Phoneme Segmentation Activities

dyslexia phonemic segmentation reading difficulty awarenessHere are some activities to help your child “pull apart” sounds in a more concrete and multisensory way. These “phoneme segmentation” activities will help him build the foundational skills that he needs for reading words and spelling them.

Before you try these activities, REMEMBER:

  1. Use spoken words only. Do not use written words. (Why? Kids who need help pulling apart sounds are not ready for sounds and print.)
  2. Always start pulling apart syllables. Then go to pulling apart sounds.


Try these multisensory activities. If your child is in kindergarten or struggled on the BLAST test, make sure to keep this work multisensory and FUN!

  • Have your child press a marker on a page to make a colored dot for each part of the word. This gives physical feedback and adds a visual element that helps many kids. Start with syllables, then do the sounds.
  • Have your child tap the syllables and then the sounds of the word on the xylophone. This gives physical feedback with each tap and gives auditory feedback as well. Plus it’s fun! Here’s a great xylophone for any age:

  • Try “clapping” syllables with your hands. Then try “tapping out” sounds with your fingers (touch your fingers together for each sound, just like you did on the BLAST test).
  • Try Elkonin boxes. See a sample page of  Elkonin boxes and watch them in action in this video using race cars.

Use these phoneme segmentation activities to give your child the practice he needs to pull apart sounds. This will help him build the foundational skills he needs for reading words and spelling.

P.S. If your child is not quickly making progress in pulling apart the sounds, you may need professional support.


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