Rhymes and Their Benefits
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Rhymes and Their Benefits

How to teach rhymes to little kids? How rhymes can help develop language? Games or activities to teach rhymes?

One of my favorite children’s authors, Dr. Seuss wrote, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go. It wasn’t simply his words and wisdom that were important, it was also the rhyme. 

Singing, rhyming and storytelling are a part of every culture. By doing this, parents not only keep traditions alive, but they are teaching their children to articulate words, practice pitch, volume and rhythm of their native language. It also develops the listening and comprehension skills necessary for brain development and memory.

Experts in literacy and child development have discovered that if children know eight nursery rhymes by heart by the time they’re four years old, they’re usually among the best readers by the time they’re eight.

Reading Magic, Mem Fox (2001)
Mom Singing To Her Child

Listening to music and singing along to rhymes helps develop:

  • an awareness of different emotions and feelings
  • speech by repetition of words
  • hand-eye coordination by getting a good sense of beat from music
  • memory skills by singing favourite songs regularly
  • an understanding of concepts such as night, day, under, over, animals, rain, stairs etc
  • timing skills which help him to kick moving balls, and throw and catch things.

Activities For Newborns

Babies respond well to your voice and movement. I know both of my children were much calmer if they were moving around in my arms. These songs can all be used with toddlers, as well.

Hickory Dickory Dock

Hickory dickory dock, (Touch your baby’s toes, knees, hips)
The mouse ran up the clock. (Tickle up his body)
The clock struck one, (Touch his nose)
The mouse ran down, (Tickle down his body)
Hickory dickory dock. (Touch his toes, knees and hips)

Itsy Bitsy Spider Sticker

Incy, Wincy Spider

Incy, Wincy spider
Climbed up the waterspout Down came the rain
And washed poor Incy out. Out came the sun
And dried up all the rain
And Incy, Wincy spider
Went up the waterspout again.

Use your hand to be the spider that climbs up your child’s body, tummy or arm. Your child might like to be the spider and use her fingers to ‘climb’ up your arm!

Round and Round the Garden

Round and round the garden, went the teddy bear. One step, two steps
Tickle under there.

(Walk your fingers around your child’s palm. Take steps with your fingers up their arm, and then tickle their armpit or chin. Also works with feet!)

Activities for Toddlers

Raining Sticker

It’s Raining, It’s Pouring

It’s raining, it’s pouring,
(Wiggle fingers, move arms downwards like rain)
The old man is snoring.
He bumped his head
On the side of the bed
And couldn’t get up in the morning.

Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes

Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes.
Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes.

And eyes and ears and mouth and nose Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes.

Try singing this using different body parts e.g. head, tummy, hips and thighs, hips and thighs. This really helps children learn the names for the parts of their body.

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Rhyming is an important pre-reading skill that has many benefits later on. The ability to rhyme occurs in three unique stages.

Stage 1:Hearing RhymeThe child grows accustomed to hearing and repeating rhyme.
Stage 2:Recognizing RhymeThe child can identify two words that rhyme.
Stage 3:Producing RhymeThe child can think of a word that rhymes with another.

In order to help your child learn how to rhyme, you can use books, games, and engaging activities to promote rhyming ability. There are tons of books out there that can help with rhyme schemes; just put a simple search into google or amazon. My favorites are anything that teach the alphabet along with rhymes.

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