Phonological awareness means that your child is able to hear and play with the smaller sounds in words. An example of this would be understanding rhymes – when a child can rhyme, he or she understands that the last part of the word sounds the same. This will help your child sound out words when he or she begins reading.
There are many ways that you can encourage phonological awareness in your child.
- One of the best ways is to sing songs. Songs often have a different note for each syllable, breaking the word up into smaller parts.
- Nursery rhymes are also great tools for increasing phonological awareness.
- Sing nursery rhymes and "real" songs, but make up your own songs, too.
- Sing about what you're doing – getting dressed, taking a bath, putting toys away, etc.
- Many books are also meant to be sung to familiar tunes. Check out this list of picture books with songs.
- Teach your child rhymes and fingerplays and repeat them often.
Check out this list of suggested books for developing phonological awareness skills.