Parent Page: Educational Services id: 31019 Active Page: Phonological Awarenessid:31022



Phonological awareness is the awareness of sounds in speech, such as rhyming. Research tells us that children who have developed phonological awareness have improved reading and spelling, as well as understanding of what is being read. It is a literacy skill that involves hearing the sounds of language, rather than focusing on the meaning of the sound. For example, when you talk with your child about rhyming words, encourage your child to listen for the same ending sounds, rather than think about the definitions of the words.

Some activities you can do with your child to build their phonological awareness include:

  • Sing or read nursery rhymes.
  • Say two words (e.g., mad, sad) and ask the child if they rhyme. Provide non-examples as well (e.g., sat, moon).
  • Have your child clap along to each word as you read a sentence (e.g. “I see the sun” the child would clap four times).
  • Draw a picture or use picture cards (e.g., mouse) and ask the child to name the picture. Then ask him/her if he/she can say a word that rhymes with the word (e.g., house).
  • Fill-ins: Read a sentence and leave the rhyming word off of the end for the children to respond. (e.g., Jack and Jill went up the ___.  Jack fell down and broke his ___.)
  • Rhyme book: Your child can draw pictures of objects that rhyme or cut out rhyming pictures found in magazines and tape or glue them on a piece of paper next to each other. You can fold a few pieces of paper in half to create a book.

Read books with rhyme (e.g., Dr. Seuss books), as well as these other other popular titles:

  • Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy Shaw
  • Jamberry by Bruce Degen
  • Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney

Remember to visit your local library for story time, books, and other activities