Skip to content
An Early Literacy Superpower: Phonological Awareness

An Early Literacy Superpower: Phonological Awareness

We’ve been celebrating early literacy all month long! The best part is seeing all the creative resources and ideas you use with your kids at home and in the classroom to develop these important early literacy skills.

Candice Williams, Founder and CEO of Urby Education, discusses the importance of Phonological Awareness and shows off how she works in two of our favorite literacy products, Vowel Owls and one of our Exclusive Products, the Alphabet Bricks and Base Plates set. Be sure to watch her video at the end to see it up close!


It’s National Reading Month, but sadly half of children in the United States struggle with reading. Children can begin to read independently before they enter kindergarten and the early literacy skill that they will need in order to reach this level: phonological awareness.

Wait, did I lose you already? I know that this term can be confusing to both parents and educators. In short, phonological awareness is the ability to hear and orally manipulate sounds in spoken language. Our words are made up of individual units of sounds called "phonemes". Phonological Awareness is an umbrella term, as this skill includes word recognition within sentences, rhyming, sound segmentation, syllables, and phonemic awareness (the ability to hear and manipulate sounds/phonemes).

Did you know that Phonological Awareness should be taught everyday in grades K-2? Most schools don’t spend enough time on teaching these skills explicitly. A great reader is like a builder who is able to reach into their toolbox to use any tool when needed, and Phonological Awareness is the actual tool belt; it’s their literacy foundation!

Don’t underestimate the simple power of understanding letter(s) and sounds, which is phonemic awareness. If a child knows 10 sounds, then they can read 350 three-sound words, 4,320 four-sound words, and 21,650 five-sound words. A preschooler can learn 10 letters and sounds easily, which means that they can also read up to 26,000 words!

This is exactly why I tell parents that it’s never too early to start practicing early literacy skills. There are only 26 letters in the alphabet, but there are 44 sounds in the English language. How is this possible you ask? I’ll have to write another blog about that. But, just imagine how confused our kiddos become during their reading journey!

Constructive Playthings makes teaching phonological awareness and phonemic awareness fun and effective! Get rid of those boring flashcards and check out some Alphabet Brick & Base Plates to build on their phonemic awareness skills. Have your kiddos practice phonemic awareness and phonological awareness with Vowel Owls. Doesn’t this sound way more fun?!

Come and visit me on social media, and I’ll show you how I use these resources, as well as others in my teaching everyday! Using a multi-sensory approach to learning is a research-based strategy, and colorful manipulatives are tools that I use to make reading fun.



Alphabet Bricks & Base Plates - BLC-208

vowel owl sorting set

Vowel Owls Sorting Set - LER-5460


Double-Sided Photo Magnetic Cards - LRI-445

alphabet alligator

 Alphabet Alligator  - DL-32

Wooden Alphabet Floor Puzzle  - MYK-771

Have a moment to share with us? Be sure to tag us and use the hashtag #constructiveinsights in your post. We’d love to potentially feature you on our social feeds and/or in an upcoming email!