Dear Gaila - Reading Preparation IV

Dear Gaila, My daughter will be learning to read next year in kindergarten. What exercises and games can I do in preparation? Sincerely, Excited Mother of an almost Kindergartener

Dear Excited Mother,

Once your child have developed phonemic awareness of beginning sounds and ending sounds (here and here) it is time to focus on middle sounds.

These are the hardest, since vowels are usually in the middle of simple words and they are less definitive.

Again I highly suggest playing funny, silly games. Can you put the same sound into different ending and beginnings to make silly words? Bap, pab, quap? sab, mab, kab; iv, im, bim; and so on.

You can also play Switch. Switch the 'e' for 'a'. If you put 'a' in the word 'bed' what do you get? 'a' into 'send'?

Finally there is this great song by Raffi called Apple and Bananas:

That does the trick quite nicely.


Gaila has over 40 year of experience teaching and runs A.H.A.V.A., a non-profit to promote English literacy. Would you like to ask Gaila a question? Email us at or send us a message. Look out for more Dear Gaila columns

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