Be Bi Bo Bu-dle-oo-dle-oo!
If the words sound crazy, don’t be a lazy daisy
Ba Be Bi Bo Bu-dle-oo-dle-oo!
Create new verses by substituting different consonants for the letter B.

Activity 3 – Silly song by Raffi (Burns et al., 1999).
This activity continues to promote children’s awareness of sounds and language.

I like to eat eat eat apples and bananas
I like to eat eat eat apples and bananas
I like to ate ate ate aypuls and baynaynays
I like to ate ate ate aypuls and baynaynays

I like to eet eet eet eeples and beeneenees
I like to eet eet eet eeples and beeneenees

I like to ote ote ote opples and bononos
I like to ote ote ote opples and bononos

I like to ute ute ute upples and bununus
I like to ute ute ute upples and bununus

Activity 4 – Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear (Adams et al., 1998).
This activity promotes the identification of words that have identical final sounds.

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, (standing in place, do the actions with the words).
Turn around.
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear,
Touch the ground.
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear,
Show your shoe.
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear,
That will do.
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear
Go Upstairs.
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear
Say your prayers.
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear,
Turn out the light.
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear,
Say good night!

Activity 5 – Stand Up Tall (Adams et al., 1998).
This activity also promotes the identification of words that have identical final sounds.

Stand up tall, (children stand)
Hands in air (Raise hands).
Now sit down (children sit).
In your chair.
Clap your hands, (clap
three times).
Make a frown, (children frown).
Smile and smile (children smile).
And flop like a clown. (children relax whole body with arms dangling).

Activity 6 – Jack Be Nimble (Adams et al., 1998).
This activity continues to promote the identification of words that have identical final sounds.

Jack be nimble. Jack be quick,
Jack jump over the candlestick.
Jack be nimble, quick as a fox,
Jack jump over this little box.
Jack be nimble. Jack cut the caper.
Jack jump over this little piece of paper.
Jack be nimble. Jack be fair,
Jack jump over this little chair.
Jack be nimble and bright as a star,
Stand up and jump very wide and far

Activity 7:   Blending and Segmenting Words (putting together words and taking them apart).  Be sure to say the sounds — not the names of the letters.

Initial sounds:  Parent says, “Start with ‘l’, add ‘unch.’ What’s the word?”
Child: “lunch”

Parent: “Start with ‘s’ and add ‘andwich.’ What’s the word?”
Child: “sandwich”

Final sounds:
Parent: “Start with ‘superma’, add an ‘n’ sound. What’s the word?”
Child: “Superman”

Parent: “Start with ‘stam,’ add a ‘p’ sound. What’s the
word?” Child: “stamp”

Continue the above activities with any familiar words.

Activity 8:  Middle Sounds
Parent says three words with same middle vowel sound.
Parent: “teeth, cheek, deep. What sound do you hear in the
middle?”
Child: “ee”

Continue activity with different vowel sounds.
Sample word list:
sack-mack-tack
heat-seam-meal
hop-mom-pot
dock-lot-Tom
sank-tank-thank
comb-poke-wrote
hen-yell-pet
hill-tick-sip

Activity 9:  Whole Word
Parent gives the child a one-syllable word to blend, one sound (not letter) at a
time.

Parent: “b…i…g” What’s the word?”
Child:
“big”

Parent: “s…t…o…p” What’s the word?”
Child:
“stop”

Helpful Hint: A great time to accomplish these activities is in
your car. You can read street signs and other print that you may come
across.

Activity 10:  Whole Word (from whole to part)
Parent says entire word: “big”
Child says each individual sound: “b…i…g”

Sample word list
(any words will work)
nest
sand
mop
when (remember, the “h” is
silent — so your child won’t hear it.)
top
game
rug

Activity 11:  Change the Name Game
Parent: “Say ‘man'”
Child: “man”

Parent: “Say it again, but this time say ‘t’ instead of ‘m’.”
Child: “tan”

Parent uses word families to continue playing the game substituting beginning sounds to make new words.

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