Listening to sounds in words is important. Knowing where sounds of words begin and end is also important to reading.
What you need:
A list of two- or three-syllable words
What to do:
1. Tell your child that you will say a word and clap for the main sound parts in the word. For example, "The first word is Mama. I'll clap and say the word again. Ma-ma. (Say Ma-ma and clap as you say each part of the word for two claps.) "Now you clap the rhythm when I say Mama." Next, take your child's name and clap it out. For example, say, Ma-ri-a and clap three times.
2. Repeat this activity with the following words:
ba-by (two claps)
ice cream (two claps)
base-ball (two claps)
ba-na-na (three claps)
ap-ple (two claps)
bat (one clap)
bat-boy (two claps)
bas-ket-ball (three claps)
Source: America Reads Challenge: Read*Write*Now!, America Reads