First Sound Fluency

First Sound Fluency – the ability to hear the first sound in a word.  You can do this in the car, grocery store, while cooking dinner, etc. Just ask your child to say the sound they hear at the beginning of a word.


Tell your child that you have a ship that is being loaded with all sorts of items.  What makes this ship unusual is that it can only accept items whose names begin with the same sound.

  1. Identify the target sound by saying the sound.  (Example: /b/)
  2. Begin by saying, “I have a ship.  The ship is being loaded with _____”  (Example: boxes)
  3. Then the child adds to that statement… “I have a ship.  The ship is being loaded with  ___ and ____.”  (Example:  boxes and buses)
  4. The parent adds to the previous items by saying… “I have a ship.  The ship is being loaded with _____ and _____ and _____.”

(Example:  boxes, buses and bananas)

The game continues until someone cannot “load” an item on the ship.  At that point, you can identify a new target sound and the “ship loading” procedure begins again with a new target sound.


  1. “I am thinking of a word that is a color and it begins with the same sound as the word bike. What is it?” (blue)
  2. If your child can’t seem to figure out the word, give him/her a couple of hints: “Let’s try again. What sound does bike begin with?” . . “Listen /b/ bike”. . .”Name a color that begins with /b/.”
  3. Give positive reinforcement as soon as your child gives the correct answer.
    “Yes, that’s great! Bike and Blue begin with the same sound, /b/.”

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