If you have been following along in my reading series (links contained at the bottom of this post), I mentioned introducing your children to rhyme through story books. One of the first steps to learning how to read is learning to enjoy and recognize rhymes. You can read that post about rhyming book suggestions here: Great Rhyming Books. Not only should you read rhyming books to your kids, but there are also some interactive activities you can do to teach them rhyming skills.
According to the chart located at Reading Rockets, the next step for building phonemic awareness skills is for kids to recognize rhymes and be able to play “odd word out” type games. An example of an “odd word out” game would be to ask which of these words do not belong? cat, boy, hat, mat.
Below are some ideas for activities you can use to help your child recognize rhymes and to play with rhymes. Disclaimer: The product listings contain my affiliate links for Amazon.
Play and sing along to nursery rhyme music.
Nursery rhymes are a great way to expose your kids to the rhythm of rhyme. As kids memorize these rhymes, their ears become better tuned to the rhythm of words. If you want to read more about nursery rhymes and how they influence reading skills, check out this article at Reading Rockets. Amazon sells some great music containing nursery rhymes. If you have Amazon Prime, you can stream many of these for no additional cost as it is included with your prime membership.
50 Nursery Rhyme Songs (The Countdown Kids): Contains many familiar classic nursery rhymes. There are only a few that I don’t know.
100 Sing Along Songs (Cedarmont Kids): Contains many familiar nursery rhymes as well as some songs that aren’t as familiar. Also has several religious Sunday school songs.
Classic Nursery Rhymes (Susie Tallman): Contains 37 classic nursery rhymes.
Nursery Rhyme Parade (Lisa Loeb): Lisa Loeb created this CD containing several classic nursery rhymes. I’m still a fan of her pop songs from the 90’s. Do you remember Stay (I Missed You)? Now that she has children of her own, she is making some children’s albums.
Rhyming Puzzles and Activities
The Learning Journey Match It! Rhyme: This contains 30 puzzle cards with 30 pairs of rhyming words and their matching pictures.
Scholastic Teacher’s Friend Rhyming Learning Puzzles: This puzzle reinforces phonemic awareness skills through 20 five-piece puzzles. These puzzles are “designed to meet the following key instructional goals – recognizing rhyme, generating rhyming words, noticing rhyme spelling patterns, reading and spelling simple, high-utility words.”
Find-The-Rhymes Activity Houses by Learning Resources: This fun game features 10 houses and 50 picture/word tiles. Kids drop the tiles into the house containing the word which rhymes with their tile.
Trend Young Learner Bingo Game, Rhyming Words: Bingo game containing 28 pairs of rhyming words. This game has six levels of play to reinforce rhyming skills. It requires more than 3 people to play so this might be better for a family game night than for individual play.
Websites which include rhyming games to use with preschool to kindergarten age kids:
I never cease to be amazed at all the creative bloggers out there who create wonderful free content which you can use with your kids. Here is just a sampling of what I found which would be developmentally appropriate for the young learner.
Rhyming Games at Reading Rockets: This page includes several links to rhyming books, file folder games, and rhyme matching activities. It also explains the importance of building rhyming skills.
Teach rhyming words with this fun printable! by The Measured Mom: This is a free printable for a rhyming clip game. The child identifies the rhyming word on each card by placing a clip (clothes pin) on the rhyming word. This is appropriate for both older preschoolers and kindergarteners.
Rhyming Pairs Basket Game by The Imagination Tree: Kids love manipulating objects. For this game, you collect various objects containing pairs of rhyming words. The link includes examples of some objects you might be able to find and how to play this game.
Erase Me Rhyming Activities by Growing Book by Book. This is a great game which involves kids erasing parts of a body which rhyme with a word that completes each sentence. This is also a great game for kids with speech and language issues as it combines listening and body vocabulary words.
Color Chant Rhyming Activity by Growing Book by Book. All you need for this game are some crayons and a shallow box. Kids find the crayons which rhyme with the words given in the activity.
Rhyming Sorting Game With Free Printable Cards by Tot Schooling. This free printable gives you a sorting game to play with your child. The creator of the game stated that she was able to play this game with her then 3-year-old. Each picture shows the word for each photo, providing additional context for each word. The child sorts the words into various groups of rhyming words.
Rhyming Awareness Activities: This site from Phonemicawareness.org lists many age-appropriate rhyming activities.
For previous articles in this series, please check out:
Do you know of other great rhyming activities for the preschool to kindergarten age student? Please mention them in the comments below.