Nursery rhymes may seem bizarre or downright inappropriate (“rub-a-dub-dub three men in a tub”… need I say more?) but learning nursery and other rhymes is important for learning in early childhood and for early literacy.
What is rhyming?
Rhyming is ending with a sound that corresponds to another.
Why is rhyming important?
Learning to rhyme helps with phonological awareness which is the awareness of the sound (phonological) structure of words. This awareness has been linked to reading ability.
How to Help Your Child Learn to Rhyme
Read or sing nursery rhymes
Simply reading to your child is a huge way to introduce your child to rhyming. Nursery rhymes, specifically, are generally brief which is great for the younger ones.
Read rhyming books
Just like nursery rhymes, books that rhyme are a great way to introduce rhyming to your child. Plus, they’re just so much fun! Some of our favorite rhyming books are Dr. Seuss books.
Point out words that rhyme
As you read nursery rhymes or rhyming books, take the time to stop and point out the words that rhyme to your toddler. Example, “The cat in the hat. Cat rhymes with hat”.
Let your child finish the rhyme
After just a handful (or less!) of times reading a book or nursery rhyme, your child will start memorize it. As you read, stop before the rhyming word and allow your child to fill in the blank.
Add in other rhyming words
Once you notice that your child is able to fill in the blanks and is starting to pick up on rhyming words, you can ask your child for other words that rhyme or change the sentence to include different rhyming words. It’s ok if your child doesn’t offer up rhyming words because he is learning to identify rhyming words, just be playful and fun rather than “correcting” so as not to make your child feel bad and then offer a word that does rhyme.
About the Author
Hi! I'm Inez, the owner and content creator of For the Love of Mom, a website dedicated to helping moms thrive in motherhood by offering helpful advice, tips and resources.