We’ve talked about the importance of rhyme many times in the past, but I feel like as Maddy and Owen have gotten older, I’ve really slacked when it’s come to rhyme games with Cora.
After Cora turned five, I hesitated to break out the rhyme games. For some reason, I thought she was too old, too mature, too. . . into jewels and clothes to play with rhyme.
Boy was I wrong.
As we did our huge ‘clean the house’ sweep before school started, I found the happy set of Melissa & Doug Rhyme Cards that Maddy, Owen, and I spent hours upon hours playing with.
And Cora and I have been playing with them almost daily for three weeks now, sometimes playing the same game and other times mixing it up a bit.
Either way is fine, since really, kids can–and should–be playing with rhyme for quite some time. Rhyme helps with developing phonological awareness, rhyme helps with memory, and rhyme helps with speech.
What. Was. I. Thinking?
Here’s the skinny. . .
- Make Time to Rhyme– Rhyme Games for Bigger Kids: By ‘bigger kids’ I mean kids in early elementary school, not toddlers or preschoolers, though the games would definitely work for most preschoolers.
We used Melissa & Doug Rhyme Cards which (sadly!) aren’t manufactured any longer, but you can definitely use any of the following:
Owen and Maddy are playing Race to Rhyme, and yes. . .
Maddy was wearing her Communion veil because why wouldn’t she be?
And each time we played, we did some variation of these super-easy, super-quick rhyme games:
- Switch Rhyme: All of the cards were turned face down, and we’d take turns flipping a card for the other person. That person would then search through the pile for the match to the rhyme.
Cora makes a match and then adds an extra rhyme.
- Rhyme Memory: We’d choose about 10 rhyme pairs, flip them face down, and play Memory, just like the regular game. The only rule was that each time you flipped, you said the object on the card out loud. The more we repeated rhyme matches and non-matches, the more our ears were tuned to the sounds!
- Go Fish!: Who knew you could play Go Fish! With picture rhyme cards? We had a blast, creating a ‘fish pond’ and holding five cards in our hand and searching for pairs. Just like the regular game but with puzzle cards. Fun!
Rhyme & Tally makes rhyming a mathy game!
- Race to Rhyme: Basically, we’d do just that–race to rhyme. We’d flip all of the cards over so they were facing up, and we’d speed match. A race against the clock. Whomever had the most matches won. Owen. Loved. This. Version.
- Rhyme & Tally: Basic and easy but adding some of Cora’s happy, new tally-marking skills to the mix. We flipped all of the cards over and took turns making matches. And with each match, Cora added a tally mark to the sheet. We added marks and the highest person won!
- Third Rhyme: We played the same version of Rhyme & Tally, but the only way a person could earn a tally mark was if he or she could add a third rhyme to the mix. Plane, train, rain! Would do it, but if you tried Plane, train, ladder. . . well, it wouldn’t cut it. No tally for you.
And that’s about it–just a few of our regular variations on the ole rhyme card game–and we’re adding to the mix as we go.
Want some more rhyming fun? Check out:
- Time to Rhyme Go Fish!
- Rockin’ Rhyme Bingo
- Digraphs & Blends: Search, Find, and Rhyme Game
- Rhyming and Sorting, Sorting and Rhyming
- Swinging and Clapping
- Take Time to Rhyme
Rhyme is super-duper, totally and completely important for our kids. For so many reasons.
Sure, we need to read with our children–listening to them and reading to them–but a few minutes of rhyme and word play, in conjunction with reading helps kids more than you might think. According research by Padak and Rasinski as shared in The Reading Teacher, children who engaged in reading and word play with their parents “outperformed in reading achievement and reading- related skill development [as compared to] those classmates whose parents did not engage in these games” which I think makes total sense.
Word games count, big-time. They really do.
The authors also go on to say that parents teaching skills (or playing word games like the rhyme games here) with their children, “were found to be twice as effective as parents listening to children read and six times more effective than parents simply reading to their children” (Padak, N. and Rasinski, T. (2008), The Games Children Play. The Reading Teacher). Twice as effective and six times more effective than just reading??! Wow.
Let’s start–or keep on–playing!
fyi: This is an unsponsored post, influenced only by my three little rhymers and my experience as a Reading Specialist and parent. Affiliate links are included.