How to Teach Rhyming Words {Free Worksheets & Printables}

February 14, 2022

Abby Banks

Abby Banks

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Before children are ready to read and spell, we can help them gain phonological awareness with rhyming. There are so many ways you can teach rhyming words to your children. Some of the easiest ways to grow this literacy foundation is to use a rhyming words worksheet, fun exercises, classic nursery rhymes, and songs.

graphic of a teacher writing rhyming words on a chalkboard. How to Teach Rhyming Words - Free Worksheets & Printables

What is the Objective of Teaching Rhymes to Children?

There are many reasons why teaching children how to rhyme words is important. It’s a skill that is built upon in many different ways. 

Rhyming Helps To Teach Phonological Awareness

Young learners gain phonological awareness when they practice rhyming. In other words, it helps them to develop an ear for the language. This is a crucial skill for young children that will give them a solid foundation for additional language learning later on.

Rhyming Helps Students Learn Word Families

Rhyming also helps students learn about word families. This instruction gives them a great way to strengthen phonics skills. While rhyming is an aural skill (or ear training), it does translate later into understanding correct spelling and phonics rules.

Rhyming is a Crucial Pre-Writing and Pre-Reading Skill

Young students need practice in analyzing, understanding, and manipulating letter sounds as a crucial pre-writing and pre-reading skill. These basic skills of phonological awareness can be learned in a fun way. This is why nursery rhymes are so popular in the early years as children develop an ear for the language.

How Can I Help My Child Learn Rhyming Words?

The very best way to help your child learn rhyming words is to simply read rhyming pictures books together. Using familiar nursery rhymes is another easy way to help your children. Chanting rhyming words by emphasizing stressed syllables will help them catch on to the concept of rhyming. Finally, make it fun! Play simple games with your little learner to help them learn rhyming words.

How Do You Explain Rhyme to a Child?

Rhyming words have the same ending sounds, so play a simple no-prep rhyming game with your child. Start with an easy word like hat and ask your child to change the initial letter sound. Ask them how many different beginning letter sounds they can use with that same word family.

If your young children can already identify the letters of the alphabet and their sounds, then using a manipulative like magnetic letters on the refrigerator is an excellent way to visually understand rhyming. Spell the word hat with letter tiles, then remove the first tile and ask your child to choose a new letter to start the word. Before you know it, your child will be making new words easily.

How Do You Introduce Rhyming Words to Kindergarten Students?

Your favorite nursery rhyme book is a great resource to introduce rhyming words to kindergarten students. Just read through a few lines, emphasizing the rhymes as you go. Kids in kindergarten are able to catch on quickly that rhyming words have the same ending sounds.

You can introduce the concept of CVC words, which stands for consonant – vowel – consonant, and the vowel is always short. This is the simple pattern that kids use to learn to spell and read phonetically. It also works with rhyming.

How Do You Teach Rhyming to Struggling Students?

Rhyming allows struggling students to analyze the different sounds of a word. For example, rhyming with word families helps them differentiate initial consonants and how they change from word to word. Young readers benefit from a lot of instruction using the word family approach.

Rhyming also helps students hear the repetition of similar sounds. Then, you can focus on ending sounds with struggling students. Using a multiple modalities approach with struggling students is best. That is, try to engage them aurally, but also visually with pictures of words and kinesthetically with words activities that require them to manipulate the different parts.

With extra practice, even your struggling learners will increase their rhyming skills and set themselves up for added growth in other areas of phonics instruction.

How to Teach Rhymes with Actions

Songs with actions can be one of the most engaging ways to teach rhymes. Kids love to sing, so let kids practice rhyming this way. In addition to singing, you can teach rhymes with actions using these ideas:

  • find matching words around the house
  • have a rhyming scavenger hunt
  • play rhyming hop scotch
  • make a homemade memory game

Rhyming Words Worksheets

Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post so you can gain access to our Free Rhyming Words Activity Pack, which has worksheets and a rhyming game that you can print and use with your children.

Rhyming Words Worksheets Pack

Rhyming Words Worksheets

If you are teaching your student how to rhyme, using a rhyming words worksheet is an easy way to do this.

Matching Rhyming Words Worksheets

Matching Rhyming Words Worksheet for Kindergarten – Find eight worksheet options for matching rhyming words.

Rhyme Words Matching Worksheets for Kindergarten and Preschool – There’s nearly a dozen options here for matching worksheets to practice rhyming.

Rhyming Words Lesson Plans

Rhyming Lesson Plan – If you want it all scripted out, then this rhyming lesson plan will help you teach the concept.

Rhyme Time: Rhyming Lesson Plan – Here’s everything you need to teach your children how to rhyme, including book suggestions, extension activities, and more.

Rhyming Activities

Even More Rhyming Activities for Kids – Use some of these hands-on ideas with your kids to actively engage them in learning about rhyming.

43 Rhyming Activities for Kindergarten – Here are the best hands-on ways for your children to increase their literacy skills.

Rhyming Words with Pictures Worksheets

Matching Pictures That Rhyme Worksheets – There are six visual worksheet options here.

Rhyming Worksheets – Your kids will improve their auditory skills with these activity sheets.

Rhyming Words List

Rhyming Words – In case you need a massive list of rhyming words, we’ve got you covered! Whew!

Word Families – Here’s a list of the 27 most common word families in English.

Rhyming Words Coloring Pages

Rhyming Words Coloring Pages – These free pages are great for beginning readers. 

Nursery Rhymes Coloring Pages – Read the rhyme and color the picture with these fun sheets.

Rhyming Words Worksheets

This Rhyming Words Activity Pack + Game is the perfect resource for helping your kids practice their rhyming words. They’ll also be able to work on other skills such as matching, coloring, circling, and more. Use the flashcards as a rhyming words matching game.

Rhyming Words Worksheets Pack

How to Download Rhyming Words PDF Printables

To get access to our free Rhyming Words Activity Pack, sign into the subscriber library using the password found in all our emails. Not yet a subscriber? No worries – sign up below to get access now!


In Conclusion

Teaching rhyming is one of the fun early learning skills we get to teach our little ones. Have fun with it using games and activities, and print a rhyming words worksheet for practice in mastering this important skill. 

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