295

5 Ways to Teach Rhyming

Preschooler hugging All About Reading Pre-reading readers

Did you know that rhyming is one of the best predictors of how easily a child will learn to read? That’s because good rhymers are better equipped to notice that rhyming words often have shared letter sequences, such as all in tall, ball, and small, which in turn gives them a considerable head start in learning to read.

Most children enjoy hearing and participating in rhyming activities, and when they are exposed to rhyming, they usually pick it up naturally.

But if your child isn’t good at rhyming yet, don’t worry! There are many things you can do to help. Read on!

Does Your Child Know How to Rhyme?

Use this simple test to find out whether your child knows how to rhyme. If your child needs help in this critical area, read on to discover how to teach your child to recognize and produce rhyme.

click to download a rhyming test

Three Stages of Rhyming Ability

It’s helpful to know that children don’t just start off rhyming. In fact, they generally go through three stages. In the order of easiest to hardest, those stages are:

the 3 stages of rhyming ability chart

Recognizing rhyme is a skill your child must master before he can produce rhyme, so you’ll first want to focus on helping your child recognize rhyme. Here are some activities that can help.

5 Simple Ways to Teach Rhyming

teach rhyming with rhyming picture books

Read rhyming picture books together.

There are hundreds of great rhyming books, and this Rhyming Picture Books Library List is a good place to start. As you read, occasionally point out words that rhyme. (“Oh, goat and boat rhyme! They sound the same at the end. Goat, boat.”)

Teach rhyming with Get Out of the Wagon rhyming game

Play “Get Out of the Wagon” with your child.

“Get Out of the Wagon” is a popular Stage 2 rhyming game. In this downloadable activity, three word cards—like rake, cake, and king—are placed in a wagon. The child determines which word doesn’t rhyme and tells it to “get out of the wagon.”

teach rhyming with nursery rhymes

Share nursery rhymes with your child.

Nursery rhymes are conducive to reciting again and again. After your child knows the nursery rhymes, let him fill in the rhyming words to work on Stage 2. On this downloadable library list, you’ll find some wonderful nursery rhyme collections to enjoy together.

teach rhyming with What's in My Bag? rhyming game

Play “What’s in My Bag?” with your child.

Once your child can successfully recognize rhymes, this activity will help him learn to produce rhymes (a Stage 3 skill). Just fill a bag with several common household items (here are some ideas) and you’re ready to play “What’s in My Bag?”

teach rhyming with Dinner Time rhyming game

Play “Dinner Time” with the whole family.

For more advanced Stage 3 rhyming, download this fun “Dinner Time” game. But make sure to play “Dinner Time” with the whole family. It’s guaranteed to provide lots of giggles for kids and parents alike!


Teaching Rhyming to Preschoolers - All About Reading

The Bottom Line on Teaching Rhyming to Your Child

It may not happen overnight, but with repeated exposure, your child will learn to rhyme. Most importantly, keep your rhyming practice fun and light—it shouldn’t feel like a “lesson” to a young child.

Is there a rhyming activity that your child enjoys? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

_________________________
Photo credit: Rachel Neumann

< Previous Post 

Leave a Comment

Jessica

says:

My five-year-old is thriving with the pre-reading program. She is rhyming all day long around the house.

Kelly

says:

My little girl has a speech delay and after reading about AAR, I’m excited to try out this reading program with her

Kelly

says:

I have just started using AAR level 1 with my son and have noticed a significant learning curve for him in terms of sounding out 3-letter words in 1-2 weeks. I am excited to continue to teach him how to read. I am also interested in teaching my little girl the Pre-reading materials to help her

Anita

says:

Very interested in learning more about this reading program.

Janice Schiltz

says:

I love the suggested rhyming games. I intend to use some of them in my Resource class for 1st-3rd grade.

Marion

says:

My son struggled to succeed in kindergarten, he was diagnosed with partial focal seizures and was on medication for that and severe allergies and he also suffers with asthma and eczema. He was retained in kindergarten because he had problems retaining information and it was and continues to be struggle to get it all to click. I’m trying everything possible to help him succeed but I’m so frustrated and I don’t know where to begin. School is starting again and he realized that he’s not in 1st grade and doesn’t want to be in school because he doesn’t want to be in kindergarten. What do I do, how did I fail as a parent and allow him to be retained in kindergarten? How gain I help his brain to click? what resources can I use? I’m so lost. I hope this helps, I don’t know where to begin. Please help..

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Marion,
First, you did not fail! When a child has health problems such as you described it is understandable that he may need more time for learning. Some medications can have profound effects on learning as well. Even if his health isn’t the issue, it may be that he has learning disabilities or difficulties that need addressing. It isn’t a parent’s fault when a child struggles.

You can request that the school evaluate him. It may be helpful as it will inform you and the school the areas he is weak in and it can also lead to special help for him.

The place to start is to find where his struggles lie and work to build up his foundations in those areas. Take a look at The Top 5 Reading Readiness Skills and see if he needs work in any of them.

My heart goes out to you and your son. Please let me know how I can help you help him more.

Mercy

says:

Thanks for sharing. My son has an auditory processing disorder and struggles with this.

Kristin Evans

says:

Great ideas! Thanks!

Sally Chancellor

says:

I love how this is all broken down so well, thanks!

Leticia

says:

Thank you for this wonderful resource!

Sherri

says:

These are great tips. I didn’t realize how complex learning to rhyme was until trying to teach it to my children. I’m excited to try some of these tips!
Thanks for all the great resources you continually provide!!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You are so welcome, Sherri. So much of early learning is more complex than we realize, which only attests to how amazing young children’s minds are!

Tandy

says:

This is a very useful reading program. It has been very beneficial to our homeschool program. This is our 3rd year to use this program.

Sharon S

says:

We have enjoyed our start with AAR! Looking forward to many more years with this program. My son loves having a puppet to “help” him learn to read. Thank you AAR!

Monee

says:

Amazing resources. We love all of them. Thank you so much for all the tips.

Chantelle Cannon

says:

I had never realised how much there was to rhyming! Thank you

Melissa g

says:

We love playing rhyming games!

Hayley Kristensen

says:

I love this resource!

Emma

says:

Amazing. I am international and really happy to have found the all about range. Will be super handy this schooling year.

Diane - Philippines

says:

Informative blog for stay at home mom’s like me. Thanks for your freebies too.

Sarah

says:

This is a great resource. My daughters preschool teacher had said she needed more practice with rhyming and now we are homeschooling so I definitely need these ideas.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m glad that this post will be so helpful for you and your daughter, Sarah. Let me know how it goes or if you need more help or idea.

Shavaughn

says:

Thank you for all these downloadable resources! I will be sure to use the rhyming test with my 6 yr old soon!

Keri

says:

Can’t wait to work more on this with my little one

Juliana

says:

Great resources, Thankyou for helping us teachers and home educators. I’m currently using all these tools to teach english to my little brother.

Megan

says:

I am thrilled to try this with my youngest – this year is going to be so much fun for us both!

Delialh

says:

We are on lesson 8 in the pre-reader, and my little (5, almost 6) can’t do rhymes at all. None. Should I just keep putting rhymes in front of her (like through reading) and just wait? Will she suddenly “get it” later on? I feel lost.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Delilah,
I’m sorry that your little one is struggling with the rhyming activities. Is she getting frustrated at all? You don’t want her to develop a dislike of reading, so if she is frustrated or resistant, consider backing off the rhyming Pre-reading activities for the time being. The ability to rhyme helps phonological awareness, which in turn helps reading. But the absolute most important precursor for reading is “motivation to read,” so I’d stop the rhyming activities with a child who was very resistant and would concentrate on the other skill areas.

Instead of the Pre-reading rhyming activities, try reading lots of rhyming books to your her. Nursery rhymes, rhyming games, songs, poems…anything that she wouldn’t mind hearing over and over again. Fill her little world with rhyme!

When a young child has a problem with a phonological awareness activity, Marie, the author, tries to turn it into a kinesthetic activity when possible. Let them “feel” what we are asking for. This can work with rhyming too. Clapping songs like Miss Mary Mack and hand motions like Itsy-Bitsy Spider can add kinesthetic activity. Activity engaging kids in a play routine is much more effective. Rhyming songs are especially good because they let kids experience what we mean in a different way.

So, focus on the non-rhyming activities (learning letters, aspects of the Language exploration that don’t require her to have to produce rhyme, etc…) and build up her ear for rhyming through ways that don’t require her to respond right now. You could also read through the Pre-reading activities to get ideas for how you can playfully incorporate rhyming into some games later, in a few months. Have you tried using Ziggy? (If you don’t have Ziggy, you could try a favorite stuffed animal or puppet that you do have. Children seem to respond very well to puppets or animals.) You could also try using Ziggy as a model. Alter some of the dialog so that Ziggy either models a concept (instead of asking your child to answer), or you can answer things instead of your daughter.

My son used to like it if I would give a wrong answer and he could say what the right answer was. You could experiment with that type of approach to see if your daughter responds better. For example, when Ziggy points to a shoulder and says it’s a “holder,” you could say, “No Ziggy, that’s not a holder, it’s a BOULDER! Isn’t that right, dear?” Then she has the option of just saying no, or saying “no, it’s a shoulder!”

Keep in mind three stages of rhyming detailed in this blog post when you do try to work on rhyming again. So, you might evaluate at what point she struggles with rhyming and back up to the easier level until she’s more ready to move on.

I hope this helps! Please let me know if you have additional questions. I’d love to hear how it goes over the next few weeks or so.

Delilah

says:

Thank you so much for the reply. We do use Ziggy. She loooves when I answer things wrong and she can say the right thing!!! But with rhyming she just has no idea what is right or wrong. I do feel better about what to do next (rhyming songs, books, ect), and also to keep her and I both away from things that are frustrating! :-) Thanks!!!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m glad I was helpful, Delilah.

Another thought: Help her by telling her what rhymes and what doesn’t rhyme as much as she needs. Tell her (or let Ziggy tell her) things like, “Look at that hot pot! Hot and pot rhyme. Hot pot. Now you say it, hot pot” Then have her say it too. “But hot pan does not rhyme. Hot pan. No rhyme there.” Don’t worry about her “getting it” in any one day. It’s just something to add to the exposure of rhyming you are doing to help her get is over time.

Also, my kids always loved when I rhymed their names, “Lily, silly, billy, hilly, frilly”. If she has a name that rhymes easily, play with that too. But I also have a son named Hoyt, a family name, and there is nothing that rhymes with Hoyt. For him, we just did nonsense words and he didn’t mind. Some kids are okay with nonsense words but some don’t like them.

Like I said, I am interested in hearing how it goes over the next few weeks.

Nishad Shaikh

says:

Thank u
The more we learn the more easier it becomes to teach.Amazing help for remedial teachers like me

Jennifer

says:

I have a child with dyslexia and she had so many cues that I wasn’t aware of and it was a struggle. Now three kids later I’m recognizing those same cues and with helpful blog posts like these I am better able to help him in a systematic approach that builds development slowly but solidly (just like he needs!). Thank you for your tips and fun activities for little learners.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m so grateful that this blog post and others are helpful for you, Jennifer. I completely understand. I have four dyslexic children and I was able to spot those signs and symptoms much earlier with the younger ones.

You will find our Dyslexia Resources page helpful if you haven’t found it already. Let me know if you have any questions or concerns or need help with anything.

Inspired Mom of Three

says:

Awesome information.

Michelle

says:

My kids really love Ziggy! When Zoggy gets involved the lessons go much smoother and they are excited about the new material. Win-win!!

Melissa Shores

says:

Thank you!!

Meshia

says:

Great activities and I like the format of the lesson plans.

NANCY

says:

I used to dance with my kids when they were little. :)

Angel Hu

says:

I had a 4th grader who was struggling with spelling. We started with level 1 and are now almost done with level 3 and I have noticed a huge improvement. I like knowing that it is comprehensive and that we aren’t “missing” anything crucial.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Angel,
It’s so wonderful to hear that All About Spelling has helped your student so much! Thank you.

Francine Long

says:

I love playing all the rhyming type games with my grandkids, the have a good time too! Happy to learn it can help with their reading skills.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I agree, Francine! I have lots of fun playing rhyming games whenever I am around little ones.

Rebekah F.

says:

This is hugely helpful! Thank so much! My little one has just started learning to read!

Dawn

says:

One of my children had a very hard time even hearing rhymes- I wish I had found this curriculum sooner.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

One of my children struggled with hearing rhyme too, Dawn. Many children pick up rhyming so easily but we have to remember that some need help to learn it.

Robyn

says:

I really like all of the different suggestions to make learning a game for them, especially the “whats in my bag” my daughter would love that! We start homeschool kindergarten this fall so I am on the hunt for engaging activities.

Courtney

says:

Great information

Donald Errol Knight

says:

An important component of phonological knowledge. Some useful tips and activities.

Mira

says:

I really appreciate all these ideas you give.
Thank you!

Christina L

says:

I love this! My four year old is always rhyming words – even makes up words to rhyme::) My sister told me about All about reading I am excited to check it out!

Audria

says:

Love this article! Thanks for sharing!

Katy

says:

If at first your child doesn’t get it, don’t give up! My four year old knew his letters, sounds, everything that would have started us with AAR1, but not rhyming, so I chose to start with pre-reading. And it was frustrating when he wouldn’t get it. He kept confusing it with initial sounds. But now, several months after the concept was first introduced, he’s asking me if words rhyme—and they do!!—and then he’ll come up with even more words hat rhyme with those initial two! And I didn’t push it (which is probably why it took several months), I think he just started paying a little more attention to it while we read books (I would point them out), and then he just started coming up with them. So take heart if your child doesn’t get it right away!

We also played several of the games mentioned above!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you so much for sharing this, Katy. Rhyming seems so easy for us adults but it really is a difficult concept for some little ones. I love that your four-year-old is now initiating it with you, asking if words rhyme and then coming up with even more rhymes! Way to go, both of you!

Leigh Anne Conner

says:

We just started All About Reading and my son is FINALLY learning his letters!

Courtney

says:

We love AAR and have recommended it to so many! My children stay engaged and always beg to do more! Thank you for creating such an awesome program!!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Courtney,
Thank you for recommending All About Reading!

Emily Cook

says:

Great ideas!

Catherine S.

says:

Thank you so much! We have been studying Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot for our upcoming trip to see Cats! This is perfect timing! :)

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

How exciting, Catherine! Are you seeing the new movie or the musical live? I’d love the opportunity to see it live.

Megan Dearth

says:

This is gonna help so much! My daughter has been struggling with her rhyming lately.

Faith

says:

My kids (5 and 3) enjoy the Llama Llama books 🙂 They’re so much fun because they rhyme.

Sandra M.

says:

Thank you so much for this post. I am working with an adult student who has a significant reading disability. Your suggestions, especially on helping her to develop rhyming skills in stages, will be very useful.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m happy to hear this is helpful for you and your student, Sandra. Yes, the stages of rhyming are important regardless of the student’s age. If they can’t hear rhyme, they are not ready to produce it.

Please let me know if there is any way we can help you help your student.

Heather

says:

My first struggled with rhyming, so I look forward to using these resources with my other kids!

Kim

says:

This article came at the perfect time since I have a child just beginning to learn to read. She is struggling more than I expected, but I think some rhyming practice using some of your printables and games will help a lot. Appreciate your resources! Thank you.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You are so welcome, Kim.

You may also find our printables on Fun Ways to Develop Phonological Awareness help too, as rhyming is one of the phonological awareness skills.

Let me know if you need anything.

Lisa

says:

Great Read!

Olymtmom

says:

I didn’t realize there were 3 steps or phases of learning to rhyme. I never did anything “formally” with my son to “teach” rhyming, I didn’t know it was a thing to do. And to be honest, if I tried to teach rhyming or poems or songs at a young age he wouldn’t have been ready to learn it. That being said, I’m a very hands on mom, everything he has learned I have taught him. But it wasn’t formal, lots of reading, playing and singing. My son never attended a preschool or daycare when he was younger, we went to cooperative playschool 2 days a week for 2 hours and lots of storytimes at the library. We just read lots and lots of children’s books that incorporate rhyming in the story; Dr. Suess, ‘Twas The night before Christmas, Mother goose type fairy tales for example and various children’s songs. In his preschool years I didn’t force education on him I just enjoyed being with him and playing, singing and reading to him. We’d count the stairs as we walked up or down in English and Spanish, sang the alphabet while we brushed teeth or washed hands, practice counting up to 10, then 20 and so on until 100 while driving in the car and then progressing to skip counting by tens and fives. Maybe I take it for granted that he did pick up on rhyming words in books but also in our day to day conversations and interactions. He would say “hey that rhymes” and I would agree and then I’d come up with a few other words that rhymed and we would go back and forth like that until we exhausted the alphabet. We did this a lot and still do, It was fun and spontaneous. We played our own rhyming games without me forcing something on him which would have backfired for sure. Obviously, I would point out things in books and while we’re out in the community or on a nature walk so maybe that was my crude way of teaching, but I feel like that is intuitive, kind of like being a nurturing mother to your child, no one has to teach you to be a mother or love your child it just comes naturally. I think when you slow down and take the time to experience everything with your child and see what makes them tick you can find and in turn help them find the connections they need to be their successful self. Young children don’t have the life experiences older people do, they’re seeing and hearing things for the first time and processing everything, I would imagine it can be overwhelming. They all develop new skills at different times and it’s really not fair to compare one child to another or put them in a box they must conform to. I introduced AAR 1 to my 7.5 year old when I thought he was developmentally ready and he has accomplished so much with very little resistance on his part. We’re excited to start AAR level 2 and AAS level 1 this fall.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Such great points and activities! Many children do learn to rhyme very informally as you described, but some need explicit help to be able to learn it. I was personally shocked that, after two kids that learned to rhyme easily at 3 or 4 with no real teaching, my 3rd child was almost 7 and still couldn’t tell me if two words rhymed or not. We had to mindfully focus on it for a long while before he finally got it.

Ana

says:

Muito bom.

Kori Ireland

says:

I have never seen the stages of rhyming explained like this and it makes so much sense. Thank you! I need to be working on this with my two youngest!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re so welcome, Kori!

S Porter

says:

So helpful. I have one that really struggles with separating words into sounds and identifying rhyming words. He also has a hard time reciting the alphabet. We are using the pre-reading course, but I know learning to read is going to be a slow and difficult process for him. I appreciate these tips.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m glad this is helpful for you. I think you will also find our Fun Ways to Develop Phonological Awareness blog post helpful as well, as it covers separating sounds from words and other aspects of phonological awareness.

Let us know if you need more ideas or help. It is hard for some children to master these skills but we may be able to help make it a bit easier.

Laura Buchholz

says:

Thank you so much for all the great tips!

Cassandra Bernard

says:

Wow thank you so much for this post this is excellent information I did not realize the importance of rhyming and we have some work to do thanks again

Radha

says:

Hi..
My kid is 4 yr old and he is just joined in his Junior KG.
I am having a very tough time in teaching him rhymes.I am not sure what exactly happens in school…but when I try to teach him rhymes..he can never momorize the words though you tell him 1000 times..I am not sure what to do with him..I think for a 4 liner rhyme it nearly takes a week time for him to learn while other kids can just make it in one day..
I feel if he has any problem with His memory..it bothers me so much..please suggest..

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Radha,
While some 4-year-olds may find it easy to learn 4 lines of poetry, many of them, maybe even most, need many days of practice and exposure to be able to do it. Since he is able to learn a rhyme in a week, I would not worry. That is a reasonable amount of time for many young children to need to be able to memorize 4 lines of anything. Memorization does not come naturally for many people, but like most skills, it can improve with practice. Be patient with him and practice as much as he needs. But understand that there is not a problem with him needing this much time.

You may find that his ability to memorize poetry improves if you are able to add some actions to it. This blog post is about Multisensory Teaching for Reading and Spelling but the concepts apply to teaching any subject. When you tell him the lines again and again, you are focusing only on auditory (listening) learning. As much as you can, act out the lines together, making the lines not only something that is said but movements that are done as well. Also, draw pictures for them or encourage him to draw his own pictures for each line and look at the pictures each time you tell them to him. That way he is doing movements and thinking of his pictures each time he hears and speaks the lines. These will help use more areas of his brain and that may help him to learn them more easily. At least acting out the lines will make them more fun to practice.

We have a Memory Report that you may find helpful as well. It discusses the many different things that can affect memory and how to teach to encourage better memory.

I hope this helps some, but please let me know if you have further questions.

Britney

says:

Thank you for the helpful tips.

Leanne Minton

says:

Thank you SO VERY much for these resources and ideas. I’ve been working on teaching rhyme for ages to a girl I work with who has Down syndrome and who has been struggling with the concept. I needed some new games and I really appreciated these.
Kindest regards and thanks
Leanne Minton

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You are so welcome, Leanne! Let me know if you need further ideas or help.

Karla

says:

I love these ideas! One concern though…I have found that my students can usually produce one rhyme for a word but they have a more difficult time producing any more. In order for me to consider the skill of rhyme production mastered I would expect them to produce at least three or four other words that rhyme.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Karla,
You don’t mention your students’ age. Producing multiple rhymes for a single word can be hard to understand for very young children. From a phonological awareness standpoint, being able to produce one rhyme for a word is great and I wouldn’t worry about producing multiple rhymes too much.

To work on it, however, just play games with it in a light-hearted way. Pick something in the room that is very easy to rhyme, like chair. Then ask for a rhyme. Ask another student for a different rhyme (if you have more than one student at a time). Provide an additional rhyme of your own. See how far you can keep it going. Chair-hair-bear-care-zare-pair… (Nonsense words are fine!). When your students can’t come up with any more, count how many rhymes they came up with (yes, the group total including the ones you provided) and write it down. The next time you play, try to beat the number. “Last time we played this, we had 3 rhymes. This time, let’s try to beat 3. Let’s get 4 or more. Okay, are you ready? Let’s rhyme ‘boy’!” (or whatever word you think of next).

With occasional enthusiastic playing of this game, I think you will find your students improving in the number of rhymes they can think of for a word. However, as I mentioned, I wouldn’t worry about it too much and you can go on to the next thing while still playing with multiple rhymes.

Let me know how it goes or if you have further questions.

Melissa Deems

says:

I teach first grade and my students love the song “A Hunting We Will Go”. We wrote down some rhymes and then changed some words to make new verses. Then my students worked with a partner and wrote their own verses. They had a great time performing them for the class!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

What a great activity, Melissa! I’m sure it would be lots of fun while working on producing rhyme. Thank you for sharing it.

Julie

says:

My son is in kindergarten and is ASD. He hears the initial sound but not the middle or ending sounds of words. Even trying to teach him what those terms mean is difficult. I’m not sure how else to explain it to him. Do you have any suggestions?? We are doing Pre-Reading AAR and he knows all the letter sounds and can recognize the letters, but is hung up on rhyming. Do I move on to the next lesson? Or sit tight on the current lesson since each lesson we cannot get passed the rhyming exercises.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Julie,
I’m sorry your son is struggling with rhyming. It can be a tricky skill for some kids to master!

Feel free to move forward with learning the letters, but you do need to work on rhyming so that he can master this foundational skill. Children who struggle with rhyming and other phonological awareness tend to struggle greatly with being able to sound out words. Don’t move forward with the Language Exploration portion of Lessons until he masters rhyming, even if he ends up doing the letter learning portion of all the Lessons first. Just use two bookmarks to keep your place for each portion.

Start with reading lots of books that contain rhyme. I recommend reading several books a day and really emphasizing the rhyming words by making the rhyming words a bit louder than the others. Here is a blog post round-up of reviews of rhyming picture books. Reread the books he enjoys a few days in a row and see if he can start to anticipate the rhyming words. Every day, spend time doing nursery rhymes, rhyming games, songs, poems, anything that he wouldn’t mind hearing over and over again.

When a young child has a problem with a phonological awareness activity (like rhyming or sentence length), Marie tries to turn it into a kinesthetic activity whenever possible. Let them “feel” what we are asking for. This can work with rhyming too. Clapping games like “Miss Mary Mack” add a kinesthetic activity that stresses the rhyme and makes it easier to understand. Rhyming songs and games are very good because they let kids experience what we mean in a different way.

Keep in mind the stages of rhyming as described in this blog post.

Hearing rhyme

This is what we do in Lesson 1 with Ziggy Body Parts and Lesson 2 with the Rhyming Cards.

Here’s another way to help your son hear rhyme:

“Listen to this sentence: There’s a goat in my boat. Now you say it.” Child repeats the sentence.

“Boat and goat rhyme. They have the same sound at the end: oat. Say these words with me: boat, goat.”

“I’ll say another sentence, and you’ll repeat the sentence and say the two words that rhyme. ‘There’s a fox in the box.” Child repeats the sentence, then identifies the words ‘fox‘ and ‘box‘ as rhyming.

With some kids, this activity may need to be repeated every day for two weeks straight before they catch on. Keep practice very short but frequent until the child catches on.

Recognizing rhyme.

This is what we do in Lesson 3, 4, 6 with the Get Out of the Wagon game, Lesson 5 with Rhyming Concentration, Lesson 7 with Stand Up or Sit Down. (Don’t start doing this until your is able to hear rhyme.)

Game ideas:

Matching games: Use the Pre-reading rhyming cards. Lay out three picture cards, two of which rhyme and one that does not. Say the words aloud with your learner. Have him identify the picture card that does not rhyme. Or, have him find the pair that does rhyme. After this is easy, lay out three pairs of rhyming cards and ask them to match up the rhymes.

You can play a concentration–like the matching game but with the cards face down, so the student has to remember where the rhyming word is.

Say two words and have your student decide if they sound alike at the end. For example:

mad – sad “YES”

bear – chair “YES”

ball – wet “NO”

Producing rhyme.

This is what we do in Lesson 8 with Forgetful Zebra, Lesson 9 with What’s in My Bag, Lesson 10 with Read a Book with Ziggy, and Lesson 11 with Name the Animals. Don’t attempt these until he hears and recognizes rhymes with some ease.

Here the child produces a rhyme to fit a sentence, such as:

Ziggy says (emphasizing the word to rhyme), “Look at the purple bunny. Doesn’t he look ______?” (funny)

or Ziggy asks for help since he keeps saying the wrong word and then says sentences like, “Let’s read a look together.” (“No, a book!”)

Or, take common objects (pen, spoon, sock, book) and have the child pick one up and try to rhyme, using a real or a made-up word, as long as it rhymes. He picks up the sock and says, “bock”.

I hope this helps. Focus heavily on rhyming for a couple of weeks, keeping it fun but workin at it consistently, and then let me know how it is going. Let me know if you have any questions.

Christiane

says:

Thank you for this wonderful teaching. I would like to know the criterias I can use to demonstrate listening to my child. Thanks

Suzanne Ingram

says:

OMG Thank you for teaching this veteran second-grade teacher how to teach rhyming. By second grade students are fluent with rhyming and I never gave it any thought. Now I’m working with kindergarten and I am lost. I have asked colleagues and get the same ideas over and over but they don’t work I thought I was just missing something. Yep! but so are they. These ideas will be put straight to use Monday morning. Thank you!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Suzanne. Rhyming can be difficult for some students to grasp, but they can learn! Let us know how it goes or if you need further help.

Sharon

says:

My son just turned 6 and has started to read at probably the higher end of his class ability. However, I was volunteering at reading groups last week and I noticed my son had no idea how to rhyme! I’m now panicking because everyone else in his group came up with words easily. We read books and books every day since he was a newborn and read rhyming books all the time, I am surprised he hasn’t picked it up on his own, I just presumed he could rhyme! I am going to try these activities but is there any reasoning to how he could have missed all of this? We play games, talk, read, I thought he would have picked it up.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Sharon,
It sounds like you did everything right! Many children will master rhyming through lots of exposure to language and books while toddlers and preschoolers. However, some children just don’t intuitively pick up rhyming; they need to be explicitly taught. The games and activities in this blog post can help you help your child get rhyming. In addition, sing lots of songs, especially ones with hand movements that go along, and stress the rhyming words. “Twinkle, twinkle little STAR. How I wonder what you ARE.”

Let me know how it goes. I suspect his abilities to detect and produce rhyme will improve quickly!

Carol

says:

I realize rhyming activity is so important. I have used your example for my tutoring, very helpful.

Ruth

says:

I’ve described rhyming as words that sound the similar to my daughter, and she understands how to rhyme generally. But the other day, I was reading a book with a character named Tracker and then a book with tractor, and she said, “Oh, they rhyme.” What is a better way to describe words that rhyme? I did explain that rhyming is words that sound the same at the end of the word, not the beginning. Is it that simple?

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Ruth,
Your daughter has cleverly caught onto to “near rhyme”, also called “slant rhyme”, “half rhyme”, or “imperfect rhyme”. Poets use near rhyme frequently! Near rhymes are just one sound away from being perfect rhymes, like tracker and tractor or eye and symmetry (from William Blake’s poem “The Tyger”).

Very technically, a perfect rhyme is when two words are identical in sound beginning with the stressed syllable (aka accented syllable) of each word and remain identical sound for every syllable after that stressed syllable. This is why abreast and infest rhyme and father and other do not. The last syllables of abreast and infest are stressed, so they are the only part that have to have the same sounds in order to rhyme. However, father and other both have their first syllables stressed and since their first syllables are not identical in sound they do not rhyme, even though their second syllables are identical.

However, talking about stressed syllables with young children is probably not best. It is a difficult concept to grasp even in upper elementary. Rather, your definition that rhymes have to sound the same at the end of the word works quite well for little ones. You may want to talk to her about near rhymes as well, however, as she is likely to find more. They are fairly common in song lyrics. Praise her for hearing it even when she didn’t know what it was!

Eli’s Mom

says:

I did this with my son and I couldn’t believe how fast he caught on. If rhyming is an indicator of how well he will read and spell, we’re looking good so far!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

It’s great your son caught on to rhyming so quickly! Way to go!

Gaby

says:

These look like fun activities to teach rhyming. I’m going to try the wagon activity here in the next couple days. Thank you for making them available!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Gaby. The wagon activity was a favorite in my home!

Nikadomi

says:

Thank you very much for making the materials available. They’re great!

Karla

says:

I have noticed recently my kindergartener has trouble creating his own rhyming words. Neeed the remindern of how much it helps the reading process.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Karla,
Yes, the ability to rhyme does help with learning to read. If you work with your kindergartner for a while and find isn’t improving with his rhyming skills, please let us know so that we can help you help him have success with this.

Sarah

says:

I never thought to assess my four year old daughter’s rhyming ability, but she passed with flying colors! Thanks for the two tests.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You are welcome for the assessments, Sarah.

Many young ones do pick up on rhyming and other phonological awareness skills easily and naturally, but occasionally a child will need to be explicitly taught them. Assessing your child when they are still little allows you to build up these foundational skills, if necessary, before it becomes a problem.

It’s great to hear that your daughter is strong in rhyming!

Katie

says:

Looking forward to using this program with my soon to be kindergartener in the fall.

latha raman

says:

simple awesome method of teaching rhyming words to kindergarten kids thanku you so much its really working out for my students looking forward for many more of this kind

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

We are happy to hear that this has been helpful for your student!

Sammi

says:

My son had been loving this program!!! And loves the rhyming games!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Sammi,
Thank you for letting us know that your son is loving the rhyming games!

Julie

says:

Working on rhyming w my preschooler :)

DG

says:

This is so helpful!

Monica

says:

My daughter is having trouble rhyming words in pre-k. I am so glad I came across your page! Your blog has every tool from start to finish to help me work with my daughter on rhyming! Thank you!!!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You are welcome, Monica. Some children take a lot of exposure to rhyme to be able to recognize it and then a lot of recognizing it to be able to produce it. If your daughter keeps having trouble with rhyming, keep providing her opportunities to hear rhyming daily. Rhyming songs with hand movements and actions are especially effective with little ones, as the movements often occur with the rhymes and emphasize them. “Miss Mary Mack” comes to mind.

Court

says:

interesting, will continue to rhyme with my two year old and check out some of these games!

Tanya

says:

I am very interested in using these suggestions with my son.

Melanie

says:

I love to sing rhyming songs with the grandkids, especially if we are outside. If we are on the swing set I sing the nursery rhyme Sing A Song of Sixpence, if we are walking up the steps to the deck we say One, Two, Buckle My Shoe, etc…….if they don’t hear the rhymes they will have a more difficult time recognizing them and producing them. Of course the most fun is reading to and with them!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Melanie,
Yes! Rhyming songs and games are especially great for helping small children with learning to rhyme as they typically have very predictable rhythms and often have accompanying hand movements that add a kinesthetic aspect to the learning. Clapping along with “Miss Mary Mack (Mack, Mack)” or having the spider climb up the water spout helps stress the rhyme for little ones.

Both of my children struggled with rhyming. We’re there with one, and still working with the other. Thanks!

Alicia

says:

Great ideas!

Tab

says:

Excited to try the wagon game!

Dee Blum

says:

Very informative!

Karen Lewis

says:

Thanks so much for making these ideas available for free! As a veteran home-school mom, I often forget what we’ve done in the past, and am often not using the same curriculum as I used to. These little tips help to remind me about things I have forgotten through the years. Sometimes I rely to much on my experience and less on proven methods. Thanks again!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Karen,
You are welcome, but please do not discount your personal experience! There is a lot to be learned by homeschooling for many years. As a veteran homeschool mom myself, I think the best approach is a balanced approached between personal experience and continuing teacher learning or relearning.

Jessica

says:

Can’t wait to try some of these ideas with my daughters!

Michelle

says:

We maybe skipped this for all the nonfiction.

Elya

says:

I didn’t know this. I will be working extra hard on this with my 4 year old.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Elya,
It’s important to work on rhyming but be sure to make it fun too!

Jaimy

says:

I would love this, my youngest struggles with reading I think this would be so good for him

Heather Smith

says:

Great ideas! Going to try these with my youngest child.

Amy Mac

says:

Thank you. Perfect timing. I need this for my last 5 year old and Kindergartener. (6th boy).

I didn’t know that, but my kids have always enjoyed rhyming just the same!

Candace Doriety

says:

Ahh! Makes perfect sense. I’ve written poems (that rhyme) since I was little and the kids prefer my reading over their daddy’s. ;-)

Nat

says:

We have blocks that have pictures that rhyme together—-she likes that!

Sandra

says:

Excellent! I remember my oldest child having difficulty with this – she would supply a word that started with the same phoneme as the first word! Eventually, she mastered rhyming and is an avid reader to this day. I currently teach a seventh-grader who has LD and he has difficulty recognizing the pattern in spelling words. I’m going to use these ideas with him – I think he’ll enjoy it and also pick up the patterns more easily. Thank you!

One more thing. I’ve seen my current student progress from a young man who feared writing (he said in May, “I have trouble spelling even the simplest of words!) to a much more confident writer who writes confidently, avoids reversals of “b” and “d” 98% of the time. He uses the skills he’s been taught to figure out the spelling of words that are new to him. His skills have also carried over into reading – we just finished up a fourth-grade basal and are into the fifth-grade reader.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Sandra,
What amazing improvement for your student! I especially love that he is becoming more confident. Congratulations to both of you on his progress, and thank you for sharing it with us.

Carlie

says:

I lovethis! Truly an answer to prayer on where to start with teaching reading!

Olivia

says:

Knowing the importance of this skill inspires me to make more use of children’s poetry books we already own!

Mary

says:

Love these activities! Just learned about the importance of this from my son’s speech pathologist.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Mary,
What great timing for you to have these activities right after your speech pathologist spoke of rhyming! Have fun with these.

Tonia

says:

Great tips

Pam

says:

Thank-you for sharing great ideas on your site. We will enjoy playing “What’s in my Bag” We like to toss a ball back and forth sometimes when learning something, it is great for when you just got to move. Rhyming would be a great addition. Thanks!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Pam,
Tossing a ball while learning is great! We have lots of other kinesthetic ideas too.

Rebeca

says:

I love these tips. Thanks so much! I’m going to apply them with my first grader!

Jenn A

says:

Fun ideas! Thanks!

Christy

says:

Thank you for sharing very helpful

Jackquelynne

says:

I appreciate all of the information and tips provided on the AALP website. It really helps us new homeschoolers navigate the terrifying waters of reading instruction! Thank you for all you provide!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You are welcome, Jackquelynne! We are happy to help in these ways.

Magela

says:

I will be implementing some of these ideas with my daughter. Thank you.

Angela

says:

I love all these tips! Thank you!

Marie-Paule Hill

says:

I think your site is wonderful and informative. I love all the free activities and tips that you give! I can’t wait for the next post!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Marie-Paule,
We will be taking a break for the holidays, but we have some wonderful new content planned for after the New Year!

Cathy Pell

says:

My son is excelling at this program when public school left him behind.

Veronica

says:

Love the activities and customer service!

We love the games you provide! Thank you!

Leanna

says:

Thank you for sharing the breakdown of the learning stages of rhyming. I now see that my daughter is only at stage 2. I am definitely going to play the games mentioned here to help her out.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Leanna,
We’re happy to help with this. Have fun moving into stage 3 of rhyming!

Deanna

says:

Great tips. I never connected this ability and its stages to reading. This is reassuring insight for me as I have a slow reader, but I can see how he is going through these stages and growing in his reading. We listen to a lot of music and I think that has influenced his rhyming ability more so. Also, our curriculum has a daily poetry reading which my be helping, too.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Deanna,
Yes, the poetry reading will definitely help. I find it especially effective to read aloud each poem two or three times. I read through it the first time to give us the overall sound and feel of it. Then we discuss aspects of it, like the rhyme pattern, the use of alliteration, metaphor, or other things. Then I read it again so they can pay special attention to what we just discussed. You could do something similar with the rhymes to help your child start to hear them better.

Deena

says:

Thank you for all the info. I never really thought of rhyming being so important in this way. I have a couple who struggle with this and i plan to try some of your ideas

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Deena,
Rhyming is an important aspect of phonological awareness, which is the ability to hear and manipulate the sounds of language. Since English is primarily a phonetic language, these skills are very important for reading success.

Jerolyn Hardy

says:

Excellent article! We home educated our four older children who are all grown now. Some of my children took to rhyming like a duck does to water and some struggled with it. When they were young, we would be in our van running errands, going to various lessons, and I would play rhyming games with them as we drove around! It was so much fun for them. I fear children now drive around with their parents and watch dvds and scroll the internet. Their ability to rhyme was indicative of their natural success with reading. I am now home-educating our caboose! I have heard such wonderful things about AAR and I would love to use level 1 to teach my budding reader! I have used many phonics programs since 1994.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Jerolyn,
I did similar sorts of rhyming games while driving and grocery shopping with my kids! I have such fond memories. Now they are much older, and we use driving time to discuss much more advanced things like current events, history, and science.

Anna

says:

These are excellent ideas! I appreciate how you have broken it down into stages and added activities for each.

Brenda

says:

I am so excited to work on these ideas with my 3 year old!

Kristen

says:

Thank you for all your wonderful ideas!

Heather

says:

Thank you for these great resources! I am excited for the library list and game.

Megan

says:

What great ideas! Thank you so much for the free activities. They will be the perfect addition to our work this week.

Kathy

says:

Wish I had information earlier. One of my children couldn’t rhyme easily at all, and she really struggled learning to read.

Iisha B

says:

This was very informative.

Rebecca Bledsoe

says:

This is so great and a big help! Thank you you!

Stephanie

says:

Thank you so much for this article! Until we started All About Reading Pre-reading, I didn’t realize that my son struggled with rhyming. I didn’t even assess it because I assumed that everyone just “got it.”

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I had a similar experience with my third child, Stephanie. My older two kids got rhyming easily, so it shocked me when my third was 5 and still struggling with it. However, with lots of work, he did learn to rhyme.

I am excited to include rhyming in my curriculum of teaching my 3-year old granddaughter.

Rebecca

says:

I’ve actually had this confirmed with my four year old in the last few weeks.

Amanda

says:

Thanks for the great ideas. My son struggles a little with rhyming words.

Sara

says:

Very helpful post! Can’t wait to do the activities with my kids!

Tiffany

says:

Good reminder! Thanks for the extra games/ideas!

Charlene

says:

Thanks for the great ideas.

Marisa

says:

Loved this post! Adding some rhyme time into our plans for tomorrow.

Tammie P.

says:

I’m new to doing this with my almost 5 year old. I have soooo much to learn and it can be very intimidating

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Tammie,
We don’t want you to be intimidated! No, we want to help homeschool parents feel encouraged and supported. Is there a way we can help you to feel more confident as you begin teaching your child?

Deb

says:

Thanks for the great ideas and downloads

Gerald Anawak

says:

Never really though of rhyming for learning, I am just learning now about learning, this is a great learning environment website, I am happy I stumbled upon this site, thank you very much

Amery

says:

Good ideas!

Averie

says:

My 7 year old son still thinks that a word rhymes if it ends with the same letter. But he seems to get the basic idea! Thank you for this article, good info. I think I’ll have to work on this a bit with my son :)

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Averie,
Rhyming can be very difficult for some children. Spending time daily hearing rhyme and working on rhyme can help. Please let us know how it goes or if you need further help.

Van-Khanh

says:

Great games. I like them.

LA

says:

I love your blogs! I have been reading rhyming books to my daughter since birth. She’s 3 now and has been rhyming for about 6-9 months already. I do think encouraging rhyming is one of the best ways to get a child to learn how to read!

Brittani S.

says:

Great suggestions!

Chelsea Green

says:

Fun ideas

Katie S

says:

Interesting to hear about the three stages of learning to rhyme. Thanks for the play and learn ideas!

Holly

says:

So cool! Can’t wait to try it with my two youngest!!

Christine

says:

My son is recognizing rhymes. He will come up and tell me that something rhymes with something else. It’s so cool to watch them learn and grow. He seems to show off his skills when it’s not ‘school time’.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Christine,
Isn’t it wonderful when what was taught during school comes up elsewhere with enthusiasm? It’s one of the best parts of teaching for me.

Jess

says:

We are on lesson 6 now of pre-reading. My son loves the rhyming memory game with the yellow cards and has it mastered, but later today he got so excited because he was playing upstairs and came down to tell me that “five and nine, they rhyme!” He has a speech disorder so it may take him a little longer to get it, but hopefully it will come.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

He isn’t far wrong, Jess. When het gets to studying poetry in depth, probably high school, he will learn about “near rhyme”. Five and nine are near rhymes.

Alisa

says:

I love the book suggestions. My daughter and I have so much fun checking out some of these suggestions from the library. Thank you!

Lynne

says:

Helpful information, thank you!

Jean

says:

Great info!!

Js

says:

My kids love fun games that involve rhyming. It really makes learning fun!

Joy Lockwood

says:

Thanks for sharing! This is great info!

Stephanie

says:

I was unaware of the importance of rhyming. It makes sense and glad information like this is provided freely to help my son. He is doing very well on the program. He looks forward to reading now. He used to hate it until we started this curriculum. He sees his progress and no longer feels defeated. Thank you!!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Stephanie,
We are so excited to hear that your son is not only making progress but seeing his own progress! That is very important for confidence and confident learners have less struggle.

Renee

says:

Rhyming is something I never thought was that important and kind of ignored it for the most part. Wow! I hope I will see a change in my reluctant reader after I begin teaching rhyming!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Renee,
Yes, rhyming and other phonological awareness skills like being about to identify the first or last sound in words are very important reading readiness skills, but they are often overlooked. Everyone knows students need to know the alphabet, but being able to hear and manipulative the sounds of language is just as important.

Emily

says:

We’ve been doing some of these activities already, and some that I have yet to download. My daughter enjoys the ones we have!

HDaniel

says:

I can not wait to try all of these suggestions. My kids always think its the first sound the word makes no matter how many rhyming books I read and gentle corrections I give. Hopefully these will work.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Rhyming doesn’t come naturally for many children and they need exposure again and again and again before they can get it. These activities can help provide some other ways to work with rhyme, but don’t be discouraged if they don’t help the first time you play them.

Make a focus to expose your children to rhyming language every day. Read lots of rhyming books, read or sing nursery rhymes, play rhyming games, sing songs, read and recite poems. Basically, spend 5 or 10 minutes daily with hearing rhyme.

When a child has a problem with a phonological awareness activity like rhyming, Marie tries to turn it into a kinesthetic activity as much possible. Our “Get Out of the Wagon” game is one way to do this. However, clapping games like Miss Mary Mack and children’s songs with hand movements like Itsy Bitsy Spider are wonderful kinesthetic activities for rhyming.

Another idea to help a child with rhyming is to give a wrong answer and allow the child to correct you. Page 10 of our “In the Kitchen with the Zigzag Zebra” ebook found in our Fun Ways to Develop Phonological Awareness blog post has an example of this. However, you can make it easier to help your kids have more success by actually touching or pointing to the thing you say wrong. Touch your head and say, “This is my lead. Right? Is this my lead?” Then your child can correct you say, “No, Mom, that’s your head!” Then you can make a little rhyme, “This is not my lead; it is my head! Lead and head rhyme! Lead, head. Lead, -ead, -ead, head.” And it’s all done as a silly little game that you can play with no preparation anywhere, even standing in line at the store.

Work with both hearing and recognizing rhyme daily for a few weeks and see if your kids improve in their abilities to recognize it. Let us know how it goes.

Donna Mauney

says:

Didn’t realize there are 3 stages of learning rhymes! Very helpful info! Thanks!

Eva

says:

I am half way through level one reading and I must say I am very impressed with the program. I have been homeschooling for 24 years and have used several programs. However, when my last two children (twins) were struggling no matter what I tried I was at a loss. My friend recommended All About Reading for children who have reading difficulties. It is just the right curriculum. It is easy to follow, lots of practice, no pressure to complete a lesson each day, the child’s mastery of the concept sets the pace for teaching each lesson, and the stories keep the children’s interest. We are also using All About Spelling and we love it also. The spelling program is great for children who have dysgraphia. They can master the words with the tiles before being asked to use pencil and paper.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you, Eva! We really appreciate feedback from homeschool veterans like you.

Beccam

says:

This is one of those things you read and then feel like you are doing something right. My son and I make up rhymes all of the time. He loves it.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Beccam,
Rhyming is such a fun game to play with your children. When my children were little time in the car was game time with rhyming, counting, finding the ABCs in order on signs, and so on. It was always fun but it was great learning too!

Tawnya

says:

Thank you for all of these great activities. Definitely keeps learning fun!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You are welcome, Tawnya. We hope you and your student has a lot of fun with these activities!

Shannon

says:

I want to try this program

Hilary

says:

My little kids love rhyming! So many fun and simple ways to get rhyming into our daily lives!

Pilar

says:

It’s a good experience to teach the students different rhyming words.. Learn is fun…

Alison

says:

I appreciate the breakdown into 3 steps- makes it so easy to understand and apply. I used AAR with 2 of my kids and loved it. I will now be intentional about teaching rhyming to my 3 year old!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Alison,
I’m glad to hear that our three steps will make teaching rhyming to your 3-year-old easier!

kaylani

says:

i tried a few and the child was laughing and having fun.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Kaylani,
Thank you for letting us know your child found a few of these so fun!

Amthul

says:

Very motivating for kids. Can you suggest few tips on how to make lesson plans for these kids with reading and spelling.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Amthul,
I’m not sure what you are asking for. Our All About Reading and All About Spelling programs have lessons already planned out. If you are asking how to plan ahead how much you will cover each day, we recommend setting a timer and working for twenty minutes, stopping when the timer goes off and placing a bookmark in the Teacher’s Manual. This allows children to progress at just the right pace for their own unique needs.

Jennifer M.

says:

We love Ziggy! We just finished Pre-K with our oldest and looking forward to getting him out again with our almost 4 year old.

Joyce

says:

Great idea on body parts—very motivating for kids.

Wendy

says:

great ideas. I like off the wagon

April Kohl

says:

This is great. I didn’t realize there were steps. I am going to download these activities and play them in “Gramma School” Thank you!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

April,
“Gramma School” sound like it would be fun!

Pushpa

says:

Really it’s a wonderful n easiest way to provide knowledge to the kids.My 3.5yrs daughter takes more interest in the activity “what’s in my bag”…..thanx for your efforts done for all the kids to make their studies so simple n enjoyable….

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You are welcome! Have fun playing and learning with your daughter.

Katrina

says:

LOVE this!! My 3-year-old finds rhyming hilarious and is constantly making up his own rhymes! I think I just might have to get him this program!!

Amber

says:

I recommend it! I have looked at a bunch of materials and none are as easy to teach from nor as richly helpful to your child’s progression as this program (for reading and spelling). Good luck!

Marshall Bullock

says:

Just discovered your blog today, and I must say I am impressed. After teaching preschool for 25 years, I was looking for some fresh, new ideas, and you have so many! My printer is running now with your things, and I’ve saved many of your blog posts. Thank you for your efforts, and for providing them free. I have a small in-home preschool and saving on cost is necessary!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Marshall,
You are welcome. We are glad to be able to help like this.

Jennifer

says:

My 3 1/2 year-old daughter absolutely adores Ziggy and the wagon game. She asks for them constantly! THANK YOU!!!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Jennifer. :D

Alayna

says:

My children both love rhyming books and songs, but haven’t begun to rhyme on their own yet. I will try some of your games and ideas and see if we can’t develop this skill!

Erin Schwartz

says:

In supporting children with a hearing loss, rhyming is very difficult. There are times when I cringe when spelling lists are all rhyming words. Your blog was a helpful perspective as to why rhyming is a skill. While not an especially easy task, it can be taught. While the thrill of listening to rhymes might be tricky, when it is paired with its visual rhyme (cat, bat, mat), it isn’t as overwhelming. Thank you for the reminder as to why we rhyme.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Erin,
I’m glad you found this blog post informative.

AbbyGale

says:

Love the correlation with rhyming and poetry. I feel so strongly about rhyming and learning early to appreciate the musical nature of poetic composition. These are such great activities which I plan to use over and over. Thank you so much for these tips.

Michelle

says:

My preschooler is actually better at rhyming than my kindergartener. Any tips to help her or will these work well with her too?

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Michelle,
I know this post is titled “Teaching Rhyming to Preschoolers”, but the tips and activities outlined in it would apply to a wide range of ages. I used similar techniques with my son when he was 6 and 7 and still struggling with rhyming. The activities in this post come from All About Reading Pre-reading Level, which I have used with Kindergarten aged children twice now.

So, yes, these will work well with your Kindergartner too.

Kara

says:

This was so helpful–really inspired me to do more rhyming reading/activities with my preschooler. Thank you!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Kara,
You are welcome. Have lots of fun with it too!

Renae B.

says:

I am always looking for additional hands-on ideas for preschool. I appreciate the fun printable activities from the program.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Renae,
Glad to help you make it fun!

Karrie

says:

Love it!

Kristin

says:

Thank you! This was a good reminder, as my older kids get older sometimes the younger games get moved aside and rhyming games get forgotten.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Kristin,
I experienced this too, especially right around the time my older two started into high school. I found setting aside a time just for younger activities every day was necessary to get it in, and give the youngers the attention they needed.

Deana

says:

We love to play “Rhyming I Spy.” It is a great game for when you are waiting, like at the doctor’s office. I say “I spy something that rhymes with bear.” And they have to find the chair. So fun.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Deana,
Great game idea! It’s always great to have an activity or two at the ready for when you have to do some boring waiting, and this one lets them work on an important skill at the same time. Thanks for sharing.

Deborah

says:

I think the first song my kids knew by heart was 5 Little Monkeys! We read tons of Dr Suess, and other rhyming books from birth also.

joanne altom

says:

rhyming is fun for the little ones!

Melissa Ford

says:

I downloaded the rhyming wagon game and have been playing it with my struggling reader this past week. My four year old loves it and colored some of the pictures for us. The large and easy to recognize pictures make my struggling reader feel confident and happy to join in the fun!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Melissa,
It’s great to hear that this activity has been so good for your struggling reader!

Anne

says:

I loved this post and it was so helpful to me.
For some reason I always associated rhyming with poetry and as I don´t like classical poetry very much I never put much emphasis on rhyming. But after reading this article I will for sure ;).
We leave abroad, speak 2 languages at home and all together our kids grow up with 4 languages.
Next summer we will have to start with homeschooling so this summer while being State site I had to decide on a curriculum to take back with us. Not an easy task, considering our uncommon situation.
I as a not native speaker will have to teach a native speaker growing up with 4 languages, help ;).
Well I feel God led me to AAR and AAS and I am so excited.
I also love all the Freebies and helpful Blogg Posts.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Anne,
We have had great reports from parents whose first language is not English using AAR and AAS.

Rhyming is a lot more than classical poetry. Here is a blog post about books that explore fun, non-traditional poetry.

However, you might consider rethinking some classical poetry. Forget analyzing it to death (which is pretty much the only way most schools do poetry) and just read some once a week for a while. There are some great anthologies out there to help you explore poetry with your kids. Even my engineering minded students found at least one or two classic poets that they enjoyed, and there are plenty of more modern poets that are wonderful. Lord Byron, Longfellow, Emily Dickinson, and Banjo Patterson are all favorites here. Classic Poetry by Michael Rosen (Editor) is a great book to start with.

Kim Starr

says:

Ziggy is great! I tried it out today with Kindergarten students who are learning to rhyme. We got dramatic when we responded to Ziggy’s incorrect names for body parts, such as: tin for chin, lace for face and deck for neck. Fun. Funny. Fabulous. Thank you very much!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Kim,
You are welcome. :D Ziggy is almost always a huge hit!

Dawn Brown

says:

We love All About Spelling & are looking forward to using All About Reading as well! :) Great products!

Rachel

says:

I love rhyming! Although I’m not sure my five year old loves it. Some days it seems like she totally gets it, others I’m not so sure. ;-) She loves making up nonsense rhymes though.

kate

says:

this is so helpful!

Anna

says:

Not only could my son not produce a rhyme, he became angry when I would read a rhyming book to him, like it hurt him. He was the only kid I know who hated Dr. Seuss. We started homeschooling last year, and my sister started a game with him, a ‘nursery rhyme challenge’ or nursery rhyme battles. She lives far away, so they would write letters, or talk on the phone. She commented last week after seeing him that he can remember the nursery rhymes, and a year ago he could not. He just turned 10.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Anna,
I haven’t heard of a child become angry when listening to rhyming books, but I do know some dislike them a lot. Your sister did a wonderful thing with your son.

Thank you for sharing his struggles.

Pyra

says:

Similarly, my son strongly disliked rhymes and rhyming books. He never enjoyed Dr. Seuss and was constantly annoyed at books that rhymed. We did many rhyming activities such as singing Miss Mary Mack. He would participate, but he enjoyed the story line and the movement of the songs instead of the rhyming. He is also 10.

We would go through the alphabet, subbing different consonants at the beginning to create words that ended with –ack, –ing, or something similar. It was OK for the words to be nonsense words as long as they rhymed. Later, we would go back through and determine which words were real and which were nonsense. This was helpful when he had poetry assignments where rhyming couplets were required.

Angela

says:

Thank you for the activity. Printing it now and look forward to seeing more All About Spelling products.

WL

says:

Without rhyming they don’t see the connection of sounds to letter patterns.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Yes, and rhyming is only the beginning of phonological awareness skills needed to be able to manipulate sounds well for reading.

Mary

says:

I absolutely love your downloads! I’m a private reading tutor and have found
them useful, very practical. Your website is user-friendly as well. Thanks so much!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Mary, you are welcome!

Amye

says:

I have just started homeschooling my daughter (5) who is quite dyslexic. We are using the All About Learning pre-reading program- we ordered the whole kit with puppet and all. We are a little discouraged and frustrated because she absolutely cannot hear a rhyme. We’ve been doing each rhyming activity listed in the book but it’s usually ends in frustration. Should we continue to try or skip these parts and try again later or persevere through the torture of not getting it?!

We love the curriculum!

Thanks.

Sarah

says:

My first dyslexic child always loved rhymes, but the next one can’t get it. We plowed through the pre-reading level, anyway. At six and a half we just recently began level 1. He still struggles with rhyme, but as he learns to read words he is beginning to see how some word endings look and sound the same. He is getting a visual of rhyming words, which seems to help him connect the sounds. Previously, when asked to find words that rhyme, he would pick words that begin with the same sound instead. He has a speech delay and would leave off ending sounds in the early years. His hearing tests fine, so it must be a processing issue. I don’t know whether your child’s issue is the same, but I hope this helps. I was very discouraged, but we are finally making progress. These precious ones of ours don’t all learn the same way or in the same time frame, but they’ll get there. Keep pressing on, mama. You are not alone.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Sarah,
Thank you for sharing your experiences. I just want to add that what you described sounds a lot like Auditory Processing Disorder.

Debbie

says:

Oh my, sounds familiar! My 2.5 year old was leaving off the end of EVERY word too, or should I say only pronounces the beginning of every word – ballon, bunny, blue, baby – all were “BU” – for ever. I’m sure he’s dyslexic, as my 12 year old is – who is working on AAR4 & AAS3…. last year he did AAR2 & 3, and started 4. The 2 year old has had speech therapy for a few months now, and I don’t know if it’s helping to progress any faster, but finally this week he can say ‘mommy’ completely – it’s so sweet, and has begun speaking 2 word or 2 syllables at a time now. I think he will get to read all the rhyming books I’m working with my 4 year old (non-dyslexic)…. anything to not struggle as much as my 12 year old does…. who by the way still barely gets rhyming.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Debbie,
Oh, I know that joy of having your 2.5-year-old finally able to address you. With my son, he had no word for me at all until he was almost 3, when he finally after a couple months of speech therapy said, “Mama,” for the first time. Now he is 14 and I many times I wish he would forget how to talk! (Not really, of course, but sometimes I do wish he would talk less and focus more.) :D

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Amye,
I’m sorry that your daughter is struggling with the rhyming games and getting frustrated there.

The ability to rhyme helps phonological awareness, which in turn helps reading. But the absolute most important precursor for reading is “motivation to read,” so I’d back off on the rhyming activities with a child who was very resistant, and would concentrate on the other skill areas.

Instead of the Pre-reading rhyming activities, try reading lots of rhyming books to her. Nursery rhymes, rhyming games, songs, poems … anything that she wouldn’t mind hearing over and over again. Play (or sing or read aloud) with rhyming for a few minutes each day, but keep it light hearted and fun.

When a child has a problem with a phonological awareness activity, Marie tries to turn it into a kinesthetic activity, when possible. Let them “feel” what we are asking for. This can work with rhyming too: clapping games like Miss Mary Mack can add a kinesthetic activity. Activity engaging kids in a play routine is much more effective.

Rhyming songs are good, because they let kids experience what we mean in a different way. Start with songs she is already very familiar with, and ask her to supple the rhyming word. “Twinkle, twinkle little star, how I wonder what you …?” Since the song is already very familiar, she may find supplying the rhyme easier. If she can’t supply the rhyme, don’t go to the point of frustration. Rather, just sing the song but really stress the rhyming words for her. “The itsy bitsy spider climbed up the water SPOUT. Down came the rain, and washed the spider OUT.”

So, focus on the non-rhyming activities (learning letters, aspects of the Language Exploration that don’t require her to have to produce rhyme etc…) and build up her ear for rhyming through ways that don’t require her to respond right now. You could also read through the Pre-reading activities to get ideas for how you can playfully incorporate rhyming into some games later, in a few months. Then, even if she has an aversion to the book in relation to rhyme, you’ll have ideas you can use when she’s ready. You could also try using Ziggy as a model: alter some of the dialog so that Ziggy either models a concept (instead of asking your daughter to answer), or you can answer things instead of her.

My son used to like it if I would give a wrong answer and he could say what the right answer was. You could experiment with that type of approach to see if your daughter responds better. For example, when Ziggy points to a shoulder and says it’s a “holder,” you could say, “No Ziggy, that’s not a holder, it’s a BOULDER! Isn’t that right, daughter?” Then she has the option of just saying no, or saying “no, it’s a shoulder!”

When your daughter starts to have success with rhyming, you can start the Language Exploration activities over again, or you can start your own activities keeping the stages of rhyming explained in this blog post in mind. Let us know how it goes, and if we can help in any further way.

Carol

says:

Great ideas all! Love the body parts misidentification. Fun!
Can be used with older children, too, for spelling: e.g. key/knee, put/foot, sky/eye.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Carol,
Be careful with that, holding off on having students spell rhyming words that are spelled differently until they have already learned, practiced, and mastered the individual patterns. Many kids could assume that all words just have random spellings that must be memorized if they are presented with multiple ways to spell the same sound all at once without having the opportunity to master each one before another is introduced (the way AAS does it).

However, if you did this activity as a review, after the student has already learned the words, then this could be a fun way to practice spelling.

Thanks for explaining the different stages of learning to rhyme. This is so helpful.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

You are welcome. :D

Tracy

says:

Thanks for sharing so much wonderful information! Can’t wait to get started with this with my little man.

Jessica

says:

I am so thrilled with the progress my girls have both made so far this year, with the pre reading level for my four year old and level 1 with my 6 year old. My 6 year old struggled in kindergarten last year with reading and grew so frustrated that she would just sit in class and do nothing. We brought her home this year and haved LOVED level 1, she has just taken off and is flying through her lessons with smiles and so much success. We are using the Phonics Road along side AAR and both curriculums are an answer to prayer! thank you!
Thanks for the rhyming tips, my four year old loves to rhyme and my six year loves joining in the fun with Ziggy too! Your curriculum went way beyond expectations!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Jessica,
Thank you for sharing your experiences with AAR this year! It’s great to hear how well your 6 year old is doing after the difficulties she had last year.

Cindy

says:

Thank you for your info about rhyming

Samantha

says:

Marie, this is such excellent material. I wish I’d had this post years ago when I needed it for some of my children! Having had my first child (a daughter) who could rhyme well at age 2, I think, I struggled with some of the others who didn’t seem to get it. And yet I knew rhyming was an important l skill for reading. I wish I knew about those three stages so I could have helped scaffold their learning instead of just feeling frustrated when they couldn’t produce rhymes.
You explain things so well. Thanks for sharing this. I’ll be sharing this information as the opportunity arises.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Samantha,
I, too, wish I had this information years ago when my 3rd child was 6 and still unable to produce a rhyme. I didn’t know it had to be taught to some kids; I just assumed it was a natural thing that all kids pick up like walking and talking. I was finally able to teach him to rhyme, and then to read, but things would have been much easier if All About Reading was available then.

Teresa

says:

We love rhyming here. So much so, that when the activity for the day involves dropping the first sound and just repeating the last, my ds throws out a rhyme instead. LOL. He is getting better at it though! Would love the next level. I thought I had it but turns out, I don’t.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Teresa,
When mine were younger, we would rhyme in the car. It was a silly game, with no rules except rhyme and no winners, but it made drive time go quicker and the kids enjoyed it.

Jodie Caillouet

says:

We have just started level 1 Reading . My daughter is excited about reading. I love the way the program is setup, there’s no stress as how to implement the program. I would definitely recommend All About Reading.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Thank you for your recommendation, Jodie!

Melissa Ford

says:

Thank you for this post and for all of your hard work to create this curriculum. You make the lessons easy to follow and have a simple plan to follow.

Suzanne Filz

says:

My 4 year old loves to rhyme thanks to the prereading program and is already asking for the AAR level 1 that I have sitting in the shelf. You guys make learning so much fun and stress free for both of us!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Thank you, Suzanne. It’s great that AAR has been fun and stress free for you and your child.

Leave a Comment