By Children’s Librarian Shelley Harris
When we think about talking with our smallest kids, there are so many sounds involved: animal sounds, choo choo sounds, airplane sounds. These may feel like small things, but they’re important—the sounds we make with our kids are the building blocks of words. Being able to hear and practice those sounds and syllables makes it easier to break down words when they’re learning to read.
Practice sounds and syllables together with these videos and books.
Watch these videos
Juanta loves teaching kids to do “Kama Lama,” a fun call and response song. These are nonsense words, but they still help kids practice sounds found in many languages.
In this video, Jenny and I highlight different ways to play with sounds. Jenny uses sounds to introduce new words like “friendship,” “fun,” and “fantasy,” while I share the 60s classic, “The Name Game.” Make rhymes out of everyone’s names with this silly song!
Even nonsense words that get created in songs like “The Name Game” or “Kama Lama” are valuable, because it shows kids how to play with sounds they’ll hear in other words, and how words are built!
Check out these books for more fun
- Moo Baa La La La is classic for a reason! Sandra Boyton’s animal sounds are always fun for kids and caregivers.
- Red Sled by Lita Judge is mostly wordless, except for a few choice sound effects. Whoosh!
- Moo by David LaRochelle is one of my all time favorite books to read aloud. The whole story is told in one word, so inflection is the only way to tell what’s happening! Moo? Moo?! MOO!!!!
- Any book about transportation is going to be chock full of exciting opportunities for sounds and sound effects.
What sounds and sound effects can you add throughout your day?
Shelley is a children’s librarian with a passion for early literacy, serving and celebrating the disability community, and exploring technology. She can often be found practicing storytime songs with her black lab, Bingo.