As speech pathologists we can assist in the development of many early literacy skills as phonological awareness (also referred to as PA). PA is the way we can identify sounds, manipulate sounds for blending (putting them together), segmenting (pulling them apart) and recognising patterns such rhyme or alliteration ( words that start with the same sounds- think “She sells sea shells by the sea shore”)!
While this all may sound like a huge area there is some practice you can do at home to help your child develop these skills!
Some of my personal favourites to aid development in some of these areas include;
- The robot game – breaking words into syllables (sections or beats) i.e. chicken nuggets becomes chic/ken/nug/gets. Kids love coming up with their own word choices to use in this game and don’t be afraid to follow their suggestions!
- Make up your own puzzles – choose and print a picture, if the word has 3 sounds i.e. ‘cat’ cut it into 3 strips, writing one sound on each piece and practice putting the sounds together as you complete the puzzle. This can also be done in the reverse for sounding the word out as you take the puzzles apart. Start with words that have only 3 sounds first sat, mat, cat etc. and then you could try different words as your child becomes more confident with this task!
- Sound Corners – Practice identifying the start sound of words by choosing 2 letters and place them on opposite sides of the room. Say words beginning with either of the sounds and have your child move across the room to the side they believe the word begins. This starts easiest when you pick two very different sounds i.e. /s/ and /b/, then can be made more difficult by reaching words with a similar sound i.e. /k/ v. /g/.
- Read books together that use Rhyme – from classic books such as ‘Green Eggs and Ham’, to new books like ‘Frog on the Log’. There is an endless number of these types of books and if in doubt chat to your Speech Pathologist or Librarian who will be able to provide you with even further suggestions!
As always the advice remains if this is something that your child is finding difficult please get in contact with one of our qualified Speech Pathologists who will be able to help you find the best ways to assist your child to develop their skills in these areas and be able to provide personalised advice.