Rhyme Match Box
Focus skills: Rhyming, sensory skills, shapes, language, recognizing words
What to do: Place a variety of items or photos in a box. Make sure each item has a "rhyme match." You could use a sock and a block, a brick and a stick, a cat and a bat-the options are endless. Have each child pick an item from the box. When the box is empty, have the children look for their "Rhyme Match."
Then, try this: Place a cloth over the box so that children can't see in. Have them slip their hand in and pull out one item and then another. Do they rhyme? If so, they are in the game for another round. If not, they are out. Play until there is only one child left standing.
Focus skills: Rhyming, reading, hand-eye coordination, language
What to do: Attach a variety of pictures to card pockets. Then, write words that rhyme with the pictures you have chosen on popsicle sticks and place them in a baggie. If you are doing this with non-readers, put pictures on the popsicle sticks, too. Attach the pockets to the wall where kids can reach them. Encourage children to select popsicle sticks from the jar and place them in the pockets with the picture that rhymes.
Then, try this: To save space and make it easy to use year after year, attach card pockets to the inside of a file folder.
Focus skills: Rhyming, creativity
What to do: Encourage children to practice rhyming and use their creative thinking at the same time. Start with any word and prompt kids to reply one at a time with a nonsensical word that rhymes. See how far you can get on one word. Oodles of noodles might create zoodles and groodles and foodles of fun! Beware, Wacky Rhymes has been known to cause sudden outbursts of laughter!
Then, try this: Have children draw pictures of their nonsensical creations.
Focus skills: Rhyming, memory, vocabulary, reading
What to do: Using index cards, create a deck of memory cards. Instead of making identical picture matches, make them rhyme matches. Pictures from magazines work great for these. Players flip two cards at a time, looking for cards that rhyme. When a match is made, the player gets to keep the cards.
Then, try this: For an advanced option, use only words and no pictures.
Rhyme Stick Race
Focus skills: Rhyming, social skills, following directions, large motor skills
What to do: Write rhyming words on the end of large popsicle sticks. Place the popsicle sticks into a cup or container, word side down. Mark a place on the floor as a start spot and another for a finish. Have kids, one at a time, draw two sticks from the cup. Do they rhyme? If so, the child moves two steps forward. If not, she remains until her next turn. First child to reach the finish line wins.
Then, try this: Use the sticks as a tabletop game. Kids keep the sticks they rhyme until all sticks are out of the cup.
Rhymes That Count
Focus skills: Rhyming, graphing, counting, comparing less and more
What to do: Select a variety of rhyming picture books-shorter stories work best. Make a graph with the titles across the top. Read each story aloud and have the children count every time they hear a rhyme. Chart the total rhymes heard after each reading. What stories had more rhymes? What stories had fewer?
Then, try this: Talk about the stories you have selected before reading them. Ask what stories the kids think will have the most rhymes and compare the guesses to the actual results.