Rhyming is an early phonological awareness (listening) skill children use to distinguish units of speech. Recognizing rhymes is crucial to reading development.
Understanding how we have syllables within words and the ability to discern phonemes (sounds) in syllables are also phonological awareness skills that facilitate literacy.
If you would like to encourage your child’s rhyming skills, here are some fun activities to practice:
- Read rhyming books – Once your child is familiar with one of the books listed below (or similar level rhyming book), have her try to fill-in the rhyming word. For example, Dr. Seuss’ The Foot Book begins: Left foot, Left foot, Right foot, Right – Feet in the morning, Feet at _____ (child should say “night”). For a rhyming challenge, read an unfamiliar rhyming book with your child in the same manner.
- Songs and Nursery Rhymes – Use the same technique – leave off the rhyming word to encourage your child to fill it in. As a challenge, alter the rhymes (e.g., Twinkle Twinkle Little Car).
Row, Row, Row Your Boat
There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly
- Sing popular children’s music together using the same technique:
- Share your favorite rhyming adult songs:
Motown – I Heard It Through The Grapevine, My Girl, Good Lovin’, Joy To The World, The Tracks Of My Tears, Ain’t Too Proud To Beg, I Want You Back, ABC
Barenaked Ladies and James Taylor have many songs with rhyming lyrics.
80’s – Who Can It Be Now (Men At Work), 867-5309 / Jenny (Tommy Tutone), Mr. Roboto (STYX), Walking on Sunshine (Katrina and The Waves), Manic Monday (The Bangles)
90’s – Good Riddance / Time of Your Life (Green Day), Hairspray Soundtrack
Hip Hop is great for rhyming, but the lyrics are not always appropriate, try: Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It (Will Smith).
- Play “I Spy” with rhymes – For example, “I spy with my little eye something that rhymes with bear!”
- Try a rhyming puzzle.
- Try a rhyming game with objects.