Teaching rhyming to kindergarten kids is a powerful way to build their pre-reading skills.

In this blog post, we’ll share tips and activities that make learning rhyming words fun for kids.

We will also cover how rhyming supports the Science of Reading. Read on to see how teaching rhyming gets to be fun and simple! 🌟📚


Tips for Teaching Rhyming Words to Kindergarten Kids

1. Start with Nursery Rhymes

Nursery rhymes aren’t just catchy tunes; they’re the magical foundation of rhyming words!

If you’re new around here, you will soon find that we absolutely love the power of nursery rhymes!

These timeless rhymes introduce kids to the rhythm and patterns of language, making rhyming words a breeze.

Sing along to classics like “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” and “Hickory Dickory Dock.” Their playful lyrics make rhyming words stick in young minds like glue!

Some benefits of using traditional nursery rhymes during the early years include:

  • Nursery rhymes enhance children’s ability to recognize and manipulate sounds in words, laying the groundwork for reading and writing.

  • Exposure to rich language in nursery rhymes introduces children to new words and expands their vocabulary.

  • The rhythmic patterns and intonation in nursery rhymes help children develop an understanding of the natural cadence of language, contributing to fluent reading.

  • Reciting nursery rhymes involves memorization and sequencing, fostering cognitive development and memory retention.

  • Nursery rhymes often carry cultural significance, providing a connection to heritage and tradition while promoting a sense of identity.

2. Small Group Activities

Gather your young learners in small groups, and let the rhyming party begin!

These Picture cards featuring rhyming pairs are a hit.

Turn learning into a game by having kids match rhyming pictures.

It’s an interactive way to spark their phonemic awareness while giggles fill the air.


3. Word Families

Word families, like -at, -an, -it, are your secret weapon! These groups of rhyming words share the same ending sound and offer an excellent way to dive into rhyming.

Break down rhyming words into their core elements. Learning -op in “hop” and “top” becomes a playful exploration!

4. Rhyming Books

Snuggle up with rhyming books – the ultimate comfort food for young minds!

Delve into the pages of children’s books that showcase rhyming words.

The rhythm and rhyme of these stories build a strong foundation in phonological awareness. It’s learning that feels like a cozy adventure.

5. Rhyming Activities

Learning rhyming words is all about play! Engage kids in fun activities like this rhyming card sort.

Use a pocket chart or an interactive rhyming basket to make rhyming words come alive. The more laughter and enthusiasm, the better!


6. Song Lyrics and YouTube

Enter the world of song lyrics and YouTube magic by none other than Jack Hartmann! His engaging videos turn rhyming into a sing-along adventure.

Rhyming words become friends, and learning feels like a playful jam session.

7. Anchor Charts

Create stunning anchor charts with rhyming word pairs. Hang them up like vibrant art pieces in your classroom or learning space.

The visual delight of rhyming words makes learning engaging and memorable.

8. Rhyming Picture Cards

Unleash the power of picture cards!

Let kids match rhyming pictures while discovering the joy of rhyming words.

It’s hands-on learning that fosters phonological awareness and builds the confidence to tackle new words.


9. Phonics Skills 

Blend rhyming with phonics skills for a harmonious learning duo.

Focus on beginning and ending sounds to create rhyming pairs. Unlock the world of rhyming words and phonics skills in one swoop!

10. Hands-On Play

Involve the senses with hands-on play. From magnetic letters to word family charts, engage kids in tactile learning.

Feel the letters, build the words, and discover the rhythm of rhyming words together.

11. Name Rhymes

The magic of rhyming words happens when you incorporate the kids names.

Create rhymes using children’s names, adding a touch of personalization to learning. It’s a way to turn rhyming into a playful celebration of each student’s uniqueness.

13. Rhyming Games

Bring on the games! From the Rhyme Time game to pocket chart activities, learning rhyming words becomes an interactive adventure. Rhyming games mix learning with laughter and joy.


14. Rhyming Basket

Curate a rhyming basket with objects that rhyme.

Let kids match items and words for a tactile and auditory exploration of rhyming pairs. It’s a journey through the world of words!

15. Individual and Group Practice

Balance individual and group practice. Independent work builds mastery, while group activities foster collaboration and shared learning.

16. Mix up the Activities

Variety is the spice of learning! Incorporate different activities to cater to various learning styles.

From tactile play to visual charts, ensure every student thrives.

17. Record Progress

Track progress with a recording sheet.

Celebrate each milestone and growth in rhyming skills. The journey is just as important as the destination.

18. Use Real Words Before Nonsense Words

Introduce real words before venturing into nonsense words. Connect rhyming with phonics, bridging the gap between known and new words.

19. Celebrate Success

Every rhyming victory deserves celebration! Whether it’s a high-five or a happy dance, celebrate kids’ success in rhyming words.


Learning rhyming words is an exciting journey! These tips will make the adventure even more enjoyable.

By embracing the power of nursery rhymes, interactive activities, and personalized learning, teachers and parents can best support children of all ages.

Next, let’s take a look at the importance of rhyming in the science of reading.

The Science of Reading: Why Rhyming Matters

Rhyming plays a significant role in the science of reading, which is an evidence-based approach to teaching reading that focuses on the cognitive processes involved in learning to read.

Rhyming is closely tied to phonological awareness, which is one of the foundational skills necessary for developing strong reading abilities.

Here’s how rhyming contributes to the science of reading:

Phonological Awareness

Phonological awareness refers to the ability to recognize and manipulate the sounds of spoken language.

Rhyming helps develop this awareness by allowing children to hear and identify similar sounds at the end of words.

Recognizing that “cat” and “hat” rhyme means understanding the shared “-at” sound, which is an essential component of phonological awareness.

Phonemic Awareness

Rhyming is a subset of phonemic awareness, which is the ability to isolate and manipulate individual sounds (phonemes) in words.

Identifying rhyming words requires recognizing and manipulating the ending sounds of words, contributing to the development of phonemic awareness.

Segmentation and Blending

Rhyming activities often involve breaking words into separate sounds (segmentation) and then blending those sounds back together.

This skill is crucial for later decoding and encoding words when reading and writing.


Emergent Literacy

Rhyming is an early literacy skill that prepares children for reading and writing.

It helps them notice and manipulate sounds in words, which are the building blocks of language.

Word Families

Rhyming words often belong to the same word family, sharing the same ending sound and letter pattern.

This understanding of word families contributes to recognizing patterns in reading and spelling, enhancing reading fluency.

Decoding and Spelling

As children become more proficient at recognizing rhyming patterns, they apply this skill to decoding unfamiliar words.

When they encounter a new word that rhymes with a known word, they can use their knowledge of the rhyming pattern to make educated guesses about the pronunciation and meaning.


Vocabulary Expansion

Rhyming introduces children to new words that share similar sounds.

This exposure to a wide range of vocabulary helps build their language skills and comprehension.

Reading Comprehension

A strong foundation in phonological and phonemic awareness, fostered by rhyming activities, supports reading comprehension.

Children who can accurately recognize and manipulate sounds are better equipped to read with fluency and understand the text.

In the science of reading, the development of phonological awareness, phonemic awareness, and other foundational skills is crucial for proficient reading.


Rhyming serves as a bridge between spoken and written language, helping children recognize patterns, sound out words, and comprehend texts more effectively.

Through engaging rhyming activities, you can pave the way for successful reading development in young learners.

Teaching Rhyming to Kindergarten