Rhyming is just one small part of phonological awareness – of working and playing with language sounds within language so why is rhyming so important for dyslexic and non dyslexic children alike?
1. Rhyming and Reading Development
A great deal of research has shown a high correlation between rhyming mastery and later reading ability because of the increase in phonological awareness .
To hall this develop it is beneficial to discuss the sound similarities of rhyming words, I.e. which part of the word stays the same and which part changes
2. Oral Language Skills
Rhyming helps children improve their speaking and listening skills, overall.
It enables them to play with and manipulate their language and increase their sense of ownership over their language
You can help by encouraging the child to think of which words rhyme, listening to poems and rhyming stories. You can make it funny by using fun words too like poo in the zoo, wee up a tree, etc!
3. Learning about spelling
As previously mentioned, rhyming is an important aspect of phonological awareness (awareness of the sound structure of language). This lays the groundwork for written language.
When you read books and poems to children, show them the words and point at the similarities in the words.
This will then, in addition to helping children with their pre-reading skills, enable them to develop a notion of spelling i.e. they will start to notice that the words that rhyme may have some letters in common when written down.
4. Verbal memory and predicting skills
Have you ever been singing or reciting poetry with the children:
‘Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty has a great. . .’
And then you pause before that last word, giving your child the chance to respond with, “fall!”
This helps develop their verbal memory skills.
Then then if you introduce a new and unfamiliar poem, and you hear your children will start to fill in the rhyming words on their own. This shows that they are learning to predict what’s coming using rhyming and rhythm cues and their phonological awareness skills.
Rhyming is fun, especially when children get to throw in some of their own silly words.
This sense of fun shows children the learning can be entertaining and interesting!
When young children are engaged and enjoying themselves, they’re so much more invested in their learning.
And that investment means more time spent exploring early learning skills, greater classroom engagement, and more opportunities to explore and learn.
So pick up some rhyming stories, poems, make up some rhymes and just have fun with words!