If you want your child to be a successful reader (and of course you do!), it’s so important that you know how to teach your child to rhyme.
Rhyming is a super-important skill (see Why Is Rhyming Important?) that can be taught with two of my favorite things: books and games.
How to teach your child to rhyme
Read nursery rhymes – and read them some more!
They are easy to find and fun to learn. Get them out, and make them a regular part of your child’s infancy, toddlerhood, and preschool years.
a. Make a recording of yourself reading nursery rhymes and play them in the car. I did this before my oldest could talk, and it was a listening favorite for several years.
b. When your child knows her nursery rhymes, have her listen as you recite a familiar rhyme with one mistake. Then have her say “Beep Beep!” or play a rhythm instrument when she hears the wrong word. Let her supply the right one.
c. Invest in some great nursery rhyme books.
d. Read the rhymes, but don’t stop there. Recite them. Sing them. Clap them. Act them out!
Read rhyming picture books over and over again.
As your child becomes familiar with the books, leave out the rhyming word and pause. Ask her what comes next. You can then identify the rhyming words. “That’s right! Mouse rhymes with house.” Check out my mega-list of rhyming books.
Play rhyming games.
a. Give clues for the same rhyming family.
Here’s an example from the –at family:
This animal says “meow.” (cat)
This animal sleeps upside down. (bat)
This is something by the door you might step on. (mat)
b. Ask for a particular type of word that rhymes with the word you give. It’s okay to use nonsense words.
What’s an animal that rhymes with wig?
What’s a color that rhymes with mean?
What’s a food that rhymes with maghetti?
c. Make up rhymes and have your child fill in the missing word. Here are some examples:
My old gray cat caught a great big _____.
The big yellow duck was driving the ________.
d. Is it a… You start and let your child finish the rhymes.
You: Is it a shirt?
Child: No, it’s dirt!
You: Is it a pear?
Child: No, it’s hair!
e. Say three words to your child. She gives a thumbs up if the words rhyme. If not, it’s thumbs down.
f. Make a rhyming chain. Name a word. Take turns naming a word that rhymes. When you run out of words or an incorrect word is given, the chain is broken. Start a new chain.
Teach rhyming with our nursery rhyme books!
25 Nursery rhyme books and posters
This bundle contains 25 printable nursery rhyme books and posters – in both color and black and white! We love using these little books with new readers. They’re perfect for teaching concepts of print, building phonics and sight word knowledge, and building confidence.
Do you have our little letter books yet?
26 Letter Books of Nursery Rhymes & Songs
Print a little book for every letter of the alphabet! Each book contains six nursery rhymes or songs. The books come in both color and black and white.
Members get more!
WATCH THE MEMBER TRAINING
In this 7-minute training, members will get quick tips for teaching this important foundational skill.