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Phoneme Deletion and Addition Activities

Wait! This Isn't Math! It's About Learning to Read...

Don't let the words add and delete trick you into thinking we're working with math question here! Phonemic addition and deletion are 2 related concepts covered within the realm of phonemic awareness - the ability to hear and identify the smallest units of sound. So what we are doing here is simply adding in extra sounds to words or removing existing sounds from words.

Below is an example video showing our 3.5yr old son working on our phoneme addition activities:



The concept is fairly simple. Your goal is to teach your child that by adding or taking away a sound (or multiple sounds), new words can be formed in the process. This helps the child discover the concept that words are made up of smaller units of sound, and that changing these sound units also changes the word.

For example, if we use the word "bus", and add a /t/ sound at the end, the word now becomes "bust". If we now delete the /s/ sound from "bust", the word now becomes "but".

Phoneme Addition Worksheets

We are providing 2 printable worksheets in PDF format that you can download and print. These worksheets include activities for your child to practice adding sounds to words. Click the image thumbnails below to download.



I'll briefly explain how to work with these printables. In the first row of the 1st worksheet, you see:

1) /s/ + a picture of a pot (pot)

2) /c/ + a picture of a lock (lock)

3) /b/ + a picture of a lock (lock)

So, in the first box, what does the word become when you add the /s/ sound in front of "pot"? The answer is "spot"! Do the same with the other questions. So the 2nd box, you have /c/ + "lock" = "clock", and for the 3rd box, you have /b/ + "lock" = "block". Each sheet has answer keys provided at the bottom of the page.

Phonemic Deletion Worksheet

We're also providing one worksheet for removing sounds from words. Click thumbnail below to download the PDF file.


In this worksheet, there are 5 groups of words, and each group requires your child to delete one particular sound from all of the words. For example, the words in the first group are:

Your child is then asked to delete the /s/ sound from all the words in this group, and then try to figure out what the new word is. To do this, read out the words loud and slowly to help your child hear all the sounds. Now if we delete the designated sound, what do the words become?


"mmmmmmiiiiisssst" say the sounds loud and clear. Now remove the /s/ sound and then say the word.

"mmmmmiiiiit, mit is the new word!"

>> Click here for a super simple and effective reading program that will teach your child to read in just 12 weeks