Rhyming Activities: This is What you Need to Know

Repeated exposure to rhyming activities will help your kids build this important early literacy skill. Here are many activity ideas for teaching rhyme to your preschoolers and kindergarteners.

Why is Rhyming So Important?

Rhyming is one of the phonological awareness skills that form the foundation for early literacy.   Phonological awareness is the ability to hear and manipulate different parts (syllables, initial sounds, rhyming parts, phonemes) of spoken words.

A teacher and her preschoolers doing rhyming activities in a  classroom.

Kids build phonological awareness when they play with words.  While playing with words, kids begin to hear patterns in spoken language.  This knowledge then helps them understand how sounds and letters work as they begin to read and write.

3 Stages of Learning to Rhyme

There are three stages to mastering the ability to rhyme. Understanding these stages will help you teach kids how to rhyme.

Hearing a Rhyme – With repeated exposure to rhyming books and songs, kids begin to develop the ability to hear the rhyme in spoken language.

Identifying a Rhyme – Next, kids will start to identify two words that rhyme.

Producing a Rhyme – The final stage is when kids are able to produce their own examples of rhyming words.

Check out this article to learn more details about how to teach rhyming words to kids.

The good news is that playing with words and rhyming practice is fun and exciting for children in preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten.  Rhyming is an especially fun skill to practice and can usually be picked up by kids with repeated exposure.  Here are some ways that you can help kids hear, identify and then produce rhymes.

Rhyming Books for Kids

Some of the best children’s books feature rhyming words.  Many kids will ask to read fun rhyming books over and over again. Use this to your advantage.

As you read, point out to your kids that some of the words sound the same at the end.  Soon, they will be able to identify the rhyming words on a page.

Let kids say the rhyming words and challenge them to come up with additional words that rhyme with the ones in the book.

If you need some new rhyming books to add to your library.  Check out my favorite rhyming books for kids.

Rhyming Songs & Fingerplays

Classic nursery rhymes, Rhyming songs, and fingerplays provide a great way to play with words.  They are great for circle time, story time, and transitions.

The Best Rhyming Songs for Kids

rhyming songs for kids

One of my favorite rhyming songs is Down by the Bay.  Here are some free rhyming picture cards that you can use with the song.

Down by The Bay Rhyming Picture Cards

rhyming picture cards

Rhyming Name Activities

Young kids love themselves, and they love their names. That’s why one of the best ways to introduce literacy skills to young kids is to focus the activity around their names. 

You can use printable name puzzles to create a rhyming activity or use these editable rhyming books that were inspired by the Willoughby Wallaby song.  They feature kids’ names and photos.

Imagine the fun as you read “Zippity zoppity Zelicia a zebra sat on……” and your kids scream “Felicia!!!”

Rhyming Name Songs

In addition to rhyming name books and name puzzles, kids LOVE fun rhyming name songs. Two of my favorite rhyming name songs are Willoughby Wallaby Woo and The Name Game.

Rhyming Games

After you teach rhyming words to your kids, you can use fun rhyming games to practice recognizing and making rhymes. 

There are printable rhyming games like rhyming bingo or rhyming clip cards. With a deck of rhyming cards, you can play memory match, matching, go-fish, and other fun games.

If you don’t have cards or printables, you can also play rhyming games like I spy or have a rhyming scavenger hunt with your kids.

Whatever type of game you choose, one this is certain….your kids will have a blast!

Rhyming & CVC Beginning Sound Clip Cards

I love clip card activities because they are fun for kids….and provide a bit of fine motor practice. Here are some clip cards that will help your kids practice their rhyming skills.

Rhyming Resources in the store

Find these fun, hands-on rhyming resources in the Early Learning Ideas store.

Rhyming practice activities for kids
cvc rhyming clip card activity
rhyming name class book bundle