Fun Activities That Support Phonemic Awareness At Home

October is Dyslexia Awareness Month. Today we begin a series of posts that have fun activities that support learning for all of our kids, but are particularly helpful for our students with dyslexia. If you find this article helpful, please share on social media and let's help raise awareness for dyslexia together!

What Is Phonemic Awareness?

Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear and manipulate individual sounds (phonemes) in words. Children must first understand that words are made up of separate speech sounds that can be blended together to make words before they functionally use the alphabet to spell or read words. It is a foundational skill that makes learning to read easier, and often one of the best indicators of reading success in the coming years.

Phonological awareness is the ability to divide spoken language into units, such as words and syllables. Before diving into individual sounds within words (phonemic awareness), the goal is to  teach children to pay attention to more obvious sounds. A good place to start is environmental noises, then move into sentences, whole words, and then syllables. Only after a child can divide words into syllables do we start teaching the phonemic awareness part of our curriculum.

Activities to try at home to support an increased awareness of sounds and syllables:

Tapping Syllables

Using different items such as hand clappers, drums, or tennis rackets you can have children determine the number of syllables in a given word. For example, you would tap a drum two times for the word "sister" because it has two syllables. For increased difficulty, tap the drum (any number of times) and have your child think of a word that contains that same number of syllables.

Home Syllable Search

Help your child find items in different rooms in your home. Sort them by syllables.  Write words (or draw pictures) for each object.