Two words rhyme when the endings are similar. This is an opportunity for children to pay attention to sounds, no matter what the words are. Two words can rhyme even if they are not otherwise associated. On the contrary, two words that can be associated may not rhyme at all. For example, « tree » and « bird » do not rhyme even though we can see a bird in a tree. But, « parrot » and « carrot » rhyme, while we know that we can’t see a parrot eating a carrot! Many songs and nursery rhymes have rhymes, but it’s possible to look for them everywhere.
WRITE A STORY
A story generally contains a subject (a character), who is in a certain place and who wants to do something, but something happens and the subject must find a solution. This is the basis of most tales and stories. Help the child invent a story. Ask him to tell the story while you write it. Leave blank spaces to draw certain words. This way, the child will be able to « read » the story after. Help him with the order of events, logic and the verb tenses. Given that the story probably has a problem to solve, ask him how he thinks the character can resolve the situation.
LETTERS AND MORE LETTERS
Before kindergarten, children can already recognize several letters, mostly those contained in their name. Write the child’s name often, name each of the letters and ask the child to trace the letters; let him know when you see the same letters on signs, in the newspaper, on the cereal box, etc. Use letter stamps, pearls with letters, or letters you cut up from newspaper headlines to write the child’s name, the name of other members of the family, or the name of objects surrounding the child.
Counting syllables teaches the child to listen to sounds without thinking about the meaning of the words. Syllables can be counted by clapping hands, by jumping in hoops, by pointing fingers, by climbing the stairs one step at a time. It is possible to separate syllables in words (An-get-la), or in a sentence (the-wheel- goes- round- and –round). Don’t forget that your child doesn’t know how to read yet, therefore, silent letters at the end of words do not count.