By introducing your child to rhyming words, you're helping her recognize a variety of new words, boosting important language skills and making important vocabulary words memorable. From nursery rhymes to Dr. Seuss classics, pages full of silly rhymes will sharpen reading, spelling, and speaking skills while making for great stories. To have a more fluent reader and speller, here are four age-by-age activities and books perfect for rhyme time:
For Birth to Age 3
Read nursery rhymes over and over. Once your child can talk, give each other a high-five on the rhyming word. “Jack and Jill/Went up the hill” (high-five on hill).
Book Pick: Rain, Rain, Go Away incorporates a child's favorite song with sweet images and, of course, classic rhymes about a rainy day. Full of opportunities for parent-child interaction, this easy-to-hold board book helps your early learner follow along with the rhythm while associating new words with the weather outside.
For Ages 3 to 5
Put some items in a bowl and tell your child to remove one when she hears a word that sounds the same (“Pull out the object that rhymes with block!”).
Book Pick: Share rhymes you were raised on with your little one. The Real Mother Goose encapsulates all thing nursery rhyme, bringing to life classic fairy tales with sing-song rhyming that will help your child recognize both patterns and new words. Plus, you can share your childhood favorites for a wonderful bonding opportunity.
For Ages 4 to 6
Find a name with lots of rhyming possibilities, such as Silly Pat, and come up with some rhymes about it (bonus points for the most outrageous picks): “Silly Pat is a rat. Silly Pat wears a hat. Silly Pat eats a gnat.” Or make up most of a sentence and let your kiddo fill in the blanks.
Book Pick: BOB Books: Rhyming Words is a fun teaching tool as your child begins learning how to read on his own. Full of mini-books, flashcards, and easy-to-learn sight words throughout, your child can begin understanding basic vocabulary while boosting important reading skills with this box set perfect for at-home teaching time.
For Ages 5 to 8
Play this twist on Go Fish with a deck of rhyming cards. Deal five cards to each player. Kids must match cards that sound alike (jig and wig) or fish from the pile. The kid who runs out of cards first is the winner.
Book Pick: Nothing says rhyming like Dr. Seuss. The Sneetches and Other Stories is full of creativity-boosting images and easy-to-read rhymes perfect for a reader just getting started. By introducing a variety of silly characters and kooky settings, your child can follow along with the Sneetches and travel to worlds unknowns, all while learning fun and important vocabulary.
Source: J. Richard Gentry, Ph.D., author of Raising Confident Readers // Photo Credit: Galeries/Offset Images;\Illustration by Andy J. Miller