Rhyming Down the Alphabet

by Ana on August 2, 2008

Last weekend, a friend was telling me how much her three year old loves playing the Good Night Rhymes game. We talked about it as a bedtime game, but they play in the car. She started noticing that her little boy would always make a rhyme that started with the letter ‘L’. So if she says “boy” his response would be “loy”.

As I said in the original post on Good Night Rhymes, made up words are perfectly fine. The point of the game is to work on phonemic awareness. But she was wondering how she could get him to try different sounds. One approach she used was to start the game with a word that starts with an ‘L’ to stump him.

An easy variation on the game is to ask your child to rhyme the starting word using every letter of the alphabet. So if you started the game with “sit”, your child can use an alphabet chart to go down the letters to see what new words they can make. Although it doesn’t matter if the words don’t make sense, try to steer them towards words that “could be” words. For example, when you start with the letter ‘A’ for the word ‘sit’ you end up with “ait”. You can just say something like “That doesn’t sound right, let’s try the next letter. Bit, cit, dit, eit, fit, git, etc.”

This also changes the game from a phonemic awareness exercise to a phonics exercise because you are now asking your child to connect the letter of the alphabet with the sounds they make.

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  • Rebekah

    My now 5 yr old dd has loved to play rhyming games like this since she was probably 2 or 3. She used to come up with the non-existant words too, but, like you’ve said here, steering her in the right direction while acknowledging that the word (real or made up) did rhyme seemed to work. She quickly learned what was a word and what was just silly nonsense. Now at 5 she still loves to play the rhyming game, and will even now throw in a few made up words here and there just to be a goof. LOL

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