Beginning Sounds, Syllables And Rhyming

Apr 26

Before your child knows all their letter sounds they can begin to listen for sounds in a word to get them ready for reading. Distinguishing between the different sounds and syllables in a word as well as rhyming those words will play an important part in beginning reading. The best part about sounds, syllables, and rhyming is you can learn it as a game. Here are a few ideas to learning these three skills at home:

Beginning Sounds

  • Help your child to change their beginning sound of their name to another. In kindergarten we did this every day. The kids thought it was so funny to say their name as a fun Dr. Seuss word. I always have my kids say their own name first and then the name with another beginning sound. Example: Marie, Parie or Marie, Larie
  • Challenge your kids to find ten words a day that have the same beginning sound. Example: Look for the /b/ sound, and they may come up with ball, bike, bucket, etc. You can even make it into a contest.
  • Read some of the Berenstain Bears books such as C IS For Clown or The B Book.


  • The best way I have found so far to teach distinguishing between syllables is to just clap out the sounds. Example would be my name Jennifer, so they hear three claps, one at each sound segment. You can do this with any and all the words you want to practice. If your childs name is a two syllable word, have them find as many two syllable words as you can. Or build and look for a three syllable word, and then a four syllable.


  • Once your child begins to hear those beginning sounds as a different sound they will be able to start rhyming words. Rhyming skills come from practice and us as adults telling kids those words rhyme. The more they hear rhymes the better they will understand. If you can get them to play the games above and tell them they are making rhyming words, they will understand the concept over time.

Enjoy your special time with your kiddos today!


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