How Rhyming Teaches Kids Literacy Skills

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rhyming literacy

written by Kate Norris

I mistakenly thought that rhyming books were meant for little kids. They aren’t.  Rhyming books are valuable and important for literacy skills.

Rhyming and Literacy

There are two kinds of books for little kids: long books and short books.  My daughter (almost four) prefers the long books, with tons of words on every page, I want reading to be fun for her, so I always let her choose what we read. A lot of the short books we used to read such as Goodnight MoonEach Peach Pear Plum, Little Mommy, we aren’t reading anymore.  These short books have a few words on each page and lots of rhyming. But one day, we picked one out to read again.

This particular night, I was yawning a lot while reading Little Mommy. Every time I paused to yawn, my daughter filled in the words for me.

This is my house…” (YAWN)

While I yawned, my daughter kept going, “And I am the Mommy. My children are Annabelle, Betsy and Bonnie.

It’s bath time now.” (YAWN)

My daughter finished, “My little dears.  I scrub their necks and wash their ears.

I was shocked.  We hadn’t read this book in months, yet she knew all the words.

Once I realized this, I started only reading part of the words and let her fill in the rest. Either she was an absolute genius, or all kids learn with rhyming books. Although I am inclined to believe only the best of my kids, I asked my co-author and former Kindergarten Teacher for her thoughts.  She writes the blog Kindergarten & Preschool for Parents & Children. Here is her take:

Why Nursery Rhymes and Rhyming Books?
Yes, the best way to develop language and reading skills is through the love of conversation and books. In this way, rhyming books promote reading skills. Here’s why.

  • Nursery rhymes follow letter patterns so a child can easily memorize them. Memorization helps build memory pathways in the brain.
  • Rhyming familiarizes children with sound structures, not just letters. As favorite nursery rhymes and books are read over and over, children begin to recognize that certain letters frequently go together. They also start to note the placement of letters in words and how words are divided into syllables, especially if you clap to the syllables.
  • Many rhymes include numbers and sequences, reinforcing counting and ordering skills. Rhymes also incorporate language devices such as alliteration or using words that begin with the same letter as in the book Each Peach Pear Plum by Janet and Allan Ahlberg.

All young children enjoy hearing your voice in rhythm and rhyming sounds and with exaggerated expression – both facial and auditory. Dr. Seuss was a creative genius at drawing children into his books of rhyme and silly characters. The Cat and the Hat is a favorite book of young children because they can echo your words easily and help fill in the rhyming words.

Ways to Reinforce Rhyming

  • Help your child fill in the blank, or rhyming word, by pausing to give them a chance to finish the phrase. If they need help, sound just the first letter.
  • Use physical actions to accompany special words or verses as with The Itsy-Bitsy Spider or Patty-Cake.
  • Print at. Then sound out beginning letters to rhyme with at and print that letter in front of the word, as your child and you say the words: at, cat, fat, sat, bat, mat, hat, pat, rat
Do your children have any favorite rhyming books I should add to our collection?
Bio: Katie Norris blogs at Mommy With Selective Memory. and also FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.  The Happy Mommy Handbook: The Ultimate How-to Guide on Keeping Your Toddlers and Preschoolers Busy, Out of Trouble, and Motivated to Learn.   is available on Amazon for $3.99 in the e-book version and $9.99 for the printed version.  You will find lots of easy crafts and also some unique ways to improve fine motor and gross motor skills, as well as tips on preparing your child for Kindergarten.
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14 Responses

  1. பிà®°ின்ஸ் அண்ணனுக்கு…..அரசு à®®ுத்துà®°ாமலிà®™்கத்தேவருக்கு பிறந்தநாள் விà®´ா கொண்டாடுகிறது.. அதை விடுதலையில் விளம்பரம் செய்துள்ளாà®°்களே…………..?எதிà®°்ப்புனா….? எல்லா வகையிலுà®®் எதிà®°்க்கனுà®®்ல… அதை விட்டுடு à®’à®°ு பக்கம் எதிà®°்ப்பு.. மறுபக்கம் அவருடைய பிறந்த நாளுக்கு விளம்பரப்படுத்துதல்னா….?எந்த வகையில் இது நியாயம்…?தோà®´à®°் à®®ுகமது பாà®°ுக் அவர்களின் சந்தேகம் தான் என் கேள்வியுà®®்…விடுதலை படிக்குà®®் எனக்கு விளக்கம் அளியுà®™்கள் அண்ணா…

  2. Okay I’m covenicnd. Let’s put it to action.

  3. Educational Post for kids. I love to see this kind of post have more valuable information for visitors. Keep it up.

  4. Stephanie Workman says:

    I loved this blog. I just had my first children’s book published and the second one I’m writing at the moment rhymes.

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