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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. You’ll find some wonderful nursery rhyme collections to enjoy together in this download.

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.

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Photo credit: Rachel Neumann

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Leave a Comment

Sammi

says:

My son had been loving this program!!! And loves 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.

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

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!

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.

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.

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