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Early Literacy for Families

Prepare your child for success in reading, school and life with these resources from San Antonio Public Library's early literacy program.

What is Phonological Awareness?

Phonological awareness is being able to hear and play with the smaller sounds in words. Being able to hear the sounds that make up words helps children sound out written words as they begin to read.

Birth to two:
  • Say nursery rhymes so that your child hears words that rhyme. Emphasize the rhyming words.
  • Add actions as you sing a song or recite a poem. This helps your child break down language into separate words.
  • Singing songs is a good way to help your child hear syllables in words. In most songs, each syllable in a word gets a different note.
  • Make up your own silly nonsense rhymes.
  • Say rhymes and sing songs in the language that is most comfortable for you.
Two- and three-year-olds, all of the above plus:
  • Play word games such as, "What sounds like 'ran'?" or "What starts with the same sound as 'ball'?"
Four- and five-year-olds, all of the above plus:
  • Ask whether two words rhyme: "Do 'cat' and 'dog' rhyme?" "Do 'cat' and 'hat' rhyme?"
  • Say words with word chunks left out: "What word would we have if you took the 'hot' away from 'hotdog'?"
  • Put two word chunks together to make a word: "What word would we have if we put 'cow' and 'boy' together?"
  • Say words with sounds left out: "What word would we have if we took the 'buh' sound away from 'bat'?"
  • Read some poetry together. Make up short poems together. Say the words that rhyme.

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