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.

Because rhyming skills are significant predictors of children’s later success in learning to read, every effort should be made to give young children the opportunity to develop these rhyming skills. (Majsterek, Shorr, & Erion, 2000; Mitchell & Fox, 2001). Here are some strategies and activities on how to teach rhyming to your children so that they will have the opportunity to develop strong reading development skills.

Identify and Practice Rhymes

You can begin teaching 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 _______.”


Use Letter Tiles

Use Letter Tiles to build rhyming words from the same family by placing the letter tiles for the ending sound in a row and stacking beginning letter tiles to make different words.


Use Beanbags

You will say a word (e.g., hat). You will then pass a beanbag (or anything else that is soft) to the child. The child will think of a word that rhymes with hat, say the word aloud and then pass the beanbag back to you.

The game continues with the beanbag being passed back and forth until you and the child can not think of any more rhyming words.

At that point, whoever is holding the beanbag begins the game with a new word.


Use Building Blocks

Write beginning letters and sounds on building blocks (or legos) and ending sounds on longer blocks. Let the kiddos build rhyming words.

You can watch this video to get an idea of how to use legos and building blocks for rhyming words:



Read Stories and Poems Aloud

You can practice rhyming with your child by reading stories and poems that use a lot of rhymes aloud together. 

As you read, 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. 


My Top Favorite Rhyming Books:

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


Make Your Own Rhyme Book

You can also have your child create their own Rhyme Book! Create the book with five blank pages. Have your child draw pictures of objects that rhyme or cut out rhyming pictures. Then bind the pages into a personal rhyming book.

Another option is that if you don’t want to make a book…you can make a collage with pictures of objects that rhyme with one another.


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 and it is so much fun to sing!  

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.”


I Have a Resource For You!

Thank you so much for reading my post on rhyming today. You might also enjoy reading my previous posts:

How to Teach Letters and Sounds Correctly

How I Help with b/d Letter Reversal

How to Teach Beginning Blending in Reading

Please don’t leave without checking out the PRIDE Reading Program. The PRIDE Reading Program is an Orton-Gillingham curriculum that is used by teachers, tutors, and homeschooling parents worldwide with great success.

PRIDE Reading Program


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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