If one of my neighbors were to walk by our front door at breakfast time, this is what she might hear. "Ba-na-na! Ba-na-na! Ba-na-na! Yaaaay!"
Later at lunch, she might hear, "Zu-chi-ni! Zu-chi-ni! Zu-chi-ni! Yippeeeee!"
And at dinner, "Spa-ghet-ti! Spa-ghet-ti! Spa-ghet-ti! Woooo! Hoooo!"
It all started yesterday when Baby L was eating bananas for breakfast. She looked a little distracted, so to get her attention I started to "cheer" for bananas by tapping on her highchair tray for each syllable. Ba-na-na. Bang-bang-bang. L smiled in delight and banged her tray right along with me!
As I clapped and tapped the syllables to banana, the teacher part of my brain kicked in and realized that this is exactly what we do when we introduce new word wall words each week. We clap them, we tap them, we write them over and over, we say them over and over and cheer for them. The repetition of the clapping and cheering helps children develop phonological awareness (familiarity with units of speech that includes syllables, words, rhymes, and individual sounds)-- and it's fun! Give it a try. Go bananas!