Whether you’re going on a long trip or just running errands, these car games are perfect for helping your child get ready to read!
Today I’m very excited to welcome Jodie of Growing Book by Book! Jodie is sharing a guest post while I do some behind-the-scenes blog work. Be sure to sign up for her newsletter so you don’t miss any of her fabulous literacy activities.
We are always looking for fun and playful learning activities to do in the car. With young children, I know how important it is to develop phonological awareness. So, we came up with 10 playful phonological awareness activities to enjoy when traveling in the car.
Phonological awareness… what’s that?
Phonological awareness is one of 5 things your child needs to be able to do before they are ready to sound out words. It is the ability to hear differences in the ways words sound.
Just as young children need to hear language before they can talk, they also need to hear language before they can read.
Children with phonological awareness can:
- identify initial sounds in words
- count syllables in words
- identify words that rhyme
Having a strong phonological awareness is a precursor to being a strong reader!
10 Phonological Activities for the Car
1. I Spy in the Car“
Say, “I spy something in the car that begins with /s/.” Let your child guess the object. For /s/ it might be seat or seatbelt. Take turns being the caller and the finder.
2. Count the words.
Have your child make two fists. Say a sentence and then have your child say it with you. As each word is said, tell your child to put up one finger. Count how many words are in the sentence. This activity helps your child build an awareness of words.
3. Clap the syllables.
Take #2 a step further. Clapping is a fun hands-on way to determine parts (syllables) of a word. Say a word and have your child clap the parts of the word.
4. Listen to music.
Create a new play list of music for the car. When traveling play these 12 phonological awareness songs in the car. You can make this a joint activity by having everyone sing along with the music.
5. Play rhyming games.
Check out #3 in this post.
6. Play with beginning sounds.
Have your child name something they see outside their window. Repeat the word and ask, “What sound do you hear at the beginning of ______?” Then, say the word again and let your child respond with the correct beginning sound.
7. Create tongue twisters.
Alliteration is the repetition of a sound in a sentence. It is also known as a tongue twister. Name the color of the car in front of you and determine the beginning sound of that color. Then, create a tongue twister with that same sound. Let each person in the car try to say the tongue twister. Who can say it the fastest?
Red racers rode recklessly round and round.
8.“Stretch it Like a Rubber Band”.
For this activity you will say a short word such as bed, fun, or cat. Have your child use their hands to stretch the word out like a rubber band and say each sound he hears in the word.
9. Clip cards.
Make a busy bag for the car with these counting sounds clip cards.
10. “Name That Sound.”
This game involves listening and speaking. Ask your child to be very quiet and listen for sounds on your trip. When she hears a sound, have her name it. For example, she might hear the beep-beep of a horn. Then, have her tell you the beginning or ending sound of the object that made that sound. In this example the beginning sound is /h/ and the ending sound is /n/.
Play these phonological awareness games in the car to help your child develop pre-reading skills!
More games and activities to help your child get ready to read
- Carrot sound boxes (free printable)
- Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus rhyming activity
- Songs to build literacy skills
- Literacy activities in the car
Jodie is the creator of Growing Book by Book where she shares book lists, reading and writing activities, and literacy building tips for young children. She is also the proud mom of 2 little boys- check out their playful preschool year! You can connect with her on Facebook and Pinterest.
How to teach phonological & phonemic awareness
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