How does rhyming help your child read?

How Does Rhyming Help My Child Read?

How does rhyming help my child read? Much like any other skill, children need to set a strong foundation of pre-literacy skills before learning to read. These children need to understand the alphabetic principle, or the awareness of letter-sound correspondence. Before being successful readers, children must also learn about phonological awareness, or the understanding that sentences are made up of words, words are made up parts (syllables), and each syllable has distinctive sounds.

A subset of phonological awareness is phonemic awareness, or the ability to manipulate sounds to change word meaning, make new words, or even segment and then blend sounds together to make words.

Rhyming is a key step for emerging readers. Once children begin to understand rhyming, they are one step closer to reading.

How can you help your child with rhyming?How does rhyming help your child read?

Read! Providing opportunities for children to hear rhymes as they naturally occur and predict what word might come next, children will begin to associate rhyming and reading with fun! Children will develop the appropriate framework for rhyming and learn how to generate their own rhymes. Dr. Seuss books are always a favorite and children enjoy the silly words and colorful pages.

Sing! Songs are a great way to further rhyming abilities, as children can again predict what word might follow. Singing along in the car or at home can further children’s emergent love for words and reading and set them up for success at school.

Play! Children benefit from involved parents. Parents who take an interest in furthering learning and helping their children with literacy are likely to make the most gains. Apps and computers can be fun, but make sure to participate with children and reinforce stimulus presented electronically.

Talk with children about words, sounds, and sentences and make up rhymes together! Children may also enjoy picking the “odd man out,” or identifying a word that doesn’t rhyme from a group of rhyming words! Rhyming can be a great way to engage with children and promote early literacy skills.

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Strategies for Pre-Reading | The Benefits of Wordless Books


One of my favorite tools to use in speech therapy is a wordless book. They have endless (okay, maybe not completely endless, there is a story in those pictures) possibilities for creating, imagining, predicting, and story telling.

Here are the top 10 reasons why I LOVE wordless books for kids:

1.    It’s reading before reading. These books can empower a young child to be the storyteller instead of having to listen mom or dad read the words. This encourages story telling skills, language and overall comprehension.
2.    It increases vocabulary.  You can use the objects or actions in the books to introduce new words to your child. It’s also a great way to work on synonyms. For example, your child might say, “The dog ran fast” and you could talk about other ways you express what’s happening in the picture (“The dog ran quickly”).
3.    It works on inferencing. Without words, your child will have to rely solely on the pictures to infer what is happening in the story. You can probe further by asking, “How did you know that?”
4.    It works on predicting. You and your child can talk about what you might think will happen next based on the picture you’re looking at; you can also talk about why they made that prediction.
5.    It introduces story structure. Your child will learn about the beginning, middle, and end of the story as he describes each picture. At the end of the book you can go back and identify, then discuss, each part.
6.    It promotes creativity. Your child is not constricted to the words on the page in wordless books. Because there are no words, the pictures on each page often have a lot to say. This encourages your child to go above and beyond with his story telling.
7.    It helps with story retell. I’ve noticed that children who have difficulty retelling stories they’ve read or heard can retell stories that they have helped develop much easier. Wordless books provide a great building block to retelling stories they have read or heard.
8.    It can help with written language. Older children can write their stories down instead of verbally expressing them. This is a great way to work on descriptive language, sequencing, and overall cohesive writing.
9.    It encourages higher level thinking skills. Some of the pictures can be abstract. This opens up questions like, “What if?” and “What would you do?” “What would it be like to___?”
10.    Wordless Books are fun! I love that the story is always changing and evolving each time you “read” it. Children love to create and use their imaginations, and wordless books provide an outlet for that. It’s amazing to see the ideas that children have and they way they process the information. They may have a completely different idea of what’s happening in the picture than you do; and you may realize, that their idea is often more imaginative and original than your own.

Here is a quick list of some of my favorite wordless picture books:

  • Good Dog, Carl by Alexandra Day
  • The Lion and The Mouse by Pinkney
  • *A Boy, a Dog and a Frog by Mercer Mayer
  • *Frog Goes to Dinner by Mercer Mayer
  • *The Chicken Thief by Beatrice Rodriguez
  • *Fox and Hen Together by Beatrice Rodriguez
  • *Jack and the Missing Piece by Pat Schories
  • *Breakfast for Jack by Pat Schories
  • The Snowman by Raymund Briggs
  • Tuesday by David Wiesner

* Indicates a book series

Click here to read more about the stages of reading development.  If you have concerns about your child’s early reading, contact our Blossom Reading Program.