Activities to Develop Phonological Awareness

It is important in the early stages of developing a child’s phonological awareness to use only spoken words and pictures. We need to avoid using the written word because often the child will rely on recognising the visual patterns and similarities rather than hearing the sound. The following simple phonological activities can be incorporated into daily classroom activities.

Further useful activities and resources can be found in the ‘Letters and Sounds ‘ and the early years booklet ‘Jolly Jellyfish’

Listening for rhyme

Use the same colour for pictures that rhyme:
                    mouse           man           bell           fan
                    cat                hat            tree           bed


Simple discrimination activities can be used such as asking the child “Are these words the same or different?” Sun-shun Sock-shock

Minimal pairs

For minimal pairs, two pictures are presented with one sound different and the child is asked to point to the correct picture:
                    cap-cat           tie-pie           bee-tree

Identify the sound

Two pictures are provided to represent two sounds e.g. a bee for ‘zzz’, a finger against the lips for ‘sh’ the child is asked to place a counter on the correct picture in response when the adult makes the sound.
Identify the initial sound

Which sound is at the beginning of these words?

‘m’ or ‘s’ manmilksunsock
Which is the odd one out?   
Listen to the first sound:patpigden
Listen to the last sound:matmanlot


How many sounds are there in ‘flag’? Touch one brick per sound.
How many syllables are there in ‘cowboy’? Touch one space per syllable.


What is hat without the h? (at) What is hat without the t? (ha)

And remember!
Activities to promote Phonological Awareness can be easily incorporated into daily classroom routines e.g. “Collect your lunch box if your name rhymes with…”

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Last updated: 5 November 2015

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