Pumpkin starts with the letter P. This letter makes a sound like ‘puh’. What other things can you think of that start with this same sound? Here are a few to start you off: panda, pineapple, pen, pig, pear, pot, peas, pail, pet, purple. What are some more? This little activity helps develop a critical skill that children use later on for learning to read. This concept is called phonological awareness (phono as in telephone or phonograph) and means that words are made of sounds and these can be divided into sound bits and recombined to make different words. Do pumpkin and pie start with the same sound? How about pumpkin and cake? What do you wear on your legs that starts like pumpkin? (pants) Try pumpkin and play. Playing with sounds can piggy-pack onto minutes spent waiting for the bus, or putting away the laundry or doing dishes. Your child may not be ready yet to understand this idea so once you ask the question you may need to give the answer, too. It’s super important, I p-p-promise.