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Rhyming with Your Kids - A Surprising Tool for Success


I met 2010 Mom Congress Delegate Stacey Kannenberg today and that woman is a firecracker.  She’s so excited and intense and knowledgeable.  I just want to bottle up a little of her energy and save it for Thursday afternoons when all of mine is drained.  I loved reading an article she contributed to the May issue of Parenting on rhyming with your kids.  Daring Family Freestyle Rap Battles are a tradition at my house so this was right up my alley.  Enjoy!

Teaching your kiddos to rhyme isn't just fun, it sets them up to succeed—in more ways than one.

Why it's important: There's more to rhyming than silly poems! “Rhyming teaches kids about word families (groups of words that share a common base, like ‘pear’ and ‘bear’), which in turn helps them with spelling, reading, and writing,” says Maria Schall, a second-grade teacher at Random Lake Elementary, in Random Lake, WI. The rhyming doesn't have to be complex to be helpful. “Parents should start with simple, familiar one-syllable words and progress from there,” suggests Schall.

At-home lesson: “Rhyming activities lend themselves to great car-ride games,” says Schall. “You can say something like ‘I'm looking for a word that rhymes with ‘cat’ and starts with the letter ‘h’ and have your kids shout back responses.” At home, take magnetic letters and spell out simple words like “pop” or “dog” on the fridge, then have your child replace the first letter to create a whole group of words that rhyme. Singing along to rhyming songs (Schall recommends music by Raffi, whose lyrics often rhyme—think “Baby Beluga”) is a fun way to enforce the concept and simultaneously bust a move. —Adapted from Let's Get Ready for Kindergarten! by 2010 Mom Congress member Stacey Kannenberg, available at

Kathryn Thompson is a mom to two school-aged kids, a toddler, and a deceased betta fish. She can also be found at The Parenting Post, and occasionally the gym.