Phonemic play is when you say the word in all sorts of different semi-histrionic ways, paying attention and riffing on the sound of each phoneme in different ways.
If the word “grape” comes up as the object chosen for a one word image, for example, play with it before starting the image, after writing it down in both languages and getting ready to go through the first six prompts. This is a great time to work on the elusive French “r”.
Enjoy “tasting” the word in this way, saying it loud and fast, slow and soft, using different emotions, or in different other ways as suggested on the Director’s Cues posters.
When doing this, you will invariably notice a few of your students also tasting the word, subtly moving their mouths as they do what might be called an internal neurological study of the sound. You can see this happening if you look closely. With most words in the TL, it is almost impossible for the kids to resist saying it as you are. It’s like a yawn in that way.
You can “taste” single words but also entire sentences and even paragraphs and stories, as is described in the “sacred reading” reading option in Supplement 13 of the Invisibles Supplements book.
How are our students supposed to plummet deep into what language is unless they have experienced a teacher exploring words in class somewhere during their training?
If phonemic play doesn’t resonate with you, don’t do it.