This is the third post in the series, 3 Important Skills Kids Need for Reading. Please click here or on the image above to read the introduction and view all the posts. Today, we’re going to focus on playing with syllables.
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Playing with Syllables
Teaching and learning syllables occurs much the same way as everything else. First, you as the mama/teacher need to model over and over how it’s done, giving your child multiple and meaningful exposures. When your child seems ready (he’s offering more input when you model), give him a chance to try it with support, and finally set him free to do it independently.
- Model by playing games like this: “I’m going to say kitchen in a funny way. Listen: kit-chen.” (Putting space in between the syllables.) Doesn’t it sound funny like that?
- Ask them to try: “I’m going to say a word in a funny (slow) way. Listen and see if you can tell me what word I’m saying: fing-er,” like we did in our Run & Find Syllables Game.
- Counting syllables from words, like we did with LEGO blocks and picture cards.
- Reading books featuring characters with long names, like Chrysanthemum by Keven Henkes is a fun way to let kids compare the syllables in their own names to that of the characters.
- Give kids cubes that snap together. Call out a word and have your child snap the corresponding cubes to the number of syllables in the word. If you don’t have unifix cubes, you could ask them to stack blocks for each syllable or use dried beans or any small manipulative and ask your child to put that many in a row. You could also make this activity more active by having your child jump for each syllable.
- Check out our FREE syllable counting cards, to help make counting syllables tangible and visible for young learners.
By the way, playing with sounds doesn’t require pencil and paper; these types of activities can be done anywhere. My favorite places to do them are in the line at the grocery store, waiting at the doctor’s office, in the bathtub, in the van, or outside swinging in the swing.
- Mama: “Wow, listen to this! If I said chapstick without chap, I would just have stick left.”
- Here’s a free lesson plan on deleting syllables within compound words
More FREE resources:
- All of our FREE Pre-K/K Packs as well as each lesson of Reading the Alphabet has syllable counting activities
- Fun Syllable Count Activity from The Measured Mom
- Poke ‘n Peek Syllables from The Tutor House
- Beats on the Body Game from Playdough to Plato
- Bee Ready to Read also has some syllable activities under Segmenting, Blending, and Manipulation.
- Florida’s Reading Research Center has picture cards and activities for syllables
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