Prep: None / Activity Time: 5 Minutes

In this easy activity, your child will practice listening for individual words in sentences. During the preschool years, children become more aware of the sound units in spoken language. For example, they are learning about beginning sounds in words, that some words rhyme, and that words can be broken down into syllables.




Step 1:  Say a five- to six-word sentence to your child.  For example, you might say:

I want cereal for breakfast.


I love to read books.

Step 2:  Repeat the sentence and ask your child to clap once for each word. You might say:

Listen again to my sentence. Let’s clap once for each word in the sentence. I (clap) want (clap) cereal (clap) for (clap) breakfast (clap). We clapped five times because there are five words in my sentence. 

Step 3:  Continue with several more sentences. 


Use shorter sentences of 3-4 words. For example:

I see Mommy.

I like berries. 

I see the truck.

Ask your child to say a sentence and to clap once for each word in the sentence.