Rhyming is an important first step in the reading development for children.  When a child learns to rhyme, they learn to focus on how language works.  They also begin to notice all the individual sounds within each word.  If your child knows that jig and pig rhyme, then they are focused on the ending ig but also that the j and p are different sounds. This prepares them for reading and also for phonemic awareness which is the most crucial foundation for reading. For children with dyslexia, auditory processing or speech deficits, rhyming does not always come naturally.  It is a skill that that these children need to work on.

On today’s post, I am going to give you some ideas on how to teach rhyming to your kids so that they can have a strong beginning reading foundation.


Read Stories and Poems Aloud

You can teach rhyming to your child by reading stories and poems that use a lot of rhymes aloud together. You will want to first read the story aloud several times simply for the pure joy of reading and sharing the story together. Then you can begin drawing attention to the sounds of the rhyme. For example you can say, “I hear rhyming words! Dog and bog rhyme!” You can also ask your child to predict the next word in the rhyming story (they love doing that). “The hog sat on the _______.”  As you read these rhyming books aloud, you will want to really exaggerate the sound of the rhyming words. There are many rhyming books that you can read with your child to help prepare him or her for reading.  

My top favorites that joyfully play with the sounds of language are:

Chugga-Chugga Choo-Choo by Kevin Lewis  

Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans

Four Fur Feet by Margaret Wise Brown

Moose on the Loose by C.P. Ochs

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr.

I Swapped My Dog by Harriet Zeifert

Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney

Jamberry by Bruce Degen

Mrs. McNosh Hangs Up Her Wash by Sarah Weeks

A Frog in the Bog by Karma Wilson

Rhyming Dust Bunnies by Jan Thomas

The Flea’s Sneeze by Karla Firehammer

Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear? By Nancy White Carlstrom


Sing Rhyming Songs Together

Singing rhyming songs and rhyming chants is another great way to teach rhyming. Singing is so easy to fit into your daily schedule, as you can basically break out in song or chant any time of the day.

Before Bed:

“Twinkle, twinkle little star,

How I wonder what you are.

Up above the world so high,

Like a diamond in the sky.

Twinkle, twinkle little star,

How I wonder what you are.”


During Cleanup:

“Clean up, clean up, everybody, everywhere.

Clean up, clean up, everybody do your share.”


In the Garden:

“One little flower, one little bee.

One little blue bird, high in the tree.

One little brown bear smiling at me.

One is the number I like,

You see.


Identify and Practice Rhymes

You can teach rhyming by asking your child to identify and practice rhymes by manipulating, adding, deleting or substituting sounds in words. Some examples of doing this are:

“Tell me all the words you know that rhyme with the word “hat.”

“Close your eyes. I am going to say 2 words. If they rhyme, raise your hand. If they don’t shake your head.”

“Say the word hat.  Good. Say the word hat again, but change the h to b.  (bat).  

“Listen to these  words –  mop, plop, flop, tag.  Which of these does not rhyme?”

“Can you finish my sentence for me.  The cat sat on the _______.”


I hope you enjoyed reading my post today.  And, while you are here… please check out the PRIDE Reading Program. The PRIDE Reading Program is an Orton-Gillingham reading program that is heavily scripted out, super easy to use, affordable,  and used by teachers, tutors and homeschooling parents with great success.  Let me know what you think.

Thank you for reading my post today!


Karina Richland, M.A., is the author of the PRIDE Reading Program, a multisensory Orton-Gillingham reading, writing and comprehension curriculum that is available worldwide for parents, tutors, teachers and homeschoolers of struggling readers. Karina has an extensive background in working with students of all ages and various learning modalities. She has spent many years researching learning differences and differentiated teaching practices. You can reach her by email at info@pridereadingprogram.com or visit the website at www.pridereadingprogram.com

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