Our lovely colleague, Fiona Drysdale, is currently working from home in anticipation of the arrival of her baby at Christmas time. She has been using her time very wisely and has prepared a wee video workshop for parents to try with their children at home. It is lovely to see her looking so well. We hope you enjoy her workshop.
Why is rhyming important?
- Rhyming teaches children how language works. It helps them notice and work with the sounds within words.
- Rhymes help children experience the rhythm of language. As they recite nursery rhymes they learn to speak with animated voices.
- When children are familiar with a nursery rhyme they learn to anticipate the rhyming word.
- Rhyming is important for writing, too. It can help children understand that words that share common sounds often share common letters. For example, the rhyming words cat and hat both end with ‘at’.
- When listening to rhyming songs and poems children create a mental picture, expanding their imagination.
- Rhyming is fun, it adds joy to learning!
Here are some more fun ways to use rhymes to further strengthen your child’s language and reading skills:
Encourage wordplay using poems, rhymes, or songs. You might begin by saying, “What rhymes with Matt [his name]?” Make up silly rhymes, such as, “Did Matt sit on the cat?” Or try working together to tell a little story about a cat chasing a rat.
Find many opportunities to sing to and with your child. Create songs on the spur of the moment about whatever you are doing.
Combine rhyming with rhythmic clapping or movements. For example, try the rhyme “Ten Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed” to reinforce sound patterns. Rhymes like these are especially helpful for an active child who needs to involve their entire body in the activity.
Play a riddle game. Try something like, “I’m thinking of a word that rhymes with fish. And it’s something in the kitchen that you put your sandwich on.”
“Fish rhymes with … dish.”
Make your own rhymes in conversation (for example, ‘let’s pat the cat’ or ‘see the bee in the tree’) can spark your child’s imagination and can be a fun way to learn. Encouraging your child to think of their own rhyming words supports their learning as they get creative and explore sounds.