Learning to rhyme is an important part of the process of learning to read and children who can rhyme have an easier time learning to read. A rhyme is the similarity of sounds in words. Learning to rhyme helps your child understand the similarities and differences of the sounds of words/phrases. Children learn to rhyme by first hearing rhymes. Then the child will begin to recognizing rhymes which is followed by producing rhymes on his/her own.
Here is a test you can do with your child to check his/her rhyme ability. Click here for the Rhyming Test
Also try the following activities to help children learn to rhyme:
1. Read Nursery Rhymes to your child and encourage your child to learn/memorize the nursery rhymes. Nursery Rhymes like “Jack and Jill”, “Hickory, Dickory Dock,” “Humpty, Dumpty,” and “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” are fun for preschoolers to learn. Try saying the rhyme with actions or singing the rhyme with your preschooler. Talk with them about what words sound alike..rhyme..in the Nursery Rhyme. “Research has found that children who are familiar with nursery rhymes when they enter kindergarten often have an easier time learning to read. This is probably because rhyming helps them discover many common word patterns (such as those in quick/stick or down/crown). And the more familiar these patterns become in oral language, the more easily children will recognize them when they begin to encounter them in print.” Scholastic Parent
2. Read Rhyming Books to your child. Ask questions about which words rhyming in the book. When reading a familiar rhyming book, let your child fill in the rhyming words while reading. Some great Rhyming Books are:
Llama Llama Red Pajama, by Anna Dewdney
Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen
Rhyming Dust Bunnies by Jan Thomas
Barnyard Dance by Sandra Boynton
Good Night, Good Night, Construction Site by Sherri Rinker
Good Night, Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? by Jane Yolen
Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
3. Sing Rhyming Songs such as:
“The Wheels on the Bus”
“5 Little Monkeys Swinging from a Tree”
“Two Little Blackbirds”
“5 Little Ducks went out to play”
“Do your ears hang low”
4. Point out rhymes when you read, say, or hear rhymes. “That rhymes…cat and hat”
5. Ask your child if 2 words rhyme. Say, “Does bat rhyme with bowl?” or “Do mat and sat rhyme?”
6. Play “Whats in My Rhyming bag.” Fill a bag/bowl with words or small objects and see if your child can come up with a word that rhymes with the word or object. Click here for Rhyming Activity
7. While at the dinner table, in the car, or on a walk, ask your child to pick a food, object, animal, etc, and everyone take a turn thinking of a rhyming word. The words can be silly or non-sense words. For example lets pick the word soup…it rhymes with loop, stoop, poop, hoop, moop, coup, troop, zoop, etc.
Have fun rhyming!