You may have noticed when reading stories to your children that a great deal of them, especially those for the younger children, rhyme. We start reading nursery rhymes early on, and as we progress through the Thomas the Tank and Dr. Seuss phases, kids begin to pick up on words that are sounding the same. By kindergarten they are learning the basics of rhyming. They are starting to write sentences and are completing worksheets where they have to write lists of words that rhyme.
I notice that my kids respond differently when I read stories that rhyme; they seem to remember the rhymes much easier than the words in traditional stories.
Here are some activities you can do to encourage your children to learn rhymes:
Make a Rhyming Story: Read books that rhyme to your child, then talk to him about the rhyming words. Can your child come up with other words that rhyme with those too? Have him write down words that rhyme and make his own story.
Greeting Cards: Show your child greeting cards that contain rhymes and encourage him to make his own card with a rhyme and a picture to send to someone special or to give to his school teacher.
Rhyming Charades: Play a game with your child(ren). Each player gets to point to a body part, or something in the room. The other players have to come up with a word that rhymes with the object being pointed to. The first person to call out a correct answer gets to choose the next object.
Rhyming Crafts: Make felt story boards or puppets so your child can act out nursery rhymes such as Humpty Dumpty, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and Hickory Dickory Dock.
Rhyming Activity Stations: Set up activity stations for the kids where they can learn a nursery rhyme and complete an activity.
- Jack and Jill – Put water in a small pail and have a race. Whoever gets to the end first without spilling water is the winner.
- Baa, Baa Black Sheep – Give the children a sheet of paper, a pencil, and cotton balls. Have them draw a sheep and then attach the cotton balls (as wool) over the body.
- Cock-a-doodle-doo – Hide a fiddlestick and shoe and give clues on pieces of paper that tell where the fiddlestick and shoe can be found. For example, draw a picture of play kitchen, toy, or desk where the next clue can be found, and so on.
- Twinkle Twinkle Little Star – Using yellow construction paper and gold glitter glue, have the kids make stars to hang from the ceiling.
- Simple Simon – Have the children do coin rubbings on paper using crayons. Cut out their pennies and trade them for a pie for lunch.
- Handy Pandy – Serve mini plum cakes and sugar candy for dessert.
Read rhyming books. Here are a few you might like to borrow from the library or a friend, if you don’t already have them at home.
- The Gruffalo
- Dr. Seuss books
- Ook the Book and Other Silly Rhymes
- We’re Going on a Bear Hunt
- I Knew You Could
- Bear Snores On