Using Rhyme to Learn Sounds

A good rhyming game: rhyming couplets:

Write a selection of simple rhyming words on cards or a blackboard. Make up two or three fun little rhyming couplets, and have your child fill in the second rhyme. Then encourage him or her to make up their own little rhyming couplets–kids love to do this.

You can extend this idea by creating a simple, fun rhyming story–and illustrate it with little sketches. As children at this stage are just beginning to “sound” in order to read, try to stick to simple, easy to sound words, as much as possible. If you have your child help you come up with the rhyming story, and illustrate it, all the better. Doing his own sketches will help him remember the spelling. Here is an example of a story I created that my young students always enjoy, and have been inspired to create their own rhyming stories:

Silly sentences with rhyming words:

Draw up a list of 5 or 6 rhyming words (focusing on a “sound” your child is having trouble with), and then turn the list into a silly sentence. Children really enjoy silly sentences. For example: cat, fat, brat, mat, rat, flat, chat:

A fat cat sat on a mat and chatted with a bratty rat.catrat




(Note: you can use alternate forms of words to broaden the child’s vocabulary and spelling, as in the sentence above, with chatted and bratty! — and use the opportunity to explain how we add endings to words, etc.).

How do you use rhyming words to help your child learn sounds? Share your ideas with us in the comments below. Thank you!

Looking for other useful tips on helping your child read and write? Check out the list of topics in the second half of our Tutoring Tips page.

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