Supporting your child to learn skills and strategies for kindergarten readiness can be done with fun, simple activities, such as rhyming words. In the winter, there’s a chance of snow. What words rhyme with snow?
Being able to rhyme words is a skill that develops about the age of 4, but in the meantime kids need to hear many, many words and be exposed to rhymes. Often, books will be written using a rhyming pattern, but parents and caregivers can play games with words. One way to play with words is to say some that sound the same. For instance, “The snow did blow, all in a row.” Repeat the words that rhyme: snow, blow, row. Ask your child for some other words that sound like that. This is hard to do, so you may have to say them: toe, grow, mow, slow. They sound the same too. Make up some silly poems, such as: The snow will grow, until we say Whoa. Row, row, row the snow. You can throw snow but don’t hit the crow. Oh, no!
What’s so special about words and rhymes? Words are made of bits of sounds; for example, the word snow can be divided up into the bits ‘sss’, then ‘nnn’ and ‘oooo’. These sound bits can be recombined to make new words: snow, glow, flow, etc. Figuring out these bits is a critical skill. The technical term is phonological awareness and rhyming is part of it. Knowing how words work is valuable for learning to read.
Ears need to hear plenty of words that rhyme. This helps the brain make the needed connections. Having some fun with the word snow can be done inside or outside, and doesn’t need any materials at all. What words do you and your child know that rhyme with snow? 1, 2, 3, go…
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