How can I help my son understand long vs. short vowels?

Remembering what sound each letter makes is crucial to learning how to read. Vowels can be particularly tricky for young children because they have both a long and a short sound. Make learning long and short vowel sounds fun by going on a short or long “vowel word hunt” in your house, the car, or the grocery store. Encourage your son to make up songs that help him remember the different sounds each vowel makes, or teach him the song “ Apples and Bananas” which practices long vowel sounds. You can also help him understand long and short vowels by creating a "go fish" game where he has to match the long and short vowel words together (for e.g., tap/tape).

Jennie Ito, Ph.D.

Child Development Expert

Jennie Ito is a mother of two and a child development consultant who specializes in children’s play and toys. Before becoming a consultant for LeapFrog, she was an intern at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, and later worked as a content expert for the Association of Children’s Museum’s “Playing for Keeps” Play Initiative. Jennie earned her doctorate degree in developmental psychology at Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada.