Phonemic Awareness Games: Teach a child to hear the individual sounds in words.

Here are some games to help a child become aware of sounds in words.
Separating Sounds - Ask for things or say some words in everyday conversations with a pause between each sound. For example: “Can you get a (t)…(ow)…(el)? Did you remember your (l)…(u)…(n)…(ch)?”

Change Beginning Sounds - Be silly and make a different sound for the beginning sounds of some words while talking to a child. For example: “Let’s take the pog for a walk. Can you hand me that fencil, so I can make a grocery list? If the child doesn't notice, tell the child you said one word wrong. Repeat the sentence and see if the child can correct you.

Guessing Game - Choose a category: Farm Animals, Food, Pets, etc.
Examples- You say “I’m thinking of a farm animal.” Then separate the sounds. (c)…(ow) Leave some time between the sounds to make it more difficult.
Farm Animals- (h)…(or)…(se), (d)…(u)…(ck), (sh)…(ee)…(p), (ch)…(i)…(ck)…(e)…(n)

Food- (c)…(or)…(n), (p)…(i)…(ck)…(le), (h)…(a)…(m)

Pets- (d)…(o)…(g), (b)…(ir)…(d), (p)…(ar)…(o)…(t), (f)...(r)…(o)…(g)

If this is difficult, have the child stretch sounds with you. Say, “Let’s make the sounds together.” Stretch the sounds without leaving space between the sounds. hhhhh-orrrrr-sssssse, d-uuuuuuu-ck, ssshhhh-eeeeeeee-p, ch-iiiiiiii-ck-eeeee-nnnnn, c-orrrrrrrr-nnnnnnn, p-iiiiiiiii-ck-lllllllle, hhhhhhhhaaaaaaammmmmm, d-ooooooooo-g, b-irrrrrr-d, p-arrrrrrrr-ooooo-t, fffff-rrrrr-ooooo-g

Some sounds are fast sounds and will not be stretched. (t,d,b,k,g,p)

Let the child separate sounds and make you guess. When a child can guess words with the sounds separated and can separate individual sounds in words and make you guess, the child has developed a sense of phonemic awareness.



Cathy Puett Miller AKA The Literacy Ambassador said...

Hey, everyone!

Another great way to help children who are moving toward the reading table and those who have just begun is to play Rhymin' Simon with them: Then come to my blog for parents and leave a comment about your experience!

Lauren said...

Hi Michelle - I found your blog on the Mom Blog Network. I'm a reading specialist who is also home this year on maternity leave. Are you familiar with the website Songs for Teaching ( They have a whole section on reading songs, including some that focus on phonemic awareness. My little guy is too young to do word games now, but we love to sing alphabet/rhyming/etc songs to makes him happy and promotes early language learning! I'm looking forward to reading more of your tips!

Michelle said...

Hi Lauren - I checked out . It's a great organized way to find songs. I found that you can listen to them for free. Thanks for sharing. Enjoy your maternity leave.

Anonymous said...

I was so excited to see your blog and to hear about your suggestions for some phonemic awareness activities. I am a literacy consultant and I am always talking to teachers and parents about ways to integrate phonemic awareness activities into everyday experiences. For teachers, I recommend making a phonemic awareness To-Go kit. Simply jot down some activities on the backs of old business cards, punch a hole in the upper left corner of each card and then put them on a key ring. This way the teacher can carry some activities in their pocket all day and pull it out whenever there is time available....during walks to other classes like art, gym or even lunch, while waiting for the bus calls, or outside during a fire drill. It only takes a few minutes or so of practice several times a day to make a difference and build this all too important skill. KSC