Sound(s) + Syllable(s) = Spoken Word
Sorry to start off with an equation, but this one is pretty important. As young children learn to speak, it takes time to understand that words are broken into smaller parts. This skill is not only useful for learning to speak – it also sets the stage for sounding out words when it’s time to learn to read.
Luckily, the chance to pick up this knowledge is baked into so many aspects of childhood. Songs slow down language so children can hear individual words and sounds better. There are tons of books that feature large text with farm animals saying BAA, MOO, OINK that reinforce the idea that words are made up of sounds and letters. Turns out songs, books, and nursery rhymes are the perfect way to “hide the vegetables” of teaching pre-literacy skills.
Ways to reinforce that sounds make up words:
- Sings songs – most break up words so that each syllable has its own note
- Share nursery rhymes
- Play with sounds by practicing tongue twisters
- Pick a sound of the day and notice when you use it through the day.