Say the Sound
Listening for and saying sounds in words helps children learn that spoken words are made up of sounds, which gets them ready to match spoken sounds to written letters. This, in turn, gets them ready to read.
- Old magazine
- Book of nursery or nonsense rhymes
- Say four words that begin with the same sound, such as big, ball, basket and balloon. Ask your child to tell you the first sound in each word.
- Say four words, such as cap, hop, cake and camera. Ask your child which of the words starts with a different sound.
- Say four words, such as stop, top, mop and hop. Ask your child to tell you what the last sound is in each word, /p/.
- Give your child an old magazine. Sit with him and point out objects in the pictures. Ask him to say the sounds that the objects start with. Change the game by saying a sound and having him find an object in a picture that starts with that sound.
- Have fun by helping your child say tongue twisters such as "Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers," and nonsense rhymes such as "Hey Diddle, Diddle," as well as more modern nonsense rhymes such as those of Dr. Seuss.
- As you read a story or poem, ask your child to listen for and say the words that begin with the same sound. Then have her think of and say another word that begins with the sound.
- Help your child to make up and say silly sentences with lots of words that start with the same sound, such as, "Tom took ten toy trucks to town."
ACTIVITY LIST for Preschoolers
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U.S. Department of Education
Office of Communications and Outreach
Helping Your Preschool Child
Washington, D.C., 2005