How to help your pre-school child with phonics
You can help your pre-school child to develop early literacy skills that will get them ready to learn phonics.
Talking, listening, singing
Talking, listening, singing, rhythm and rhyme are all important for children's language development.
Start by listening. This will encourage your child to talk and use more and more relevant language. Waiting a little bit for children to reply allows them to think about what has been said, gather their thoughts and frame their replies.
Explain to your child that good listening is about keeping quiet, having your ears and your eyes ready.
Sing with your child or let them listen to their favourite CDs and encourage them to join in.
You can use phoneme cards to introduce the letters and their sounds. Show a card to your child and say the sound. Ask your child to say it as well. This will help to build a link between a letter and its associated sound.
And, of course, most children enjoy listening to nursery rhymes, either sung or spoken.
Getting your child to distinguish between different types of sounds is also helpful. Environmental sounds are the sounds all around us. Take your child for a walk and talk about the different sounds they can hear.
Use simple instruments, such as bells or drums, to introduce your child to instrumental sounds.
Try body percussion sounds such as stamping feet and clapping hands. Make silly noises with your voice to help them recognise voice sounds, such as buzzing like a bumblebee or hissing like a snake.
Building attention span
Doing these activities with your child will also help to increase their attention span – another important step in preparing to learn phonics.
For books to practise phonics at home, search 'Phonics Bug' in the Amazon Book Store.