We have been rhyming all the time here at our house. Why teach rhyming to your young child? Rhyming helps your child identify common sounds. Rhyming helps your child or student listen to the sounds in words and to develop phonemic awareness.
Rhyming is an important skill for toddlers, preschoolers, and beginning readers alike. Learning rhyming skills produces a broad sense, and eventual mastery, of whole language and phonological awareness before focusing on individual letter sounds, or phonemes.
You can teach your child how to rhyme without using printed letters, readers, or books.
- A two year old can memorize the poem, “Jack and Jill” without knowing their letter sounds. (Here are our favorite Nursery Rhyme books and resources.)
- A five year old can build confidence in their reading skills simply by orally rhyming words with you.
- You can rhyme children of all ages, either formally, on the couch, at the playground, or during car rides!
It is simple to make it a habit to rhyme together! At the bottom of this post, I have attached 32 prompt cards to help you get started with every-day rhyming with your child! This is just a start — the possibilities for rhyming are endless! (Made up words are fine too!)
Practicing and playing with rhymes is a wonderful way to enhance your child’s skill and confidence to help develop their phonological awareness! Of course reading books that rhyme and memorizing nursery rhyme poems are also great ways to help your child further develop the language learning skills necessary to eventually learn to read.
Practice and play with rhymes by asking a question:
- What little animal rhymes with house?
- Can you think of something to write with that rhymes with hen?
- What color rhymes with bed?
- What sea animal rhymes with park?
- Do you know a bird that rhymes with loose?
- What rhymes with table?
For some of these prompts, making up a goofy, non-word is fine too. Sometimes, being silly together helps this important work of rhyming become more memorable.
For example, What rhymes with star?
car, far, bar …. dar, lar, nar
What order should we rhyme together?
Don’t worry about the details of rhyming. You can rhyme any words that you like.
If you want to be more intentional with your rhyming and rhyming prompts, it is important to focus most of your attention on simpler word families. I created a printable that you can take around in the car or the house. It will help you to remember some of the first phonetic word families that you child will encounter.
- They begin with a simple consonant – short vowel – consonant pattern, such as, c -a – t (bat, mat)
- Then add consonant digraphs (blends) to your consonant – short vowel word families: tr- u – nk (junk, skunk)
- Then using long vowel word families: b – i – ke (hike, like)
- And word families utilizing vowel digraphs: cr- ea – m (beam, steam) or b – oo – k (cook, shook)
Practice rhyming words together: free rhyming prompts printable
Sometimes it can be difficult to think of words while together, so I created a simple printable to take with you any where you go during this rich literacy and language learning time together! The printable includes 32 cards with different vowel sounds! I hope it prompts some fun rhyming sessions!
You can download the Rhyming Prompt Cards here.
We build rhyming confidence through reading books that rhyme, practicing and playing with rhymes, and memorizing nursery rhyme poems. Pretty soon, your child will be rhyming without your prompting!
More rhyming resources: