Rhyming – Phonological Awareness Skills

Phonological Awareness Skills

Phonological awareness skills are a range of abilities which lay the foundation for learning to read and write. A child with strong phonological awareness can manipulate and play with the sounds in words. Some of these skills include:

● Hearing and counting syllables in a word
● Identifying rhyming words and producing rhyming pairs
● Identifying the first and last sounds in words. For example; ‘cat’ starts with the ‘k’ sound and ‘fish’ ends with the ‘shh’ sound.
● Breaking words into sounds. For example; ‘cat’ is ‘k’ – ‘a’ – ‘t’.
● Blending words together to make sounds, such as ‘m’ – ‘oo’ – ‘n’ to make ‘moon’.

Children begin to learn these skills in preschool and kindergarten. Children who have more trouble learning to read and spell often have underlying issues with their phonological awareness. Further, research shows that children who have had speech and language delays often have less-developed phonological awareness skills. This series of blog posts will give you some practical strategies and activities to help your child learn some of these new skills and give them a great start to their formal education.

Here are a few activities you can do at home to help your child learn to hear and practise rhyming:

1. Try singing in the car! Lots of children’s songs and nursery rhymes use rhyming patterns that are easy to hear and remember. Simply listen and sing along, then point out the rhyming words at the end. For example, after singing Humpty Dumpty, you might say “Humpty and Dumpty are rhyming words, they sound the same at the end”. Or you could choose to talk about the words “wall” and “fall” another pair of rhyming words in that nursery rhyme.

2. Once you have found a pair of rhyming words, like “cat” and “bat”, you can ask your child to think of another word that sounds just like those two. If that’s too hard for them, you could suggest words, for example “what about rat? Does that rhyme with cat and bat? What about frog?”

3. Read books together. Lots of children’s books are full of rhyming words. Dr Seuss and Pamela Allen books are a great start. While reading together, you can ask your child to listen and see whether they can spot the rhyming words. Once you find two words that rhyme, can you think of another word which also rhymes?

Speech Pathologists work with children to build phonological awareness. If you are concerned about your child’s phonological awareness skills, book an appointment at Newcastle Speech Pathology today. Alternatively, you can drop into one of our free coffee consults to discuss the issue further. Check out our Facebook page for more information.

For more ideas for strengthening your child’s phonological awareness skills, check out our blog about counting syllables

Written by Bec
Speech Pathologist
Newcastle Speech Pathology