Now we get to a fun area: the rhythm of our language. Children begin to understand the reading process and the concept of words as they recognize different beginning and ending sounds and letters.
Kids may not be jumping rope as much as they once did, but it's been re-popularized a bit in TV and film in recent years. Jump rope rhymes are great for getting your child ready to read! Here's an example:
Here's Miss Mary Mack, Mack, Mack
All dressed up in black, black, black!
Also try a finger play or two:
Here is the church (hands form a box), and here is the steeple (fingers form that); look inside and see all the people! (Open hands and arms.)
Itsy, bitsy spider is very good here, also.
Along with rhyming play, pagework is easy and important. King, sing, and ring can be easily illustrated. Your child has time to look at the picture and silently say the word. Let the mind work to make connections. Verbal rhyming helps, but there's nothing to look at. Looking at the page is important here, and School Zone workbooks carefully sequence the more simple rhyming families for you and your child. Many of the School Zone P-2 workbooks include rhyming work; plus, our Word Families Flash Cards also offer practice in rhyming and letter-sound association.
Initial blends should come after work with rhyming families. We use short, familiar words, such as frog, dog, hog, and log; or bat, hat, and sat. We do mix in some blends such as bl-ack, cr-ack, and tr-ack with Jack, tack, and back, or cl-ock and bl-ock with rock, lock, and dock.
We sequence rhyming families carefully, as recognizing them is an essential step in reading.