Importance of counting syllables in words

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Alongside daily reading aloud, dividing syllables in words will help your child to read fluently, and it will also aid in pronunciation in the future.


Letters form together make words! And these words are divided into parts called syllables!


Syllables are often referred to as the “beats of the spoken language”. I love that! And clapping or beating a drum or table top is a great way to show this in action!


Syllables usually will contain a vowel, so usually, the number of vowels you see is the number of syllables that word will have. There is an exception for vowel digraphs (two vowels together as in /oa/ or /ie/ etc. as well as for the silent /e/).


Practicing syllable separation can be done at home, in the car, on the go, anywhere! This practice does not need to be formal, it just needs to be done! Your child is decoding words when they are separating syllables with you!


How to simply teach your child about dividing words into syllables?

  1. Have the child put their hand under their chin. While saying a weird, have them count with their fingers (or on their head) how many times their chin drops down!
  2. Have the child beat the syllables on a table top (or a drum or makeshift homemade can drum!)
  3. Have the child clap as they hear the separation of syllables in a word. 

A vital pre-reading skill, separating words into syllables is a key part of our spoken language.

This simple syllable work will help in understanding words & sentences, reading aloud, and spelling skills for the future.


This post is Post 6 of 10 in our Learning Language Series. See all of the posts, with Teaching Tools packed into each post, here:

  1. What is phonological awareness?
  2. Why is rhyming an important language skill? {free nursery rhyme printable}
  3. What is phonemic awareness?
  4. How can I help my child develop phonemic awareness?
  5. How can I teach onsets and rimes?
  6. What is the importance of counting syllables in words?
  7. How can I help my child create sentences and count words in sentences?
  8. How to create a solid vocabulary from infancy?
  9. What is phonics and how do we begin reading?
  10. How can I help my child grow in language learning before reading?

importance of counting syllables for kids


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