Phonemic Awareness Activities

Phonemic Awareness Activities

Phonemic Awareness Activities – Nowadays, we currently face additional difficulties.

In early childhood classes today, teachers feel increasing pressure to make their students read.

It’s easy to forget the development process as well as try to skip the steps to get our children to read a book as soon as possible.

As an early childhood teachers, we must remember we cannot pass past phonemic awareness skills.

We cannot move forward with the hope that all our students have arrived in our classrooms complete with full thinking skills and manipulating voices in their minds.

On the other hand, we are also unable to spend lots of time doing phonemic awareness instructions.

Phonemic awareness instructions can and should be carried out in small bags throughout the school day.

In fact, spoken language and phonemic awareness can often be taught and strengthened in only 5 to 10 minutes per day.

Here are five easy, fun, and fast phonemic awareness activities that are perfect for the beginning of the school year in each early childhood class:


This ability to be used to listen carefully is the key to phonemic awareness. This is part of the instruction that is often skipped because the teacher claims that young children know how to listen.

The Listening Game

This is one of the first phonemic awareness activities I do with my students, even so on the first day, the aim is to bring students’ attention to the voices.

After lunch, we returned to the classroom and all the children lay still on the floor. This is not a nap, but this is a good time to relax, which is important for young children.

When we lay there for t to 10 minutes we listened to the sound. There are always strange noises and sounds that you can hear in the school building.

We might hear the door closing, the air conditioner, the teacher’s talking, and the stomach growling.

The possibilities are endless! Your part is talking about the sounds you and your children hear.

Use a little enthusiasm and excessive teacher to make children interested in this activity. The key phrase is, “Who can see the sound with their ears?”

“Moo-Moo,” Where are you?.

How to play?

• All children sit in a circle.

• A child lies in the middle of a circle and covers his eyes.

• Teacher chooses another student to go somewhere in the room and pretends to be a cow by making a “moo-moo” sound.

• The student in the middle of the circle – with eyes still closed – points in the direction of the animal.

This game is very good because it makes children listen carefully to the sound and where the sound came from.

When the child in the middle identifies the sound and direction correctly, he must go next and make different animal sounds.


Rhythm is the best phonemic awareness activity that can make children easily understand the concept of poetry.

Some need a little help. Using word games with rhymes helps children notice that the sounds in our language have meaning and follow certain patterns.

The absolute way to introduce rhymes to your students is to read lots of fun poetry, books and rhyming songs.

The key is “Acting silly and having fun”! The more you have fun with rhymes, the more children will pay attention to rhymes and enjoy their activities.

The poem “Down By the Bay” and the book “Silly Sally” are perfect examples of how rhymes can be so much fun!

In my box

This game is good to use after your students have at least some understanding of how rhyming works.

That means you have read many poems, books and rhyming songs and play with those rhyming words.

How to play?

• Get a small box and place a few pictures in it with pairs of familiar rhyming words (such as a box / sock, a cat / hat, or a chair / bear).

• Use enough pictures so that everyone in your class gets a turn. Sit in a circle with your students.

• Start with children who you know are strong in rhyming.

• Hold the box and select an image. If the picture shows a cat, say “In my box, there is a cat”. Call him to come with rhyming words. The child might say, “In my box, there is a hat” (or another rhyming word).

• After he answers with rhyming words, give the box. Now he can choose cards and continue playing.


Working and paying attention to syllables in important words because the fact makes students aware of how words can be divided into smaller parts based on their voice.

Our objective is to work on individual phonemes (vowels or consonants), but first, children must learn the concept of “parts of words.” , the individual sounds of discrete phonemes.

Bippity Boppity Bumble Bee

It is a very fun game. First, you make the children applaud the name. Because they are familiar with the game, you can start using other words with more syllables.

How to play:

• Sit in a circle with your students. I have a little bee doll that kids love.

• You can also use printable bees. The teacher starts chant and walks towards a child:

• Teacher: “Bippity Boppity Bumble Bee, Will You Say Your Name to Me?” The boy answered, “Jennifer.”

• Teacher: “Let’s all say it.” And students say their names aloud while clapping once for each syllable.

• Teacher: “Let’s all whisper it.” And the students whispered their names while clapping softly again syllables, once per syllable.

• Teacher and class: “Bippity Boppity Bumble Bee, Thank You for Saying Your Name to Me!”

• Repeat with other students and their names. When students become familiar with the game, you can allow students to take on the role of “teacher”.

Old Mac Donald

This is the best game you can e to give students practice in listening to syllables and combining them into words. This follows the pattern of the song, Old MacDonald.

How to play?

• The teacher starts by telling students that they will learn a new game.

• The teacher starts singing, “Old MacDonald owns a farm, E-I-E-I-O. And on that farm, he has / ti / / ger /, E-I-E-I-O “.

• Of course, children find tiger introductions very funny, but pay attention to what they have actually done. Without being told, they mentally combine syllables / ti / and / ger / to realize what an animal is! That’s big!

• Then, you show the children a picture of a tiger and they feel proud that they have found the animal – and they think it’s too funny.

The most important thing is to remember as an early childhood teacher is that phonemic awareness can be an exciting time!

That should not be a long lesson. What you need is five to ten minutes every day.

Phonemic awareness activities are also good to use during transitions throughout the day.

If you provide phonemic awareness about proper attention, your students will be given a big prize when it’s time for them to start reading!

Phonological Awareness Checklist

Do you want an effective way to track the phonological awareness skills of some students? Print this template!

Write the names of the students in the left column and check under the skills when a child has mastered them!

Tapping syllables

By using different objects such as drums, tennis rackets, or clapper, you can ask children to determine the number of syllables in a given word.

For instance, you will tap on the drum twice for the word “brother” since it has two syllables.

In oder to increase difficulty, tap the drum (how many times) and ask your child to think of words that contain the same number of syllables.


Use the lyrics for “Hickety Pickety,” ask your child to say, clap syllables, and whisper their names.

Our Syllabal Tally

Write down one of the student or your family members. Ask your child to color a smiling face for each syllable in the given names and make a counting mark for every syllable.

Graph of Class Syllables

Each student have to copy the “Class Syllable Graph”. Say the student’s name and ask them to color the box on the correct number of syllables.

Home Syllable Search

Help your child to find items in various room. Sort by syllables. Write a word (or draw a picture) for each object.


Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Word

Tell your students that you will teach them a song that will help them find new words by removing the part (sound) of the word.

Teach this song and let them fill in the last word. After a few verses use new words, invite the children to sing together. Other words that might be used include:

• Initial Sound: boat (oat), agriculture (arms), meat (eating), bus (us), sled (lead), hands (and), & sitting (it).

• Ending Sounds: hammer (ham), soap (so), little (lit), meat (me), & boat (bow).


Sound Boxes

You have to use the ballot box to help students group sounds into words. Print, laminate, cut each card in half.

Put one game chip under each box. Students mention the name of each picture and push a chip for each sound in the word.

Head, shoulders, knees and feet

Give students one word with the sound of 1 up to 4 phonemes. Ask them to stand up and touch their shoulders, head, feet, and knees, when they speak the words. For example, the word “cat” is / c / (head), / a / (shoulder), and / t / (knee).

I’m thinking of a word

You have to tell students that you will teach them a song that will help them to hear all the sounds in a word.

After that, you should teach the song and let them to combine sounds together so that it can become words.

Sing the song several times, replace new word every single time. Scroll down on this page to open a list of words with 4-6 phonemes (sounds) for ideas!

Segmenting Cards (2-5 Phonemes)

Put the cards face up randomly on a flat surface. Ask your students to put the photos together.

Say the sound for each part of the picture while sliding the parts that are away from each other slowly.

Then you must ask your students to say the sound for each part of the picture while slowly shifting the parts together.

After they get back together, say the whole word and continue with the other picture cards

Bean Bag Sound Toss

You have to use the template. Write down words with 1 up to 5 sounds in the left column.

Ask students to count how many sounds they hear in each word and write the number in the middle column.

Then, give them 5 bags of beans and place the basket in the front of them (the distance depends on their ability to throw).

Students throw a bean bag for each sound they hear with a certain word. Points are earned for each bag of beans which makes it a basket.

Make sure they say the sound they hear when they throw a bean bag. When they finish throwing, ask them to count their points to determine the total amount.

Jumping phonemes

Place yellow, green and red mats on the floor. Give your students words with 1 up to 3 sounds.

Ask them to say the sound they heard as they jumped from mat to mat. For increased difficulty, move the mat further.

Count the sounds

It can be used similarly to a Elkonin box to divide words into sounds. Then, give them words with 1 to 5 votes and have them move tokens into boxes for each phoneme.

It’s a good idea to use different color tokens. Make sure your students move from left to right, just as they read a word.

Sound Chart

Ask students to look at every picture and determine the number of sounds in the word. Color of the box for every sound.

Word list with 4-6 phonemes (sounds)

Yu will find a list of long and v short vowel words with 4 to 6 phonemes (sounds).

Before using this list with your students, you have to make sure they have mastered the 1 to 3 word phoneme segmentation.

These words can be used with the following phonemic awareness activities for segmentation:


This segmentation activity is an easy activity to do. It eequires no material other than your hands!

Ask them to put their hands together. You have to give them a word. Every time they hear a voice in a word, ask them to say it and move their hands further.

Stretching mat

It is a way to stretch the word that is good for students who love movement! You can use a yoga mat and explain how important to stretch your body before you can stretch your brain.

You have to give your child a series of directions to stretch their bodies. For example, tell the students to touch their toes slowly.

Then, reach high in the air. After that, put their hands to the side, last, turn their heads slowly. Once they stretch their bodies, they are ready to stretch the words! Fantastic multi-sensory phonemic awareness activity.

Night Lights

It uses an inexpensive night lights that is a good way to help children learn to speak sounds with words.

Align the night lights and say a word. Ask your child mention the sound in words when they turn on the lights.

Repeat this process with the same words, but ask your child to say a sound when turning off the night lights. This type is best done in small group settings when you are working on 1 to 4 (phoneme words).

Bingo Chip Segmentation

You have to separate egg cartons and use magnetic bingo chips. Put the chips in every slot.

Please give your children words with 1 to 6 phonemes and ask them to take a chip while saying each sound. As in previous activities, it is best to teach your child to work from left to right.


Bingo Rhyme Time

Please check out our new rhyming bingo game to play with children in small group settings or in literacy centers. Directions attached!

Rhyme Time Cards and Board Games Rhyme Time

Do you want a fun way to help kids learn rhyming? You should try this game with 2 to 4 children. It is great for teaching and small group centers! Directions attached.

Mystery Bag

You have to use an old book bag filled with random objects is a great way to help rhyming children.

Find things which important to you or put things in a book bag that will make them laugh.

Now, see how many words you can think about rhyme with that object, even though it’s not an authentic word!

Rhyming Group Folder Template

Track the progress of your rhyming students using “Rhyming Groups Folder”.

Paste the following four tabs inside the manila folder, laminate, and use Post-Its to move the rhyming student development.

• Cannot Hear / Cannot Produce Rhymes

• Can Hear / Cannot Produce Rhymes

• Can Hear / Can Produce Several Verses

• Can Listen / Can Produce Rhymes Consistently

Word, Letter, Sound, & Tally Syllables

By laminating enlarging and this template, students are able to determine letters, syllables, and sounds with new words that you are working on in class.

(Kinkos is a great place to enlarge documents). It helps children imagine some words may have many letters. Yet, not many sounds and vice versa.

Letters, Sounds, Syllables, Words & Sentences Poster Template

You should cut the cards and tape each of them onto a large poster.

Give your students / children old newspapers and magazines. Help students to cut upper sounds, syllables lowercase letters,sentences, and words.

Then, paste the posters accordingly. For “sounds” and “syllables” ask your child to use pictures of objects.

Cut the object according to the number of votes and syllables. For example, the word “cat” will be cut into three parts to represent the sound / k / / a / / t /. Great multi-sensory phonemic awareness activity.

Landau Reflex

Landau Reflex

Landau Reflex – As a baby was born, he was gifted with many primitive newborn reflexes that will develop during years of his body’s growth.

They occur in any part of the infant’s body since it is still a fetus that lives in the womb until it grows and becomes toddler.

When the baby was born, the very first reflexes he has actually are natural movements for survival reason.

These natural movements are instinctive deed of the body with its function keeps develop during life while decrease as a human goes old.

These primitive newborn reflexes are unique survival movements that ever happen in the neonatal period.

They are the next step of Central Nervous System (CNS) development after birth.

There are many important primitive newborn reflexes. There are Moro, Grasp, Rooting, Landau and much more.

You can see the development stages of Landau Reflex such as follows:

In the beginning of 4 weeks or a month after birth, the infant normally is able to raise his head when he is lying on the stomach.

The infant keeps develop his Central Nervous System (CNS) during his growth.

Then, when he is lying on the stomach and the head is raised, the infant can start to lift his torso. This happens when he is two months old.

Next, when he is already 4 months old, he is able to raise his limbs while lifting his torso and head.

These stages are all integrating development for Landau Reflex. It will keep develop during the baby’s growth.

Commonly, Landau Reflex will fully integrate with all Central Nervous System (CNS) when a toddler, or a child, is around the age of three years old.

Characteristic of the Landau Reflex

Landau Reflex

These are some characteristics that you can notice:

Landau Reflex shows integration of visual reflexes, tonic-labyrinth, and neck tonic

  • It will decrease or lesser perceivable as the baby grows and develop conscious and voluntary movements. Therefore, many researchers consider this primitive reflex will only last until the first year of life
  • Despite you can do simple examination of your baby’s primitive reflex, but many professionals suggest that the examination is done by a specialist, at least for the very first time. There are about two main reasons about this suggestion. First, the specialist will be more able to examine the infant’s responses in a better way. Second, for those who never have any experience in holding baby on their arm, they may face some difficulties to control the movement of the infant. By following this suggestion, it will avoid the risk of baby being fall or experience any suffer by inopportune or inappropriate movement.
  • You can start to check and evaluate your infant’s Landau Reflex, during the fourth month of life. Then to make sure about whether your baby has an issue with it or not, you better continues to evaluate it until the baby is around the age of one until two. Or, you better evaluate your baby’s primitive reflex until it disappears as it will integrate with other part of the body.

How to Evaluate Landau Reflex

The existence of Landau Reflex is very important for the baby’s growth. It has a role to develop the integration of gross motor of the body.

Else, this ability plays role to develop integration in the back and front. It also has a role to develop integration between the bottom and top of the body system.

It will induce movement of the muscle in the higher-level and develop mature reflexes.

Thus, to know that your baby has normal Landau Reflex in the proper age, you have to evaluate it by do these simple things.

First, you have to hold the baby horizontally up in the air on your arm. Positioned baby’s tummy and head in a position of ventral (face down).

Make the baby’s position on a right angle with your forearm. You will see the baby’s legs will automatically arch up when the baby’s head is lifting, while the legs will drop down when the head is lowered.

This sign is normal for baby at the age of 3 months until up to about 1 year. Sometimes, bending the elbows and knees will also accompany this movement when the baby’s head is lifting.

This happens instinctively as a struggle form to counteract the gravity’s effect. This position also has a function for the baby to discover visual reference point.

Symptoms of a Nonintegrated Landau Reflex

It will keep develop during life and will disappear or coordinate fully at the proper time. Many toddlers will lose their Landau Reflex at the age of two or three.

Integrated Landau Reflex is very important. If nonintegrated occurs in your baby’s body, it will cause some major issues in the child’s body. This condition is like a flight delay.

It is able to cause learning issues and attention problems in the class. Therefore, children with these issues have difficulties in understanding material learning in a class while they cannot give full attention to their teacher.

Nonintegrated Landau Reflex also can induce sensorimotor problems. Children with this issue will face disorganization of their body parts.

Actually, Landau Reflex is not the only primitive survival movement that has a probability to stay or doesn’t integrate when it comes to proper time.

Children at the age of five or six who have issue with bedwetting, may have a nonintegrated Spinal Galant Reflex.

This symptom is an example at how a retained primitive newborn reflex will cause delay in body coordination development or even learning issues.

A retained Landau Reflex will bring problem such as lack of concentration and focus in the classroom. Not only that, it may also contribute to some disorganization and coordination issue.

These common signs are the easiest symptoms you can see when your child has a nonintegrated Landau Reflex:

  • Toe-walking
  • Weak organization skills
  • Difficult to stay focus and give full attention
  • Lack of concentration
  • Knees extend backward slightly
  • Problems to coordinate upper and lower body muscles
  • Retained Spinal Galant
  • Tenseness in the back of the leg.
  • Low muscle tone, particularly in the back and the neck
  • Some people have problems with vision. Especially close and three-dimensional visions
  • Hard to keep head upright, lack of ability to sit upright and support body posture to stay straight

The Connection between Lack of Concentration and Nonintegrated Landau Reflex

When Landau reflex keeps retain in the baby’s body within common time frame, this will induce poor development of muscle tone along the back of the body.

The condition causes prefrontal cortex in the brain doesn’t get adequate stimulation.

Prefrontal cortex has responsibility in social decision-making, organization and concentration.

The retained Landau Reflex often closely related to the Spinal Galant Reflex since both can lead to similar problems within the child.

Despite the similarity of the symptoms, these two have to be handled separately.

You should consider this possibility if your child struggles with concentration in the classroom.

If he difficult to retain details and lesson he is taught, or he commonly forgets about the numbers and letter, this may be the results of nonintegrated Landau Reflex and Spinal Galant Reflex.

Not only facing difficulties in concentration or focus to the lesson being taught, it may lead to lack of balancing.

Children with this condition may have tension in the calf or back of his legs. This could lead extension of the knees to the backward and trigger the child walking on his toe even after he is already in the age of five.

Moreover, retained Landau Reflex will also lead to a problem with the body between lower and upper parts which these parts cannot integrate normally.

This will cause the child struggle with balancing so he has trouble with running, sports, and other basic activities.

Actually, this retained reflex could be integrated and develop with some exercises.

This exercise objectives are to improve weak areas of the body so it will improve the body performance.

Absence of a Primitive Reflex

While we have a retained Landau Reflex that doesn’t disappear when the child has already at certain age, we also have absence of a primitive reflex.

The absence of it will cause motor weakness on some part of the body.
To gain motor strength, it will be necessary for the parents to bring their infant to a pediatrician or professional.

Pediatrician will examine the existence of the primitive reflex on the baby and then will suggest some exercise needed to get the infant’s motor development.

When examination and evaluation result from the pediatrician or professional shows that the primitive reflex doesn’t appear, it may indicate that the baby experience some kind of deficiency.

The pediatrician and professional will also conduct examination to check whether it is weak or normal.

Despite the primitive reflex appears in infant’s body, but the anomaly still has possibility to happen such as symptom of muscle weakness.

You need to know that pediatrician doesn’t only evaluate quantitative condition of your baby.

He will also check the qualitative condition such as how the survival movements are functioned in the infant’s body.

There are also some syndrome that correlated with deficiency of the body movement.

Clavicular lesson will cause asymmetrical symptom for the movement, while other various possibilities are still have a chance to occur.

When the condition is extreme, the baby may experience withdrawal syndrome.

If this condition happen, the baby will need some treatment such as motor exercise from the professional to gain his motor ability.

Other Newborn Reflexes

There are numerous of primitive newborn reflexes that will present at birth. The condition of the primitive newborn reflexes in the baby assess the functional integrity of the basal ganglia and brainstem.

Out of the landau reflex, there are approximately 8 more primitive newborn reflexes that will disappear when the baby grow.

1. Moro Reflex

It is signed by sudden head extension which induces flexion of the limbs such as legs and arm following the extension. Moro reflex will appear at the baby’s first day of life.

It will disappear at four to six months of age which indicating the maturation of descending inhibitory cerebral influences normally.

2. Grasp Reflex

It appears at the baby’s first day of life, accompanying the appearance of Moro Reflex.

Grasp reflex is reflex from the infant’s finger by flexing the finger when you place a finger or something in baby’s palm.

The flexing of the infant’s finger will then followed by flexion at the shoulder and infant’s elbow.

Grasp Reflex will disappear at four to six months of age which indicating the maturation of descending inhibitory cerebral influences normally.

3. Rooting Reflex

This appears since a baby was born. You can examine the Rooting Reflex by tactile a stimulus near infant’s mouth induces in the infant’s mouth try to catch or pursue the stimulus.

It will disappear at four to six months of age. Its origin in Central Nervous System (CNS) is in brainstem trigeminal system.

4. Galant Reflex

It appears since a baby was born, therefore you can notice the existence directly. Galant reflex will disappear at four to six months of age.

Its origin in Central Nervous System (CNS) is in spinal cord. Galant reflex is showed by stroking the baby’s skin throughout the edge of the backbone.

This causes curvature of the backbone with the apex opposite to stroke’s direction.

5. Placing Reflex

This appears at the baby’s first day of life, therefore you can examine it directly as the baby was born.

Placing reflex will disappear at four to six months of age. You can notice it by contacting the edge of the examining surface onto the foot dorsal where the baby will place the foot on examining surface. Its origin in Central Nervous System (CNS) is in cerebral cortex.

There are also Crossed Extension, Tonic Neck and Parachute Reflex where also appear at the baby’s first day of life.

Crossed Extension and Tonic Neck will disappear at four to six months of life while Parachute Reflex will never disappear.