Word games to boost early literacy skills: Alliteration activities

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Word games offer a fun way to take the first steps in teaching your child to read and spell. By connecting sounds to letters, children begin to recognize patterns and rhythm in language.  Inspired by National Poetry Month, play this fun word game with your child to encourage early childhood literacy.

Alliteration Activities

Many three to four-year-old children can already detect when words are alliterative (meaning that they start with the same sound) and when words are not.

  • Walk around the inside and outside of your home and together name objects that begin with the same sound. (For example: S-unshine, S-and, W-indow, W-all, D-oor, D-og, etc.)
  • Look for words on clothes, cereal boxes and toy packaging that begin with the same sound.
  • Ask children questions such as: Which word starts with the same sound as s-s-s-s-nake? Does baby? No. Does s-s-s-s-ister? Yes. Does dog? No.
  • Read alphabet books that introduce letter names and reinforce sounds.
  • Once your child has mastered alliteration, reverse roles and ask your child to test your knowledge of alliteration.

Want to find more word games to play?  Read about Rhyming fun posted on the Mass Literacy blog and keep your eyes peeled for more word games coming soon.

Jean Ciborowski Fahey, PhD is a 2014 Mass Literacy Champion. She is the author of Make Time for Reading: A Story Guide for Parents of Babies and Young Children. Learn more about Jean here.