Once upon a time, we can help children develop kindergarten readiness with words that rhyme. And it will take time for children to be able to rhyme words.
Words are tools for communicating to others and for thinking. But words are based on a system of sounds. For instance, the word cat has 3 sounds; a ‘kuh’ sound, a short ‘a’ sound and a ‘tuh’ sound. When these sounds are put together they make the sound bite for cat. By taking away the ‘kuh’ part and using just the ‘at’ we can make more words, like bat, rat, fat, hat and sat. Knowing how sounds make words and how they can be used to build other words is a key strategy for the time when children learn to read.
It is not yet known how the brain figures out that words are made of sounds and that these sounds come in very small pieces. But this skill does have a name; it’s called phonological awareness. Children develop this skill from hearing lots and lots and lots of words over and over. Not all children can rhyme by the time they come to kindergarten, but this ability generally develops around the age of 4 or 5 years old. Reading and sharing books and stories that use rhymes can help build this awareness. Plus, words that rhyme appeal to children.
Today’s play-of-the-day is to have some rhyme time fun. Even if your child has not yet figured out that words may sound almost the same, can you read a story with rhyming words, tell a nursery rhyme, or sing along with a song?