In this activity, you will help your child identify whether two words rhyme. Understanding rhyming is part of phonological awareness, an important pre-reading skill.
Learning Area(s): Reading and Writing
Introduce the activity to your child by saying: “Let’s play a game using rhyming words. Rhyming words are words that sound the same at the end. We are going to listen very carefully to the ending of each word. For example, cat / bat.” As you say each word, emphasize the ending sound. “Do you hear how these two words rhyme? The ending of the words cat and bat sound the same.”
Give your child additional examples:
rug / bug
shoe / blue
mop / top
Continue by saying: “There are also words that do NOT rhyme. For example, shirt / milk. These words do not rhyme because the ending of the words do not sound the same.”
Give additional examples:
moon / lion
stick / door
apple / chair
Now tell him that it is his turn to tell you whether two words rhyme or do not rhyme. After you say each set of words, have him show you a thumbs up for rhyming words or a thumbs down for non-rhyming words.
- This is a skill that typically develops in children between the ages of 3 to 4.5 years. If your child does not catch on to this game after some practice, wait a few weeks and try again. In the meantime, point out words that rhyme when you notice them (e.g., “There’s a bug on our rug.…Hey, ‘bug’ and ‘rug’ are words that rhyme! Can you hear how they sound the same at the end?”) This will help your child begin to pay attention to this concept.
- Sometimes it helps for children to close their eyes and repeat the set of words to determine whether the words rhyme.
- Remember that not all rhyming words are spelled the same (blue / shoe) and the words do not have to be “real” words (bug / nug). You might want to start with only real words, however, so your child does not get confused by the idea of nonsense words. Once they understand, it is lots of fun to make up nonsense words that rhyme!
- If your child has difficulty staying focused or does not show interest in this game, you might try it with a puppet. Have the puppet say the words and the child can tell the puppet whether they rhyme or not.