It’s Day 3 of our 30 Days of Reading Fun for Beginning Readers series! Since it is a Tuesday, we are focusing on phonemic awareness activities. As I have previously mentioned, “Phonemic Awareness” consists of hearing the individual sounds, recognizing them, and learning how to manipulate the sounds within a word. Phonemic awareness does not include any written symbols (letters of the alphabet). Every phonemic awareness activity we do throughout this series will be verbal (or involving pictures).
These simple silly games don’t seem like much, but phonemic awareness is extremely important for beginning readers. In fact, Jo Fitzpatrick, in her book Reading Strategies that Work, argues that exposure to phonemic awareness concepts at a young age has been shown to be one of the single greatest predictors of reading success down the road.
Children can often identify the beginning and ending sounds in a word much easier than they can identify the middle sound. That’s why this Bubble Gum Stretch segmenting phonemic awareness activity is helpful!
And it’s so easy…you don’t need any supplies (unless you want to let your little one chew some bubble gum just for fun). I knew my daughter would be much more engaged with this activity if I let her stretch out her REAL bubble gum beforehand!
Bubble Gum Stretch Phonemic Awareness Activity
Say a one-syllable CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) word aloud and STRETCH it like bubble game. Ask your child to hold her fingers to her lips and PULL the pretend gum out as she says each sound in the word she hears.
For example, I say the word “bat” aloud and then say /bbb/ /aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa/ /ttt/ slowly as though I am stretching the word out.
This activity works to isolate each individual sound. After your child has stretched the word, then ask her to identify the beginning SOUND, middle SOUND, and ending SOUND. Your child might say the letter name instead of the sound (as mine did), but just remind her to focus on the sound for now.
Here are some words to get you started: