(This post originally appeared on Say and Play)
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.
In a People House
The Cat in the Hat
• Song-themed rhyming books:
• 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).
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Row, Row, Row Your Boat
This Old Man
There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly
Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes
Itsy Bitsy Spider
I’m A Little Teapot
Open, Shut Them
We’re going to Kentucky (We’re going to the Fair…)
• Sing popular children’s music together using the same technique:
• Share your favorite rhyming adult songs:
Beatles – Help, Love Me Do, I Want To Hold Your Hand, Can’t Buy Me Love, All My Loving, A Hard Day’s Night
The Police – Don’t Stand So Close To Me, Every Breath You Take, So Lonely, Can’t Stand Losing You, King of Pain
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.
60’s – Ruby Tuesday (Rolling Stones), If You Wanna Be Happy (Jimmy Soul)
70’s – Celebration (Kool & The Gang), We Are Family (Sister Sledge), I Will Survive (Gloria Gaynor), Y.M.C.A. (VIllage People), Takin’ Care of Business (Bachman-Turner Overdrive), 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover (Paul Simon)
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.
Most importantly, have fun with rhyming!!
What are some of your favorite rhyming activities?
Stephanie Sigal, M.A. CCC-SLP, is a speech language therapist practicing on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, NYC. She works with babies, toddlers and school age children with expressive language delay and articulation disorders. Stephanie provides home based speech therapy and encourages parents to facilitate their children’s speech and language skills. To learn more about Stephanie, please visit http://www.sayandplayfamily.com.