Literacy at Home: The Power of Rhymes

There are five different practices that support early literacy development: talking, singing, reading, playing, and writing. Today we’re going to share one of our favourite secret weapons for developing language skills: rhymes.

Lots of children’s books are written in rhyming language. We also share nursery rhymes and songs that rhyme with our children. And there’s more reason to that than that rhymes are a form of poetry and most poetry rhymes. It’s because rhymes are an incredibly powerful tool for learning language.

Although it may seem that children learn language through words, they actually learn language through sounds. Rhymes help to support this kind of learning, as they really draw attention to the sounds of the language we are using. Think about sitting and playing a rhyming game with your child where you change the first sound in a word to make different words:

  • Cat
  • Bat
  • Mat
  • Sat
  • Pat

Going through this list of words, they’ll be able to hear very clearly the first sounds of those words as they change each time – more so than if you used words that didn’t rhyme.

There’s lots of ways to incorporate rhymes into your child’s daily life. They can be part of talking, singing, playing, or reading! You can play a rhyming game, sing or say rhymes to your child, or read rhyming books.

Here are a few rhymes from some of our favourite YouTube channels that can be used any time:

And here are some of our favourite rhyming books! You can find all these and more in our catalogue.