Phonemic Awareness is the act of hearing, identifying, and manipulating different sounds. Before a child can learn that an a is the symbol for the /a/ sound, they need to be able to hear the difference in the sounds. We have 44 different phonemes in the English language, and over 100 ways to spell those 44 sounds. If a child does not have phonemic awareness, difficulties in learning letter names, sounds, and reading will be difficult.
Phonemic Awareness includes rimes. (tap, sap, cap, gap) Reading rhyming books to your child and discussing which words rhyme is a huge part of being able to hear and reproduce sounds.