In this activity, you will help your child separate 3- and 4- word sentences into individual words. Playing this kind of game will help your child understand that sentences are made up of words. Separating sentences into words is part of “phonological awareness,” which is an important set of skills that comes before learning to read and spell.
Introduce the activity by letting your child know that sentences are made up of individual words, and you are going to play a game where he identifies each word in the sentence you say.
Select a sentence that is made of one-syllable words. Example: I love you. Say the sentence: “I love you.” Hold up one finger for each word as you say the sentence. “I… (raise one finger and slight pause) love… (raise another finger and give a slight pause) you… (raise another finger).”
Then, hold up one finger for each word as you and your child say the sentence together.
Try another sentence. “‘I love you’’ has three words. Now let’s try another sentence and I want you to hold up a finger for each word in the sentence. Ready? ‘I see grapes.’ How many words do you hear?” If your child is unable to identify each word, help him by slowing down and putting up your fingers for each word you say in the sentence.
Continue with more sentences, taking turns giving each other sentences to separate into words.
Examples of simple sentences with one-syllable words.