Fun With Sounds

Help your child understand the sounds that letters and words make.

For this Activity you will need:

  • The book: My Very First Mother Goose by Iona Archibald Opie
  1. Show your child the book and explain that it is a storybook of rhymes. Explain that rhyming words have a different beginning, but they sound the same at the end. Tell your child that the words "Wig" and "Pig" rhyme. Ask your child, "Can you think of more words that rhyme with wig?" (Your child may say dig, big, or fig.)
  2. Let your child look through the book. While he is looking, talk about the pictures.
  3. Ask your child to choose one story to read. Once your child has chosen, read the rhyme.
  4. When finished, say, "Lets make up different words for this rhyme." For example, if you’ve just read To Market, To Market you might change the words to: "To market, to market to buy a fat dog, home again, home again, jiggety-jog."
  5. Continue reading the book in this way, making up more rhyming words with your child.


Next Steps/Follow-Up:
  • Sing or tell your child nursery rhymes, such as "Jack and Jill" or "Humpty Dumpty." Once your child knows the rhyme, pause and let your child finish the line. (For example, start singing, "Jack and Jill went up the _____." Pause, and let your child answer "hill."
  • Play a rhyming game called "I Say, You Say." In this game, have your child finish the phrase you started with a word that rhymes. For example, "I say cat, you say _____ (your child may say hat, bat or mat)."
  • Make up silly names for people that your child knows, using the same beginning sound. For example, dancing dinosaur daddy, messy marshmallow mommy, etc.
  • Help your child think of words with the same beginning. Say, "Lets’ see how many words we can think of that start with the "P" sound." (Your child may say pancake, pencil, or plate)
  • Sing the Name Game song with your child. (For example, if your child’s name is Sam, sing "Sam, Sam, Bo-Bam, Banana Fana Fo Fam, Me mi mo Mam, Sam.") Try other names.


Background Information:

Language & Literacy involves:

  • Speaking clearly.
  • Asking and answering questions.
  • Paying attention to and listening to people and stories.
  • Following directions.
  • Showing an interest in books.
  • Learning about sounds in words.
  • Recognizing letters and numbers.
  • Drawing pictures and trying to write and copy letters.

When your child starts school, he will be more likely to do well if he is able to do these things.

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Ready At Five improves the practice and quality of early childhood education in Maryland.


We believe that every child in Maryland should have the foundational skills needed for success in school, career and life.

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