The following is a list of ways to encourage children to play with sounds and words by
practicing different types of patterns (e.g., ones you see, one you hear, or ones that involve
movement, counting, and imitating).
• Play traditional hand-clapping games such as “Patty Cake” and “Miss Mary Mack.”
• Gather paper and crayons and have your child draw a picture of a rhyming sentence such as “Dad is glad,” or “A
frog sat on the log.” Talk about the rhyming words and how they sound alike. Have the child think of other words that
rhyme and make up his/her own sentence using new rhyming words.
• Give the child four words, three of which rhyme. Ask the child to identify the word that does not rhyme. For example,
if you said “bell, box, fell, tell,” the child would identify “box” as the word that does not rhyme with the others.
• When reading books to your child that contain rhyming words, emphasize the rhyming words as you read. Dr. Seuss books are great for this activity. After reading a book, ask your child to remember as many of the rhyming words as he/she can.
• While sitting around the dinner table, play a game of “Telephone.” Whisper a 5–7 word sentence in the person’s ear to your right and have that person whisper in the ear of the person to his/her right. Continue until each member of the dinner table has a chance to
listen and whisper. The last person to hear the sentence says it aloud.
• While riding in the car, say a sentence to your child but leave the last word blank. Ask your child to provide a rhyming word. For example, say “I see a dog on a _______.” Your child could say, “log,” “hog,” “bog,” or “frog.”
• Tap out the individual words in a sentence. For the sentence, “The sun is shining,” you would tap or clap four times. When the child is able to count the words in a sentence, clap out the syllables in a word and then the sounds in a word.
• Buy inexpensive beads and string at a craft store. Give your child some string and beads and have him or her tie a knot at one end. Say a word and have your child string one bead for each sound he/she hears in the word. You could also use this activity and have the child string beads on the string for each syllable he or she hears. For example, the word “can” would receive three beads when counting sounds and one bead when counting syllables.
Have fun reinforcing these important skills this weekend!