Backpacks are on on track for the kindergarten readiness skill of rhyming. What words sound like back and pack? Yak,track, black, tack, jack, quack, crack, etc. Children will learn to rhyme about the age of 4, but in the meantime, they need to hear lots of rhyming words. One way to do this is with books that have lots of rhymes. Very little kidlets may not understand all the words when adults read to them, but rhyming texts tune their ears and minds and set the foundation for this skill. Older children like to predict the words based on the previous rhyme. This story has lots of rhymes about something that is making Lin’s backpack jump and it’s written by Helen Lester.
Another way to help children learn to rhyme is to play with words. On the way to the bus or while doing a task, ask you child if two words rhyme, that is sound the same at the end. For instance, do back and track sound the same? How about pack and dishes? Try a few more and if needed, grownups can supply the answer as well as the question.
Playing with words is more than readiness for kindergarten. It shows children’s phonological awareness–that is, the notion that words are made of sound bits that can be used in various combinations. Rhyming is an activity that is based on the skills of dividing words into their sound parts and then recombining them to make new words, something we do when we’re reading. Did you know that rhyming is used as a quick predictor of children’s readiness for reading? Not all children will be able to rhyme when they start school which shows that some more experience with words is needed. What other words rhyme with back and pack? All this work is making me hungry–is it time for snack to help get the knack?