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Stage 2 - Rhyme Awareness

Rhyme is an important skill in developing speech sound awareness and literacy. Your child may not yet know what we mean by ‘rhyme’, but there are still many ways we can give them the experience of listening to rhyming words. These are words that have the same ending, but a different beginning. The vowel sounds are always the same in rhyming words (e.g. ‘snail’ and ‘whale’).

  • Sing nursery rhymes - action rhymes are the best. Repeat them over and over again.

    • Make it fun! You can use gestures/actions, different voices and faces to make it exciting for both
      you and your child.
    • When your child knows the rhyme well, try missing out a rhyming word to see if they can remember it.
    • Make up silly rhyming names to match your child’s name or a pair of puppets (e.g. Kim, Sim, Bim
      or Riley, Miley, Smiley etc.). Encourage your child to make up rhyming strings. They do not need to make real words (e.g. sanana banana, boggy doggy etc.).
    • Read short poems and picture books that have a rhyming story. Read the same ones again and again so they get to know them and can start joining in the story with you.
  • Remember we are focussing on your child being able to hear the rhyming words. Don’t worry if they can’t say them properly just yet.

    It’s important that your child understands the difference between same and different before they start the suggested activities below.

    • Play ‘spot the rhyme’:
    • Pairs or snap - you say the words and your child identifies the words that rhyme.
    • Place items or pictures in a feely bag - draw two out and say the words. See if they rhyme or not.
      You could use different household objects, toys or pictures.
    • Make a rhyming monster together out of an old cardboard box. Feed the monster the rhyming pairs.
      For example:
      Adult – “dog and frog. Do they sound the same at the end?”
      Child: “yes”
      Adult: “well done! They both have “og” at the end.”
      Adult: “tree and knee. Do they sound the same at the end?”
      Child: “no”
      Adult: “let’s have another listen tree and knee. Can you hear that they both end in ‘ee’?

    Remember to:

    • Sit facing each other so that you can see each other clearly.
    • Encourage your child to “have their listening ears turned on” before you say the two words.

    Examples of rhyming pairs are provided below;

Who Can Help?

You can contact the Norfolk & Waveney Speech & Language Therapy Service by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.

You can speak to other Norfolk parents and carers by clicking our online community forum below. 


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