You have probably heard of phonics. It is best described as the relationship between the sounds of words and the groups of letters in the word. In short, it is breaking a word into syllables and sounding each part out to understand how the word is said. It is an important part of learning to speak correctly.
However, phonemic awareness can be said to be a precursor to this. It is generally described as an ability to identify and manipulate sounds while talking. If you are doing phonemic awareness properly you don’t need any printed materials, that’s the realm of phonics.
A good early learning center will understand the importance of using phonemic awareness before they start teaching phonics. It can make it much easier for a child to develop good communication and writing skills.
1. Listen First
One of the most important aspects of speaking correctly is actually hearing the sounds you are supposed to say. A great way of encouraging children to listen to the sounds of words is to get them all to lie on the ground and close their eyes.
All they have to do is listen and describe the sounds they hear. There are always noises, whether it is the building creaking or water dripping, etc.
2. Identifying Direction
Providing you have three or more children with you it is possible to play the directional game. All the children present sit in a circle with one child in the center. They must have their eyes closed. Then, one child quietly moves somewhere else in the room and makes a specific sound. You will need to agree the sound before you start.
The child in the middle simply points to where the sound came from.
3. Get The Children Rhyming
Rhyming is fun and can be silly, but it is a great way to ensure your child is listening to how words sound and therefore developing food phonemic awareness.
You can start the game by reading lots of short and funny rhymes from books. It will inspire the children. Then allow them the opportunity to make their own rhymes up.
You will hear some funny sounds and words but the trick is to encourage them. Even if they aren’t using real words they are recognizing sounds.
4. The Secret Box
Once your children have developed rhyming skills you can get a box and put some pictures and simple words inside it. You or one of the children pull out the picture and states what it is that is in the box. Another child must then rhyme with the item. It is that simple.
5. Syllable Practice
You need to choose a phrase that is full of syllables, such as hippity hoppity, and then include it in a short phrase. The children can then answer the phrase and repeat it for someone else. This helps them to understand and practice syllables, which is an essential part of phonemic awareness and a precursor to phonics.