At the pre-kindergarten stage, children lack the proper phonological awareness skills that would help them segment words into sounds, or blend sounds to make words. Phonological awareness is an important skill for children to develop at an early age as it is the foundation for future reading and writing. When they learn how to segment each word into its constituent sounds, they are mastering the early stages of spelling. Likewise, when they learn how to blend individual sounds to make a word, they are essentially preparing for later reading skills. This is where you come in to help your child learn these skills correctly and efficiently. In this article, we provide you with activities that will help you teach your preschooler the first 4 consonant letters in the alphabet and their sounds: B, C, D, and F.
The first consonant sound your child will learn is /b/, it is the sound the Letter B makes.
One activity you can offer your child to help them learn the sound /b/ is to print out 10 images of random objects and animals, 5 of which start with the letter B. For example: cat, tooth, bear, crown, boy, leaf, banana, hat, bat, ball. Have your child name the object in each image, then identify the ones that start with the /b/ sound, and glue them on a paper to make a collage.
The Letter C makes two sounds, the hard /k/ sound, and the soft /s/ sound. The more common sound this letter makes is the hard /k/ sound. It is acceptable to start with teaching your preschooler only the /k/ sound at first in order not to confuse them.
To help your child produce and recognize this sound, you can implement this simple activity: Place some objects that start with the letter-sound C around the room (clay, crayons, coloring pencils, can, cabbage, candle, car, candy, etc.) Then play I-Spy with your child using only the /k/ sound.
In addition, you can use this "Letter Sounds: B and C" worksheet from Kids Academy to help your child practice differentiating between the two sounds they have learnt, /b/ and /k/. They’ll also be working on their fine-motor skills as they trace a line from the image to its corresponding initial letter.
The Letter D makes the /d/ sound , the third consonant sound in the alphabet. You can hear it in the beginning of words like ‘drive’, in the middle like in ‘adapt’, and at the end in words like ‘head’.
Kids love activities that involve movement, and adding silly words to it will only make it sound more appealing, which makes this sound /d/ activity perfect: Out loud, say words that have the sound /d/ once, and others that have it twice, and have your child raise one hand if the word has one /d/, and raise both hands if the word has 2 /d/ sounds. You can even use made up words, the funnier the better!
You can also make use of this “Beginning Sound D” worksheet from Kids Academy to offer your child more practicing opportunities.
Fun, food, cliff, breakfast, truffle. These words all have something in common: the /f/ sound, corresponding to the Letter F.
It is important to offer your child opportunities to practice their /f/ sound. One way to teach your child the /f/ sound using everyday activities is by involving them in the kitchen. Fried fish filets with fries is a great meal to prepare while teaching your kids the /f/ sound as it uses a lot of words starting with this sound such as fish, filets, frying, fries, flour, etc. This "Letter Sound: F'' worksheet is also a great way for your child to practice this sound.
In addition to the aforementioned activities, it’s good practice to end the lesson with an activity that sums up everything your child has learned, helping them revise and retain this information. For instance, prepare flashcards of the letters B, C, D and F. For each letter-sound, prepare flashcards with images of objects that start with it, you can make as many as you want. Have your child match the objects to the letter-sound they correspond to. After your child is done with learning this set of consonants, they can move on to the next four: G, H, J, K.