Early Impact Learning

The Ultimate 18 Rhyming Activities (That Actually Work!)

There is probably no trickier part of early phonics than teaching children how to rhyme!

Some children just get it straight away, and others take literally years, and can often read fluently before they are able to rhyme successfully.

It is the one area I am asked about the most in early phonics, and so it is the thing I have focused a huge amount of my energy over the last 10 years, teaching children between 3 and 5. There is research that strongly links the benefits that experiencing rhyme has on the development of literacy. ( Source )

I have put together this list of 21 rhyming games that I believe are the best way to get children started on this journey of learning how to rhyme. Some are super simple, some a little harder, and some are for practicing their rhyming skills when they’ve achieved it.

The best 21 rhyming activities are:

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Hundreds of teachers and practitioners have also used these strategies successfully, as I have taught them at my early phonics workshop over the last three years.

I always say a few of the following things to get people started:

  • Start as easy as you possibly can when you teach rhyming!
  • Begin with children simply joining in with chants, songs and nursery rhyme stories.
  • Repeat everything as much as possible!
  • Success breeds success!

Right, let’s take a look at the rhyming games themselves. I have broken these rhyming activities down into three stages – rhyming games for beginners, medium-difficulty games, and then games to practice their rhyming skill when they’ve learned how to do it.

There are a few pitfalls to try to avoid, but if you go through these steps, then they will at least be minimized.

The biggest pitfall is children going a bit ‘random.’ For example, when you ask a child, ‘What is the rhyme of cat?’ They often say, ‘cheese,’ ‘dog’, ‘mouse’, or any other weird word association answers.

Try to avoid this randomness at all costs! It is a tricky habit to get out of.

The problem here is doing rhyming games that are too challenging. They then fall back on guessing and making things up. 

So go through the following three phases, and children will hopefully be ready to take on rhyme at their level.

rhyming to activity

Easy Rhyming Games

It’s important to lay the groundwork of rhyme with simple songs, books and also chants.

This is a crucial bedrock that can then be built on later.

Let’s take a look at some great ways to start:

Table of Contents

1. Chant Rhyming Words To Music

This is one of the all-time great rhyming games!

It works well because it’s pretty much impossible to go wrong. If the children at least join in, then they will be learning something about rhyme.

Put some pumping music on! I always use something with no words but with a good funky beat. Having no words helps, as the children don’t get confused with what they are saying, and the lyrics in the song .

A good example of a song to use is this:

Get the children to stand up, with the music playing.

Then pick a word that has lots of rhyming words. Something like the word ‘cat’ is a good one to go for.

What you are going to do is chant the word ‘cat’ to the beat of the music. I like to make up ‘actions’ as well. For example, do ‘cat’s whiskers’ in the air as you say ‘cat’. This helps make it as fun and multisensory as possible.

After you’ve said ‘cat’ about four times, change it to another rhyming word. For example, ‘bat’. Go ‘bat, bat, bat, bat’, with some kind of action (like bat wings) to bring it to life.

Just keep going like this, with everyone copying, saying the rhyming words and doing actions.

This activity is great for speech and language, and super as a starting point for rhyme. There is no way of going ‘random’, and it is just a case of joining in.

2. Nursery Rhymes (That Rhyme)

This is an obvious one, but I thought I better include it on this list of rhyming games. Often, the things that are the least like rocket science will have the greatest impact.

Singing simple nursery rhymes is the number one thing to do to set the foundation for rhyming words.

Many nursery rhymes don’t actually rhyme. For example, ‘The Wheels On The Bus’, isn’t actually a ‘rhyme’. That’s not to say there is tremendous value in singing those kind of songs – there definitely is!

But to actually learn and improve your kids’ rhyming skills, you want songs that actually rhyme! Some of these will have great rhyming words:

  • Twinkle Twinkle
  • Baa Baa Black Sheep
  • Incy Wincy Spider
  • Wind The Bobbin Up

I could have listed thirty or forty here, but you get the idea.

It’s a great idea to repeat songs they know well lots of times. Plenty of actions and making it fun really helps the process as well.

3. The Magical Wizard’s Box

This rhyming game uses lots of repetitive chanting, a great way to start with rhyme.

Have some kind of old box that is going to be the wizard’s magical box. You could use a picnic hamper, a treasure chest, or cauldron, or anything else like that.

You will also require some kind of magic wand. This could be a bought wand, or something like a stick with some magical material (like wool) wrapped round it will be fine).

One more thing – you need an object that is hidden in the box, and is something that has lots of words that rhyme with it. For example, you could have a toy cat in the box (but secretly – don’t let the children see).

Tell the children that you are going to make a rhyming spell. The box is currently empty (not one hundred percent true!), but if you all do a fantastic spell then something will turn up in the box.

Aim the wand at the box, and get the children to wiggle their ‘magic fingers’ at the box.

Then start chanting!

Once again, pick rhyming words with whatever object you are using in the box.

So, if it is ‘cat’, then chant ‘cat cat cat cat, hat hat hat hat….etc’

If the children can think of their own rhyming words, then that is fantastic! That is exactly what you want.

However, if they can’t come up with a rhyming word, that is absolutely fine (and normal) too. You just make up the words yourself. The important thing is for them to chant them at the box.

When you have done that for a bit, it is time for the big reveal! Dramatically, and very slowly, open up the box! My goodness – there is a cat inside! The element of real magic makes this very exciting.

You could try repeating this rhyming game with different objects. Pick things that have lots of rhymes, e.g. a ‘dog’, a ‘top’, or something else like that.

4. Action Rhyming

One of the simplest rhyming games on this list!

Pick two rhyming words, such as ‘dog’ and ‘frog’.

Get the children to stand up. Tell them we are going to do two actions, one after the other, again and again.

For example, it might be ‘arms up, arms down.’ When you do the first action, say one word. When you do the second action, then try the second word.

So, it might go a bit like (arms up) ‘dog’, (arms down), ‘frog’, (arms up) ‘dog’, etc.

Some other good actions to try are things like the following:

  • Hop from one foot to the other
  • Jive to the left, jive to the right
  • Reach to the left, reach to the right

5. Reading Rhyming Books (That Repeat A Lot)

This is another simple rhyming game or activity that is definitely not rocket science , but I thought I should include it on this list because it is so important for practicing rhyming skills.

Along with nursery rhymes, this is probably the most important on this list to get them started.

Of course, there are so many books that rhyme, but I think the best ones where the rhymes repeat over and over again. This really helps the children to master and predict the rhymes.

A good example of this is ‘The Smartest Giant In Town.’ In this book, the giant repeats a song again and again. Children get to be able to repeat rhymes, such as ‘My shirt’s on a boat / As a sail for a goat .’

Even using an old trick like leaving the last word out is a great one to try.

For example, ‘My belt helped a dog / Who was crossing a…’ (the children hopefully complete the sentence with ‘bog’.)

This is the level of awareness of rhyme you are looking for – the ability to complete a sentence that they already know. Rhyme doesn’t really need to be any harder than this when you are just starting.

Another good book to use this strategy in is Hairy Maclary. The rhyming words repeat over and over again throughout the whole book.

6. Pass The Rhyming Picture Cards Around The Circle

You need some rhyming picture cards for this game. A rhyming picture of a ‘cat’, ‘hat’, and ‘bat’ would be good. It’s good to have lots of the same rhyming pictures, so have about four cats, four hats etc.

The kindergarten children sit in a circle. The simple idea is that the first child in the circle receives a rhyming picture card, and they say what it is, for example, ‘cat’. They pass it to the next person, who also says, ‘cat’. Keep on passing the card around the circle like this! Very easy!

Then start adding more rhyming picture cards. In the end, there will be lots of cards on the go at once, going round and round. This creates a kind of ‘rhyming cacophony’ in the room! It will sound a bit like ‘cat hat bat bat hat cat cat’ – each word repeating over and over.

Great for beginning to internalize rhymes!

Please do this rhyming game! It is a classic.

Have some rhyming word cards again, and put them in a bag. You also need one picture of a ghost. Put that into the bag as well.

rhyming to activity

The children sit in a circle. The first child puts their hand into the bag, and pulls out a card. They say what it is, e.g. ‘Cat.’

Then the next child pulls a card out of the bag, and says what it is.

Continue until someone gets the ghost. They are the champion! If you get the ghost, then you are going to say, ‘Boo!’ and try to scare everyone!

Children really enjoy the anticipation and excitement of this game.

Also, it is a great game for them to play by themselves. Show them how to play a couple of times, and then the majority of children will be able to do it by themselves.

Medium Difficulty Rhyming Games

These next rhyming games are just slightly harder than the first ones I described.

However, there is still an emphasis on repetition, and getting children chanting and enjoying rhyming words.

8. Memory Game

For this rhyming game, you need some kind of rhyming pictures again. For example, rhyming picture cards of a ‘log’, ‘dog’, and a ‘frog.’ You need at least one card per child (so you might have four logs, four frogs etc).

The children sit in a circle and give out the cards, one to everyone.

They sit with their rhyming pictures face down on the floor to start with.

The first person in the circle turns over their card, and says what it is – e.g. ‘log.’

Then the next person goes. They turn over their card, but first say the name of the object next to them.

So they might say, ‘log, dog.’

The next person might say, ‘log, dog, frog.’

Keep going like this! It gets much harder for the people sitting further around the circle .

The much harder version of this rhyming game is to say the words but keep the cards face down. Then it is a true memory game (but much trickier).

9. Kim’s Game Magic Trick

Kim’s Game is a very well-known game, but it definitely can be really spiced up by turning it into a magic trick!

The children sit in a circle, and have at least three objects that rhyme – for example, a ‘cat’, ‘hat’, and ‘bat.’

rhyming to activity

You will also need some kind of sheet and a magic wand.

Get the children to first chant the rhyming objects a few times, and experience the rhymes. It might sound like ‘bat, cat, hat, bat, cat, hat.’

Then cover the objects with the sheet.

Say that you’re going to do a magic trick with the wand, but everyone has to close their eyes or the magic won’t work.

The children hopefully close their eyes, then sneak one object out from under the sheet, put it behind their back, and then say some kind of magic word (e.g. ‘Abracadabra).

Then get them to open their eyes, and take the sheet off. What has vanished?

This game is a fun way of getting rhyming words into a game that they enjoy.

10. The Robber Game

This rhyme game is an alternative way of playing the Kim’s Game Magic Trick activity above.

Have rhyming objects and sheet, but this time one child in the circle is going to be the ‘robber’.

Cover the objects, and the children close their eyes.

The ‘robber’ sneaks over and ‘steals’ an object from under the sheet, and hides it behind their back.

The children open their eyes, and then you take the sheet off. What has been stolen?

11. Match The Rhyming Team

You need two sets of rhyming pictures for this – for example, ‘cat’, ‘bat’ and ‘hat’, and ‘log’, ‘dog’, and ‘frog.’

The kindergarten children stand up. Randomly give out one set to half the children and the other set of cards to the other half.

Stick one picture from each set on the wall on either side of the room – for example, a ‘bat’ on one wall, and a ‘dog’ on the opposite wall.

Say, ‘Go!’

The children are going to try to stand next to the wall where there is a picture that rhymes with their card.

When they’ve had a go, and you’ve ironed out any problems, get them all back in the middle again, and get them to swap cards with others.

Then have another go.

12. Cross The River Game

This is one of the all-time great rhyming games.

Have some kind of pretend river (such as a blue sheet).

You will also need a bag with at least six objects in it. These will be rhyming pairs of objects. For example, you might have a ‘cat’ and ‘bat’, a ‘dog’ and ‘log’, and a ‘fox’ and ‘box’.

The children sit in a circle, with the river in the middle.

Three children are going to go first. They come and stand on one side of the river.

Give them each one of the rhyming pairs of objects – for example, they might get the ‘cat’, ‘dog’ and ‘fox.’

The idea is that you are going to produce an object out of the bag, and if it rhymes with their object, then they are going to cross the river.

Two things to do first. One is to show them the rhyming pairs of objects first. This gives them a fighting chance of getting it right.

Also, sing the song! This goes to the music of ‘She’ll Be Going Round The Mountain,’ but the words are:

You’ll be crossing the river when it rhymes!

You’ll be crossing the river, crossing the river,

Crossing the river when it rhymes!

Sing the song, then pick an object out of the bag. The person that rhymes with it jumps over the river. Then repeat with the other two objects.

After the three children have had a go, repeat the game with three other children. It is good to repeat the game a few times with the same rhyming objects, as the children get good at working out which object goes with what.

Memorizing a few pairs of rhymes is a good springboard for hearing rhymes in words later. There is research describing the positive impacts of experiencing simple rhymes such as these. ( Source )

13. Willaby Wallaby Woo

This is one of the ultimate rhyming chants!

The children sit in a circle. Everyone taps there hands on their knees as they chant:

Willaby Wallaby Woo!

An elephant sat on you!

Willaby Wallaby Wee!

An elephant sat on me!

Willaby Wallaby…(insert a rhyming name for a child.e.g. Wayden)

An elephant sat on…(Jayden!)

So, the basic idea is that you pick a child in the circle, and add a ‘w’ to their name. E.g. ‘Lucas’ becomes ‘Wucas.’

Lucas will then lie down in the middle of the circle, having pretended to be squashed by an elephant.

The children all find this hilarious!

Then Lucas goes back to where he was sitting, and repeat with a different child.

I have found this is a rhyming game that children can do, even when they show little rhyming skills up to that point.

Harder Rhyming Games

Now let’s take a look at a range of rhyming games that you can try after children have become confident with lots of the easier rhyme games that I have just looked at.

14. Odd One Out Rhyming Game

This is definitely quite tricky – perhaps one of the most challenging rhyming games on this list.

You basically need at least three rhyming words / objects that all rhyme, and then one that doesn’t.

So, you might have a ‘bat’, ‘cat’, ‘rat’, and ‘tiger’.

All say the names of the rhyming word families together, and see if the children can hear which one doesn’t rhyme.

A top tip for this game – try to have the odd object as something that is really different in sound from the other things.

For example, the above set of objects (bat, cat, rat) have a ‘broccoli,’ or ‘tiger’ or ‘sausage’ as the odd one out. This gives them a fighting chance.

If the odd one out was something like a ‘cot’ that would really confuse some children because it sounds so similar to ‘cat’.

15. Rhyming Stone

This is one of the most fun and exciting rhyming games on this list!

For this, you need some kind of stone that has been decorated in some way. I have painted a stone with weird markings, swirls and patterns .

This is because I tell the children that the stone is from outer space. It has been sent by aliens to turn us into amazing rhymers!

Sit in a circle, and the idea is to pick a rhyming word that you are all going to rhyme with, for example, the word ‘cat.’

The idea is that you will pass the stone around, and everyone will say a word that rhymes with ‘cat.’

However, in reality, this would lead to all sorts of random rhyming words, so a good trick is to chant some ideas before you pass the stone.

Have a practice of chanting, ‘cat, cat, hat, hat, rat, rat, pat, pat, etc’

Then, when you have done chanting rhyming words quite a bit, pass the stone around, and the children only need to say one of the words that you have just chanted.

This gives them a fighting chance to get the rhyming word right, and success breeds success in rhyming!

16. Feed The Animal!

Children love feeding things, making this activity one of their favorite rhyming games!

In this game, you need two boxes (or other containers) that you make look a bit like hungry animals. Have a hole cut out of the boxes for a mouth.

So, for example, you might have a box with a picture of a shark on it. Or a tiger, T-Rex, monster, lion, or anything else.

Put one picture of something that rhymes at the top of one box, and another picture on the other box.

So you might have a shark box, that will eat the rhymes of ‘dog’, and a T-Rex box that will eat the rhymes of ‘cat.’

Have a range of rhyming pictures with the two rhymes on – e.g. ‘cat, bat, hat’, and ‘dog, log, frog.’

The children are just going to try to pop the right card into the correct rhyming box.

This is of course a classic game , but it is a bit trickier in terms of rhyming than many others.

There is an easier way to play it and a harder way.

The easier way is to find things in the room that have quite long names and change the first sound. For example, you might say, ‘I spy something that rhymes with ‘zelephant.’’ The answer – ‘elephant.’ Or it might be ‘zupboard’ (cupboard).

Longer words actually make it easier.

It is much harder when you try out one syllable words , like ‘I spy something that rhymes with ‘zair’ (‘chair’).

See how they get on. Start with an easy rhyming word, but you can always get harder.

18. Rhyming Dance

This can be quite a simple game that helps improve rhyming skills. But it can be made much harder as well. Just take your pick as to the level of difficulty based on how your children are getting on.

Get the children to stand up, and put on some pumping dance music!

Something like this song (without any words) would be a good one:

Pick a word that has lots of rhymes. Something like ‘cat’ again, would be a good word to try.

Put the music on a pick a simple dance move. Something like arms to one side, then arms to the other.

Chant rhyming words to the music. For example, going, ‘Cat, bat, cat, bat’, as you dance with your arms going one way, then the other.

This is the easy version of the game!

The harder version is where you keep on adding different words and dance moves.

So, you might go, ‘Cat, bat, rat, sat, hat.’ (All linked to five different dance moves).

You can make it as long and tricky as you want.

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20+ rhyming activities

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Read books that rhyme

These books are packed with rhyming words!

When your child is ready, leave out the rhyming word for him to fill in.  Or try this fun rhyming activity with picture books .  You just need the book and a  counter  or post-it note .

Sing nursery rhymes and other rhyming songs

Love this big collection of rhyming games and free rhyming activities!

  • Did you see my post sharing ten reasons why nursery rhymes are important?  Even older kids should know their nursery rhymes!
  • Maybe you’ve seen my collection of 26 FREE letter books featuring rhymes and songs for every letter of the alphabet . These helped my middle son learn to rhyme (and recognize his letters) when he was a toddler.

Love this big collection of rhyming games and free rhyming activities!

  • We love, love, love books we can sing.  Check out these singable rhyming books   from This Reading Mama.

Play rhyming games

These rhyming games take little or no prep time. Try them out!

  • Find and Rhyme (No Time for Flashcards)

Love this big collection of rhyming games and free rhyming activities!

  • Play this rhyming game in the car (Mom to @ Posh Lil Divas)

Love this big collection of rhyming games and free rhyming activities!

  • Make  rhyming jars like they did at No Time for Flashcards

Love this big collection of rhyming games and free rhyming activities!

  • This puzzle rhyming  activity from No Time for Flashcards is a genius way to recycle those old puzzles you’re not using anymore.
  • Play a rhyming scavenger hunt  based on the book There’s a Wocket in My Pocket .

Love this big collection of rhyming games and free rhyming activities!

  • Looking for a classroom game? Try passing around the rhyming basket , like they do at PreKinders.
  • Play  rhyming dominoes (No Time for Flashcards).
  • Check out Playdough to Plato’s list of six awesome rhyming games .

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Get free rhyming printables

You know we love free printables around here!  Here’s a big collection to make rhyming fun.

Love this big collection of rhyming games and free rhyming activities!

  • Get our giant pack of  free rhyming clip cards .

Love this big collection of rhyming games and free rhyming activities!

  • For a twist on the activity, print This Reading Mama’s clip cards and have your child clip the picture that doesn’t rhyme .

Love this big collection of rhyming games and free rhyming activities!

  • Get This Reading Mama’s free  rhyming pack for preschool and kindergarten .

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  • Get this  rhyming rockets  printable at No Time for Flashcards.

Love this big collection of rhyming games and free rhyming activities!

  • Print and play our  rhyming matching game (24 free pairs!).

Love this big collection of rhyming games and free rhyming activities!

  • Or play rhyming bingo  with our giant classroom set of bingo boards.

 Make rhyming a part of every day

  • Add rhyming songs to your routine  by getting 20 songs (with lyrics!) from This Reading Mama.
  • Find 6 ways to add rhymes to every day life  from What Do We Do All Day.


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Early Reading No-Print Bundle

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Your students can complete these activities in Google Slides on a computer or tablet – no printing necessary! The resource includes activities for rhyming, syllable counting, beginning sounds, and upper/lowercase matching.


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Reader Interactions


April 7, 2020 at 9:28 pm

I love your website and all the freebies ?? I love everything in here, im amazed how much stuff i can do to help my sons to improve. I’m just wondering if you can give me some of the answer for rhyming print out. Me and my partner cant figure out what is in the picture. Thank you so much

Kate Dowling

April 10, 2020 at 3:15 pm

Hi Fina! This is Kate, Anna’s assistant. I’d be happy to help. Please paste a link here to the activity you’re having trouble with. I don’t know which one you need me to look at. Thanks!

February 2, 2018 at 9:54 pm

Thank you for sharing 🙂 Amazing activities.

February 3, 2018 at 4:54 pm

You’re very welcome, Tina!

Catalina Chavez

February 6, 2017 at 10:44 pm

It says free printable activities but it will not give me anything to print!!

Anna Geiger

February 7, 2017 at 2:34 am

If you click on the brown links you will get to the blog posts that feature the free printables.

AShley Berger

December 9, 2016 at 12:39 pm

Thanks for sharing my five year old loves the activities.

December 10, 2016 at 6:00 am

You’re very welcome, Ashley!

March 20, 2016 at 3:46 pm

Thank you! I’ve been wondering how do I start and where. Loved this article!

March 24, 2016 at 5:42 pm

You’re very welcome, Ivy!

rhonda Miller

January 29, 2016 at 11:10 am

This is a wonderful sight. All materials are very useful and it’s so great that they are free!!! Thank you so much!!!! My preschoolers love the clothespin activities.

January 31, 2016 at 8:18 pm

I’m so glad your preschoolers enjoy the activities, Rhonda!


January 20, 2016 at 8:07 pm

Awesome information about rhyming words. thank u for sharing with us . It’s very useful information. Thanks a lot.

January 26, 2016 at 8:06 pm

You’re very welcome!

November 26, 2015 at 9:35 am

I cannot get the clipping rhyming cards to download. Any suggestions?

November 26, 2015 at 2:43 pm

Did you check this post for tips? https://www.themeasuredmom.com/how-to-download-free-files/

May 22, 2015 at 4:30 pm

We, my 3yo son & I, have use all the resources you have for learning letter sounds. Now, we are moving on to phonemic awareness. I should have been doing it all together, but we have twin toddlers destroying our house constantly. Oh well, he is still ahead of schedule! Thank you for posting so many great activities!

May 28, 2015 at 7:18 pm

I’m amazed that you are able to do any structured learning at all with twin toddlers in the house! Way to go! The nice thing about phonemic awareness is it’s something you can easily do on the run. We like to play rhyming games in the car or waiting at a restaurant. They require a lot less prep than alphabet activities sometimes do. 🙂

April 7, 2020 at 9:27 pm

I love your website and all the freebies ?? I love everything in here, im amazed how much stuff i can do to help my sons to improve. I’m just wondering if you can give me some of the answer for rhyming print out. Me and my partner cant figure out what is in the picture. Thank you so much

February 21, 2015 at 2:08 pm

LOVE LOVE LOVE your creative creations. Please know that my Kinders have the best time ever in centers and AM work. I have a broad group of learners this year, and your activities hit the high achievers and the “I’m off picking daisies” learners.

A very BIG THANK YOU. Happy 100 days next week Lainie G.

February 28, 2015 at 9:17 am

Thank you, Lainie! Your comment really made my day. I know how challenging it is to have learners all over the spectrum, so I’m SO glad to hear you can use my materials for students at different levels!

[…] good news is that most children learn to rhyme through games and books. And it’s not too late to get […]

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5 Ways to Teach Rhyming

rhyming to activity

Did you know that rhyming is one of the best predictors of how easily a child will learn to read? That’s because good rhymers are better equipped to notice that rhyming words often have shared letter sequences, such as – all in tall , ball , and small,  which in turn gives them a considerable head start in learning to read.

What Is Rhyming?

That may seem like a silly question, but it can be difficult to explain the concept of rhyming to a child who just doesn’t “get it.” Here’s a simple definition. When two words sound the same at the end, like duck and truck , they rhyme.

Most children enjoy hearing and participating in rhyming activities, and when they are exposed to rhyming, they usually pick it up naturally. But if your child isn’t good at rhyming yet, don’t worry! There are many things you can do to help.

Does Your Child Know How to Rhyme?

Use this simple test to find out whether your child knows how to rhyme. If your child needs help in this critical area, read on to discover how to teach your child to recognize and produce rhyme.

click to download a rhyming test

Three Stages of Rhyming Ability

It’s helpful to know that children don’t just start off rhyming. In fact, they generally go through three stages. In the order of easiest to hardest, those stages are:

the 3 stages of rhyming ability chart

Hearing  and recognizing rhyme are important skills your child must master before he can produce  rhyme, so be sure to focus on these skills first. Modeling can be a great way to help your child hear rhyme.

Here’s an example of modeling: “ Duck and truck rhyme! They both end with uck ! Say it with me: uck-uck , duck , truck !”

But hearing rhyme is just the beginning. The activities below were designed to help you teach your child all three stages of rhyming!

5 Simple Ways to Teach Rhyming

teach rhyming with rhyming picture books

Read rhyming picture books together.

There are hundreds of great rhyming books , and this Rhyming Picture Books Library List is a good place to start. As you read, occasionally point out words that rhyme. (“Oh,  goat and boat rhyme! They sound the same at the end. Goat , boat .”)

Teach rhyming with Get Out of the Wagon rhyming game

Play “Get Out of the Wagon” with your child.

“Get Out of the Wagon” is a popular Stage 2 rhyming game. In this downloadable activity , three word cards—like rake , cake , and king —are placed in a wagon. The child determines which word doesn’t rhyme and tells it to “get out of the wagon.”

teach rhyming with nursery rhymes

Share nursery rhymes with your child.

Nursery rhymes are conducive to reciting again and again. After your child knows the nursery rhymes, let him fill in the rhyming words to work on Stage 2. On this downloadable library list , you’ll find some wonderful nursery rhyme collections to enjoy together.

teach rhyming with What's in My Bag? rhyming game

Play “What’s in My Bag?” with your child.

Once your child can successfully recognize rhymes, this activity will help him learn to produce rhymes (a Stage 3 skill). Just fill a bag with several common household items ( here are some ideas ) and you’re ready to play “What’s in My Bag?”

teach rhyming with Dinner Time rhyming game

Play “Dinner Time” with the whole family.

For more advanced Stage 3 rhyming, download this fun “Dinner Time” game . But make sure to play “Dinner Time” with the whole family. It’s guaranteed to provide lots of giggles for kids and parents alike!

Teaching Rhyming to Preschoolers - All About Reading

The Bottom Line on Teaching Rhyming to Your Child

  • Rhyming is an important pre-reading skill that reaps dividends later on.
  • The ability to rhyme occurs in three unique stages.
  • Use books, games, and engaging activities to promote rhyming ability. We make it easy by including hands-on activities throughout our Pre-reading program , and we continue to reinforce rhyming throughout the All About Reading program.

It may not happen overnight, but with repeated exposure, your child will learn to rhyme. Most importantly, keep your rhyming practice fun and light—it shouldn’t feel like a “lesson” to a young child.

Is there a rhyming activity that your child enjoys? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

_________________________ Photo credit: Rachel Neumann

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Brenda Smith

I’m a pre school teacher and I’m introducing rhyme words to the children these ideas you have shared will help me so much thank you for always been a teacher even with teachers thank you from the bottom of my heart 🥰

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You’re so welcome, Brenda! Glad this will be helpful for your students!

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Jayden OneillJayden Oneill

Great I should definitely say I’m impressed with your blog. I had no trouble navigating through all tabs as well as related info. It ended up being truly easy to access. Excellent job.

Thank you, Jayden.

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Hey Marie. Thanks a ton for this resource , I cannot express how excellent it is ! Appreciate a lot. I will look for the other work of yours also.

Aysha, You are so welcome! It’s wonderful to hear that this resource meets your needs.

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Great ideas thanks

You’re welcome, Rachel!

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Jaisaneua Hartley

Its a reliable source of information.

Thank you, Jaisaneua.

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Very helpful info

I’m glad this was helpful, Mary.

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Nelia Guajardo

I absolutely loved this information about rhyming! Very insightful!

Glad you liked it and found it insightful, Nelia! Thank you.

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Vaishnavi Gupta

teaching class in nursery

I hope you find this helpful for your class, Vaishnavi!

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Toni Miller

The kids enjoy singing and playing acting, they would love more rhyming games to play.

Rhyming games are great fun, Toni!

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Thank you for sharing these ideas. They will be very helpful and fun for my kiddos 6to play while they learn.

You’re welcome, Keineth! I’m glad these will be helpful.

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Phuntsho Choden

acting out the words musical chair

Interesting, Phuntsho. I hadn’t thought to use musical chairs for working on rhyming! Thank you for sharing the idea.

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Any suggestions for children with special needs that just don’t seem to be catching on to the concept of rhyming?

I’m sure we can brainstorm suggestions with you, Macrina, but it would be helpful to know the ages and what sorts of special needs they have.

It’s important for any learner to have lots and lots of exposure to rhyming language before they will be able to identify rhyme. Spend lots of time reading rhyming picture books (see links in the above blog post for book suggestions) and children’s poetry. Sing lots of rhyming songs, especially those that have movements for the children to do to participate. Surround the children in rhyme!

Then, choose a book with a simple rhyming pattern and read it daily for a week or two. Then, after they are very familiar with the language of the book, start pausing for the children to say the rhyming word. So, if the rhyme is, “I will not eat them in the rain. I will not eat them on a train.” (from Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Suess), then you would read, “I will not eat them in the rain. I will not eat them on a …” and see if they will say “train.” (Note, you would probably want to choose a shorter book than Green Eggs and Ham to start with, but I’m just using it as an example.)

Once the children can start providing the rhyming words for books they are very familiar with, then they are ready to start working on Stage 2 of rhyming, Recognizing Rhymes. The Get Out of the Wagon free activity printable here is great for working on Stage 2 of rhyming.

I hope this helps you help your students move through the first two stages of rhyming. Please let me know if you need more help or suggestions.

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Tulisha Scott

The folk song “Down by the Bay” is a fun way to practice rhymes.

I love that song, Tulisha!

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I’d never thought about rhyming as a pre reading skill before.

Tamara, Rhyming is often overlooked, but it is an important reading readiness skill . Both rhyming and blending sounds into words require children to be able to notice the individual sounds. Rhyming, of course, focuses only on the last sounds, but it is a precursor to noticing all the sounds in words.

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Meagan Held

Interesting article. My Kindergartner isn’t a very “creative” rhymer-he will think of 1-2 rhyming words and then move on. While he’s gotten a good start to reading, it hasn’t been as instinctual as it was for older brother. On the other hand, my preschooler will spend a few minutes thinking of ALL the words that can rhyme with another word. (We were playing the dinner game, and he wanted a turn asking for “bickles”). It will be interesting to see how he does when introduced to reading. :)

Interesting observations, Meagan. Some children do enjoy rhyming more than others. I wouldn’t be too concerned with your kindergartner’s wanting to rhyme just a couple of words before moving on. It shows he has mastered the skill, but may not be a favorite activity.

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I am enjoying the new Uppercase Letter Crafts book with a special little person!

Thank you for letting us know you are enjoying the new Uppercase Letter Crafts book, Karen! We appreciate the feedback, thank you!

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Holly DiBella-McCarthy

I made a Rhyming Memory (or Concentration) game! It’s free to download on my website! Lots of fun to play- hollydibellamccarthy.com

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Nancy Martin

Thank you for sharing these games. Let’s keep it fun!

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My 12 year old struggles with rhyming. These are great tips.

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Great information!

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Love all the ideas for games.

You’re welcome, Shanna! I’m glad you like these.

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Very interesting!

Thank you, Stephanie.

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Still working on this with my pre-reader!

I hope this is helpful. Let me know if you have questions or need additional suggestions.

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I’ve been wondering if I’m teaching rhyming right, so this was helpful! My daughter is learning to read at 4 but hasn’t gotten the hang of rhyming yet. All in time I suppose.

Brittany, Yes, some children just need more time and more focused attention on rhyming to master this skill. I hope you find the stages and tips in this blog post helpful. However, if you have concerns or questions, please let me know.

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This is one of my favorite programs. Even years later.

Thank you, Aly!

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Stephanie Rasmussen

‘Get out of the wagon’ is a simple yet fun way to practice identifying rhymes.

Glad you like this activity, Stephanie!

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This is so interesting! I had no idea but will start with some of these ideas with my 3yo.

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Love all these ideas! My 3.5 year old makes up silly songs and she will naturally create her own rhymes and make up words that rhyme. She seems to do it naturally without thinking about it but if I ask her directly for a word that rhymes with cat, for example, it takes her some time to think of something.

It sounds like your child is doing very well considering her age, Michaela! She may need more practice with stage 3 of rhyming, but it sounds like it won’t take much. Keep up the great work!

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We love playing rhyming games, and even singing rhyming words! Glad to know this is going to help my son succeed at spelling!

Amy, Rhyming is important for reading too. Plus, as you have found, it’s fun!

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I love all the fun games that reinforce the skills taught. These are great ideas for rhyming!

Thank you, Julie! Glad you like these ideas.

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5 Fun Games to Teach Rhyming Words

When it comes to teaching any phonics skill, my aim is always high engagement. I know if I can snag student attention quickly and hang onto it through our lesson, my kiddos will catch onto our new concept so much more quickly. This is definitely true when it comes to teaching rhyming words. If you’re looking for ways to boost engagement and help students master rhyming words, games will save the day!

rhyming to activity

Using Games To Teach Rhyming Words

If you’ve been around here for a little while, you likely already know my love of using games in the classroom.

rhyming to activity

I am all about fostering a love of learning in my littles and games make that task super simple. We use games all day long in the classroom.

You can adapt games for small group settings, use them during whole group meetings and even assign them as center activities.

No matter how you choose to use games, you can count on engagement and excitement in your students when you begin using them regularly!

I have a lot of games in the rotation, but here are my top 5 favorites for working on rhyming words in kindergarten.

1. Rhyming BINGO

Every student LOVES to play BINGO, and so do I! BINGO is great for teaching rhyming words since it involves lots of repetition and the ability to quickly scan the card. In my classroom, we usually play this game during small groups, but it can absolutely be used during whole group time as well! It makes a fun way to review rhyming all year long.

rhyming to activity

To prep, I like to print and laminate the cards so we can use them over and over. I provide my kiddos with some type of BINGO marker like small erasers, counters, or cubes to cover the board. Alternatively, we also have black and white BINGO cards that can be used with BINGO dauber markers for a fun twist on this activity.

To play, the BINGO caller will pull a word card, read it aloud and children will look for a rhyming word on their card. This is a simple way to strengthen rhyming skills and help children identify rhyming words on their own when looking at pictures.

When we play in small groups, I like to have each child say the name of the word they found aloud to further reinforce rhyming words.

2. I’m Thinking of a Word…

This has to be one of my students’ favorite games of all time. Any type of guessing game always seems to grab their attention and this one is no different. This game can be played with your whole group during the morning meeting or easily used in small groups.

rhyming to activity

To get started, I print off sets of rhyming word cards (there is a set of cards for both CVC and CVCe words included in my Rhyming Activity Resource ). Then, I laminate them and keep them together on a large binder ring. This method makes it easy to store the cards in my circle time cart and grab them anytime we have a few minutes to spare. To play, I will choose a card, read the hints to my students and they take turns guessing the word.

The hints say things like, “I’m thinking of a word that starts with /b/ and rhymes with pat”. My kids LOVE this game so it’s never difficult to get some enthusiasm going when I pull these cards out! I like to sneak this activity in whenever we have a couple of extra minutes to fill between transitions. Typically I’ll ask students to raise their hands with their guesses in the beginning, but once I know my students are more familiar with rhymes, I’ll call on specific kiddos to answer the question.

3. Fruit Salad Rhyming Words Game

This activity is perfect for small groups and will give your students another chance to work on identifying rhyming words on their own.

rhyming to activity

To play, I print and laminate a set of fruit cards, bowls, and calling cards. Each child gets a bowl mat and I lay the fruit cards out on the table.

I choose a calling card, read the word and then select a student to find a fruit with a rhyming word for the one that was called. They add the fruit to their bowl and begin making a “fruit salad”.

After all the “fruit” has been collected I like to have kiddos pull their cards out and repeat the words they have.

You can extend this activity by asking students to produce a matching word for each card once more.

4. Connect 4 Rhyming Words

I loved Connect 4 as a kid, I mean who didn’t right? This game has a similar concept and is perfect for small groups and centers.

rhyming to activity

Before we begin playing, I laminate the game boards and grab some counters. To play, I call out words on the calling cards and ask kiddos to find a word that rhymes with that word on their card. If they find a picture of a rhyming word, they cover it up on their card. Once a student has 4 in a row, they win!

This game is quick and easy to play, so we will often play it a few times during small groups. After a kiddo has won, I like to ask them to read the words back to me and name a rhyming word for each one. This offers a bit of an extension to the activity and the opportunity to check in on their ability to produce rhyming words independently.

5. Trash It!

My kiddos LOVE this game! I teach kindergarten, so there’s always a fair bit of giggles when we first introduce this game, which means I can count on engagement!

rhyming to activity

To play, kiddos say the word for each picture on their strip and then place the trash can on the one that doesn’t rhyme with the other words. This is such a fun and easy way for students to work on hearing those rhyming sounds.

I like to play this game in small groups and have children read out their word strips one at a time. This way, everyone gets a chance to hear a variety of rhyming word sets from their peers. This activity also makes a great center activity.

I like to extend this activity a little further by having kiddos sound out and write each word down in their phonics journal afterward. Depending on the skill level of your students, this might take some prompting to get them started but they typically pick this up pretty quickly! After they write all four words, I have them circle the one that doesn’t belong.

More Games For Rhyming Words

These games are just a few of the ones that I use in my classroom to teach rhyming words. Over the years, I have found that the more variety I use in our games and center activities, the more engagement I can count on. Some of the other games we use, that are part of my Rhyming Games resource , include:

rhyming to activity

  • Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down
  • Match It Up
  • Match & Cover
  • Fluency Board Games
  • Rhyming Words Chant
  • Rhyming Words Skill Cards
  • Pocket Chart Game

Using these games helps my students master rhyming words in a fun way, which is always a win in my book! If you’re looking to add some more rhyming activities to your lesson plan, be sure to check out my Rhyming Activities Resource. This activity pack includes all of the games I mentioned here so you’ll have plenty of options to use during small groups, centers, and whole group time.

Get started with rhyming activities right away with this fun freebie, just for my readers! Simply enter your info below and you’ll be sent a sample game from my Rhyming Activities Resource! Your students will love learning to rhyme with these hands-on games!

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Don’t forget to pin this post on Pinterest so you’ll have all these rhyming word activities handy!

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  • Read more about: phonics , reading

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Hi, i’m julie.

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30 Rhyming Activities for Kindergarten

  • Suzanne Kelley
  • August 18, 2021
  • No Comments

Developing phonemic awareness and mastering rhyming is crucial for our kinders, but do you ever feel you repeatedly do the same rhyming activities every day? Do you love all your rhyming picture books and matching games but sometimes want to change things up? 

I know how essential it is for rhyming activities to be fun and engaging for our students, and we know you want that too! So, I have compiled this list of 30 Rhyming Activities for your students. Each one will engage your students and be no prep for you! I have included games, videos, books, and more that will be fantastic for your classroom! I especially love #9, #13, and #21.

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Just as we want our kindergarteners to get a great start in their school careers, I want you to have a successful year too! There isn’t a better way to do that than becoming a member of Education to the Core Premium.

Our membership provides you with unlimited access to thousands of Kindergarten resources in all subject areas. Everything that you need to keep your young learners moving in the right direction is at your fingertips with the click of a button. Give it a try today for $1.00 and see how easy Premium is to use. 

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Rhyming Games and Centers

1.  Making Rhyming Words

This “Making Rhyming Words” center is a part of the March Centers Bundle! Students will create, then blend, and segment onsets and rimes of single-syllable spoken words.

rhyming to activity

 2. Rhyming Jars For this activity, you will need popsicle sticks, baby food jars, and colored tape. Write the rhyme on the tape and place it on the jar. Then, you write rhyming words directly on sticks or, if you are adventurous, little tape flags. Kids will take all of the popsicle sticks with pre-written words and place them in the baby food jar marked with the rhyme.

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3.  Rhyming Match Up   Students will find and produce rhyming words by matching the pictures on the rhyming cards.

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4. Rhyming I Spy   With this activity, I look around the room and say something like, “I spy something that rhymes with fable.” Kids are allowed to yell until someone replies ‘table’. I then pick something else in the room, or you can then pass the “I Spy” to another student. 

5. Find Your Rhyming Partner   Kids need to move, and if they get to interact with classmates in a fun way, bonus! For this activity, hand out cards that have their rhyming match in the deck. Every student gets a card and keeps it hidden from everyone. Students move around the room at the word “go”, looking for the other student that has their rhyme. 

Never Enough Games!

6. Use Bean Bags   You will say a word such as “hat”. You will then pass a bean bag to the student. The student will think of a word that rhymes with hat, say the word that rhymes, and then give the bean bag to another student. The game continues with the bean bag being passed around to different students until no one can think of more rhyming words. That student then gets to say a new word and the game continues.

7.  Clip-It Rhyming Center This “Clip-It Rhyming Center!” activity is a part of the October Centers Bundle! Students will orally produce single-syllable words by matching the picture puzzles and blending them, using a clothespin to clip it.

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More Rhyming Games

8. Rhyming Movement Game  If your name rhymes with Rames, touch your toes. The students enjoy having their names mentioned for anything positive in Kindergarten. During transitions, I will use several names and have kids do a directive.

9.  I Have, Who Has is an interactive activity PERFECT as a warm-up for your lesson, practice for a new concept or skill, review, small groups, and more! Choose from 3 different rhyming card sets, or use them all and practice multiple times throughout the year. Great for a Fun Friday activity or canceled recess!

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10. Rhyming Name Game   Not Rames, James. My kiddos began doing this while doing Heggerty, and they love it. Although we continue to do the game with categories, they especially love it when I change the onset for all students’ names. I say Rames, and they say back to me, not Rames, James.

11. Swatting Rhymes   In my small groups, I put out pictures of a variety of things. When it is a child’s turn, I will say a rhyme to one of the pictures. The student, in turn, uses a fly swatter to swat the rhyming picture. They love this one!

12. Rhyming Jenga/Blocks  Who knew that students could use Jenga Blocks in so many educational ways?! I write word families on the blocks, and the students take turns removing blocks that rhyme until they run out of rhymes or their tower collapses!

Rhyming Activities for Centers or Whole Group

13.  Write the Room Kindergarten Edition gets the students up and moving around with varying recording sheets for teacher preference to match each student’s pace . 

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14. Rhyming Basket, Lunch Bag, or Book with an Anchor Chart   For this particular activity, the goal is to write as many word family words as possible on an anchor chart. I love to change it up each time, so once in a while, I will use a rhyming book, and other times maybe I will pull something from a bag or a basket.

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15.  Rhyming Books for Kids   For a free downloadable list of rhyming books that are great for kindergarteners, click on the link!

16. Rhyming Yes/No  This activity is no prep at all! I say two words, and the students raise their hands if they rhyme or put their hands in their lap if they don’t rhyme. Easy Peasy!

17. Rhyming “Pears” Your students will have fun matching the rhyming “pears” in this activity. As part of our intervention kit, you can use this resource with a select few students to help them master rhyming identification skills. 

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More, More, More!

18.  Heggerty Phonemic Awareness   35 weeks of daily systematic phonological and phonemic awareness lessons’, which of course include rhyming! If you are looking for a supplemental activity for whole or small groups, I personally love Heggerty. Although read by the script, my kinders love it, especially when I exaggerate the hand motions!

19. Rhyming Telephone   Do you remember the game telephone? One person starts and whispers in the ear of the next person. Each person turns to the person next to them and whispers the same to that person. The twist for this is each child adds a rhyming word/word family word as they go on. By the end, the last child should be whispering back several rhyming words.

Additional Centers and Rhyming Activities

20.  Word Family Card Flip Books These word family cards are a steal! I make a laminated set to run through them in my small groups, but the kiddos will want some of their own!

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21.  Kindergarten Literacy Centers   By choosing this resource, you will be getting 24 downloadable Kindergarten Reading Stations to help you through the year, including rhyming and word family activities. 

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22. Word Family or Rhyming Substitutions with Letter Cards. My kiddos all have a Ziploc filled with cardstock letters. Every day, we will use those cards to build words, and the easiest words to start with are word families! I will ask them to spell out a word like b-a-t with their cards. Then, I will say ok, now take away the ‘b’ and make the word, cat. What letter did you use? Or other times, I will say, replace the ‘b’ with a ‘c,’ What word do you now have?

23. Rhyming Interactive Notebook Activity Your students can create a reference for rhyming words that they can use over and over again. Work those fine motor skills into rhyming matching activities within an interactive notebook project. 

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Additional Games!

24. Digital Rhyming Games Keep the rhyming fun going with a digital twist on learning. This is one of three different activities in the rhyming game set. Your students will look at the top picture and then slide one of the circles over the other word that rhymes. Other activities include matching images that rhyme and creating rhyming words by manipulating alphabet tiles. 

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25.  Rhyming Sticks.  Like Jenga blocks , popsicle sticks are so versatile in the classroom! Write out rhymes on sticks and have kids match. Or, turn those sticks into a game for one!

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26.  File Folder Games Create engaging games for students to practice and learn rhyming words. Your students can play the Three in a Row game with a partner as an early finisher. Students will flip over a picture card and then find the word on the grid. The first player to place 3 chips in a row wins. 

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27. Seasonal Rhyming Activities If you haven’t checked out my monthly packets yet, there are some pretty fun rhyming activities in there! Your students can match rhyming pictures and color a set of words that rhyme, all while celebrating the seasons throughout the year. 

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And MOVE with these Rhyming Activities!

28.  Exercise, Rhyme, AND FREEZE! In this video, ‘Jack Hartmann shares word pairs and asks the students to respond physically based on whether or not the pair rhyme. For example, if the words rhyme, they continue to do the exercise. If the words do not rhyme, students must freeze!’

29.  Rocco the Rhyming Rhino   Who doesn’t love Jack Hartmann? Okay, realistically, I know a few of you might not, but the kiddos love his videos!

30.  YouTube Videos that Teach Phonics They are a great tool to get your students up and moving while learning phonics skills. Without those letter sounds and word families, rhyming isn’t happening for your kiddos!

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rhyming to activity

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8 Free Rhyming Activities for Kindergarten

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Let’s teach how to rhyme with these rhyming activities for kindergarten .

Here are 8 free rhyming activities you can use with your kindergarten students in guided reading groups so they can learn how to hear and identify rhyming words .

8 Free Rhyming Activities for Kindergarten

Teaching kindergartners to hear rhyming words

I once thought that rhyming was just something that kinders knew or didn’t know. I just thought that they had to “get it.”

Oh, little did I know.

Then I figured out  how to teach rhyming words orally with some nifty hand motions.

This made it much easier to teach how to listen for word parts that sounded the same to my non-readers.

For some students, they didn’t need a lot of rhyming practice after learning to hear rhyming words orally, until they were ready to focus on why words rhyme based on their word chunks and word bits. That usually came around being readers at a level 5-6 or level D.

For others, they really struggled with hearing rhyming word pairs and identifying when words rhymed and generating rhymes for words.

These kinders usually needed more phonemic awareness practice and I sought time to work with them during our guided reading groups .

Free rhyming activities

This list of rhyming activities for kindergarten are the resources I found and printed off to use in my groups.

I didn’t use every single activity with each group.

Rather, I picked what they needed most and tried to use the materials to create an activity or mini-lesson that would help us practice that skill.

We did this type of work in small groups so they could get the attention they needed, they could watch my mouth over-enunciate close up and could get more turns trying since there were fewer numbers of kiddos working on the skill at a time.

I used these free printable rhyming resources in my small group instruction in order to help make rhyming more visual.

Because let’s be honest – it is a skill that begs for this type of scaffolding support.

Rhyming Bingo is such a classic activity.

Grab whatever counter-style manipulatives you keep with your guided reading materials to use to cover up spaces. There are 4 different mats you can print.

Free Rhyming Bingo for Kindergarten

This one will be tricky for some students – if you call out “house” some students will just want to find the house on their card versus finding the rhyming match – mouse.

So, instead of using the answer key provided in this resource, I say write down a new rhyming word next to the rhyming words provided on the answer key. I might even write down or call out a nonsense word and say I’m speaking like an alien robot. They have to “decode” my alien robot language by hearing the correct English “human” word.

So for toy/boy, I’d call out, “Froy!” or for shell/bell, I’d call out “Pell!”

That would spice it up a little and help students avoid just wanting to identify the picture called out.

2. Sort by rhyme

There are a few different resources you can print in this Rhyme Time packet . Personally I liked the rhyming picture cards and also the sorting mats.

The mats were designed to be cut and paste pages, but I felt they worked better as sorting mats for my small groups. I would pass out all cards to my students in the reading group.

8 Free Rhyming Activities for Kindergarten - sorting word families mats

Then I’d lay down the mats and we’d use hand motions to isolate the rime part of each word and they’d look for matching cards to add to the mat. We’d go over the results of each page, checking our work.

If we repeated this activity, each time they would get less and less specific direction on how to isolate the rime in each word card they had.

You could also flip the activity and give each kindergartner a mat. Then call out each card (and show it like a flashcard) and isolate the rime in the word together.

Students check the word on their mat to see if it’s a rhyming match. If so – they get to keep the card and add it to their mat like points!

If you’re looking for a quick set of Rhyming Picture Cards , then these are a good fit for kindergarten.

You can cut the cards apart to play memory or even a simplified version of go fish.

8 Free Rhyming Activities for Kindergarten - rhyming cards for memory or go fish

If students are really struggling with vocabulary or rhyming, show just one card and limit the number of cards to pick from. Show just 2-3 cards to pick a match from in this case.

To work on coming up with rhyming words, you could show a picture card and ask students to generate nonsense or silly words that rhyme. They could earn counters in a ten frame for each correct response and try to beat their best score from last time.

Sometimes having an alphabet chart handy is helpful. That way you can guide students to pick out a consonant letter to replace the onset in the word card you showed.

You could do any of those same activities in number 3 with these  Winter Rhyming Picture Match cards. You could easily play Go Fish!

8 Free Rhyming Activities for Kindergarten - rhyming word card pairs

I stored all of these resources from this list in little ziploc bags inside expandable file folders. That way it kept my guided reading table uncluttered and I could easily pull out and put away what I needed for each group.

5. Whack-a-rhyme

Another set of rhyming picture cards I used came from this Whack a Rhyme printable activity .

Designed to be played as a game, students whack the mallet when a new card is flipped over rhymes with the card of another player.

This game requires students to quickly go through multiple cards (sitting in front of other players) to check if the new card rhymes.

8 Free Rhyming Activities for Kindergarten - whack a rhyme game

So I adapted this but kept the mallet since it makes it fun.

I placed one rhyming card down next to the mallet. This became the card we were looking to match. Then I held, read aloud and flashed the rest of the cards one by one as students listened for a rhyming match.

Students who smacked the mallet with their palm first (and got the match correct) got to keep the pair of cards as “points.”

6. Progress report check-in

6. As a review or a check-in style assessment piece I might’ve used this Silly Sally Rhyming Worksheet . I would have explained the directions and drawn a smiley face and a sad face on the color code box to help students recall which color to use.

Then I’d point to each character and I read the word pairs aloud.

I’d have students color the character red if they rhyme and yellow if they don’t.

There is potential that I’d use this as a way to show parents how their child is progressing on this specific skill of identifying if words rhyme (but I wouldn’t use it to show if they can generate rhyming words – that’s a different skill).

7. Rhyming mini-books

When students are ready to make the transition to understanding why words rhyme using letters and word bits , I use  rhyming mini-books to teach students how to generate and read short rhyming words quickly.

8 Free Rhyming Activities for Kindergarten - little mini rhyming books to teach word families

Teaching this skill really helps kinders on the verge of reading cvc words independently to start looking for “bits they know” in larger words as a next reading strategy.

8. Emergent reader

The Rhyme Time packet above has an emergent reader you may like, but here is another Rhyming Emergent Reader students could read. I might just fill in the missing beginning sounds/blends in this book and focus on hearing the rhyming words orally instead.

And I might also hide/cover the extra text under each picture on the copy machine so it says just “Yes!” for my earliest readers.

In fact, I’d take out the page where students write in their own rhymes and write my own page . I’d have students pick and draw two pictures from the book and put them together because they don’t rhyme. This would make an ending to the book that fits the style of other leveled readers – where the last page changes from the pattern of the rest of the book.

Let’s wrap it up

There – you have access to the same resources that I used with my kinders to teach how to rhyme in small groups!

I hope these rhyming activities for kindergarten are helpful to have all in one place with my take on how to use them.

If you like what I do here on KindergartenWorks, then be sure to subscribe today. I look forward to sharing ideas with you weekly.

More Reading Skills in Kindergarten

  • Beginning Sounds – 5 Guided Reading Activities
  • Ending Sounds – 9 Guided Reading Skill Group Materials
  • A Fun Way to Get Kinders Blending CVC Words
  • Teaching Kids How to Sound Out Words Without You

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Leslie is the teacher behind KindergartenWorks . She believes in teaching kinders how to be pretty incredible along with teaching them to read, write and think for themselves. She enjoys drinking hot tea, making mud pies with her four kids and sharing what she's learned with teachers.

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Education Corner

Top 15 Rhyming Activities for Preschool and Kindergarten

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Rhyming is not just a foundational skill for reading and language development; it’s a gateway to the rhythm and melody inherent in words.

Through playful exploration of rhymes, young kids and preschoolers discover the joy of sounds, enhance their phonemic awareness, and build the stepping stones for literacy in a fun and engaging way.

Our curated collection of rhyming activities is created specifically for young kids and preschool word wizards. These rhyming activities go beyond simple memorization, encouraging children to listen closely, think creatively, and express themselves.

1. Find & Rhyme

Find & Rhyme

Find & Rhyme is an interactive and engaging educational game where students participate in a rhyming activity using a paper plate with rhyming words.

Learn more: No Time for Flashcards

2. Rhyming Jars

Rhyming Jars

Rhyming Jars is an engaging and educational activity where students explore rhyming words by placing them into corresponding jars. Each jar contains a set of rhyming words, and students match words that share similar sounds.

Learn more: No Time for Flash Cards

3. Rhyming Rockets

Rhyming Rockets

Rhyming Rockets is a creative and educational activity where students explore rhyming words in a playful and thematic way. Each “rocket” contains a set of rhyming words, and students match words that share similar sounds by placing them on the corresponding rocket.

4. Simple Word Puzzle

Simple Word Puzzle

A Simple Word Puzzle is an elementary language activity where students engage in rearranging and connecting letters to form words.

5. Erase Me Rhyming Activity

Erase Me Rhyming Activity

The Erase Me Rhyming Activity is an interactive and educational game where students engage in a rhyming exercise using a whiteboard or paper.

Learn more: Growing Book by Book

6. Rhyming Tag

Rhyming Tag

As you sprint and rhyme, the game transforms into a playful exploration of language. This activity not only adds an exciting physical element but also enhances vocabulary and linguistic skills.

Learn more: Scholastic

7. Climbing Incy Wincy Spider (Itsy Bitsy Spider)

Climbing Incy Wincy Spider (Itsy Bitsy Spider)

Creating an Itsy Bitsy Spider craft is a fun and hands-on activity for young children. Teachers can incorporate this craft as part of a lesson on nursery rhymes or spiders, combining art with early literacy concepts.

Learn more: Kids Crafts School

8. Humpty Dumpty Craft

Humpty Dumpty Craft

This is a delightful activity that brings the classic nursery rhyme to life through hands-on artistry! Imagine colorful egg-shaped cutouts, googly eyes, and craft supplies waiting to transform into your own rendition of Humpty Dumpty.

Learn more: I Heart Crafty Things

9. Five Little Ducks Hand and Finger Puppets

rhyming to activity

Bring the beloved “Five Little Ducks” nursery rhyme to life by crafting these cute characters using your fingers and hands.

Learn more: Danya Banya

10. Make a Tipping Teapot

Make a Tipping Teapot

To make a Tipping Teapot, start with a piece of paper and decorate it to resemble a teapot using markers or crayons and decorate it with stickers or other embellishments.

11. Old Macdonald Farm Animal Crafts

Old Macdonald Farm Animal Crafts

This activity involves creating Old MacDonald Farm animal crafts, where students construct paper or craft materials to represent farm animals.

Learn more: Craft Play Learn

12. Twinkle Little Star Kid-made Lantern

Twinkle Little Star Kid-made Lantern

With this “Twinkle Little Star Kid-Made Lantern” craft, you can capture the enchantment of the night sky. It’s a charming project that combines imagination with the ageless appeal of the nursery rhyme!

Learn more: Teach me Mommy

13. Make a Boat

Make a Boat

Decorating the boat allows for personal expression. Introducing this hands-on craft to students offers an engaging way to explore basic design principles and encourages imaginative play.

Learn more: Kid Activities Blog

14. Rhyming Pairs Basket Literacy Game

Rhyming Pairs Basket Literacy Game

The Rhyming Pairs Basket Literacy Game is an interactive educational activity where students match rhyming words placed in a basket. Rhyming pairs of words are written on separate cards or objects, and students take turns finding matching rhymes.

Learn more: The Imagination Tree

15. St. Patrick’s Day Rhyming Game

St. Patrick’s Day Rhyming Game

This interactive activity not only enhances literacy skills but also infuses the spirit of the holiday into the learning process. Encourage participants to discover the magic of rhyming words while immersed in the whimsical charm of St. Patrick’s Day.

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5 Active, Engaging Rhyming Games and Activities

  • November 17, 2018

Looking for some rhyming games and activities? Check out this post for 5 ideas and FREE downloads!

Idea #1: Act out rhyming action words

Read one of the below sentences aloud to students (with emphasis on the two rhyming words), have them repeat the entire sentence with you, and then have them act out the action word at the end (i.e. jump, leap, run, etc.),

Bump rhymes with JUMP!

Keep rhymes with LEAP!

Fun rhymes with RUN!

Hip rhymes with SKIP!

Trim rhymes with SWIM!

Fist rhymes with TWIST!

Idea #2: Work with rhyming books

Rhyming books are fun to read and reread! Here are a couple of ideas for activities you can do with rhyming books:

  • Have students clap or jump on the words that rhyme (once they’re already familiar with the text)
  • Have students help you write the rhyming words on index cards—place the cards in a pocket chart so you can discuss and sort them by spelling pattern
  • Play “fill in the blank” (once students are familiar with a text, pause before you read a rhyming word and have students fill it in for you)

If you’re looking for rhyming book suggestions, check out this post ! But don’t forget to come back here to finish reading and grab your freebies!!

Idea #3: Play “Find Your Rhyming Partner”

This game can be played in a whole group or small group setting. Simply give each child a picture and have them find their rhyming partner (i.e., one student has a picture of a bear, and another student has a picture of a chair).

After students have found their partners, mix up the pictures or grab new ones, give each child a different picture, and play again!

Idea #4: Play “Rhyming Room”

This game is super active and fun! Before students enter the classroom, post large pictures (included below in your freebie) in different places around the classroom. Each large picture should have a shape symbol on it.

Then, give each student a recording sheet. Students move around the room, trying to find the rhyming picture that matches each picture on their recording sheet. When students find a match, they can:

  • Draw a picture of the corresponding shape symbol, or
  • Draw a picture to represent the image itself, or
  • Use invented spelling to try and write the word

Download the freebie by clicking on the photo!

Grab this FREE rhyming room activity in this blog post! The post also has ideas for rhyming games and activities.

Advanced students can also use invented spelling to label the rhyming pictures.

Idea #5: Play Rhyming Memory

This one is simple but always a favorite!

First, show students all the cards and discuss the rhyming pairs. Then, mix up the cards, turn them face-down, and have students play rhyming memory (they take turns trying to find pairs of pictures that rhyme).

Make sure that students always say the names of the pictures aloud when they turn them over.

You can download Rhyming Memory HERE !

Happy teaching!

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I found these activities very useful and fun. My students loved doing the clap and jump one! i recommend. 🙂

Great to hear, Shannon!

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I’m Alison, a literacy specialist. I love getting kids excited about reading and writing – and sharing teaching ideas with other teachers!

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Fun Rhyming Activities for Kids

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Learning to read is no easy task, and many things must happen as children grow into readers. One skill that early readers develop is rhyming. Learning to rhyme may seem like it comes naturally (after all, you can likely easily think of nursery rhymes from your childhood) but that isn’t always the case for many children. It needs to be practiced and children need to be exposed to it. But rhyming does NOT have to be boring – in fact, it is one of the most fun parts of learning to read (in my opinion). These rhyming activities for kids are simple, engaging, and most of all – FUN!

*Pair with our Phonics Poems for Early Readers BUNDLE !

Early readers will love these rhyming activities including printables, games, and more. They are simple, engaging, and most of all - FUN!

Rhyming Activities for Kids

Take the learning outside with this Sidewalk Rhyming Practice  activity. / Life with Moore Babies

Kids will love playing Rhyming Ring Toss !  / Growing Book by Book

Print and play these fun CVC Rhyming Games . / The Kindergarten Connection

Then also print this CVC Rhyming Board Game  to try. / The Kindergarten Connection

Did someone say, “Dr. Seuss”? This Hop on Pop Rhyming Activity  is sure to be a hit! / The Chaos and the Clutter

These Transportation Rhyming Cards  are a great visual for early readers to start rhyming. / Royal Baloo

This collection of rhyming activities includes printables and also DIY rhyming games.

Shadow Rhymes  are a fun activity for introducing rhyming. / Royal Baloo

These Rhyming Clip Cards  work on rhymes and build fine motor skills, too! / The Measured Mom

Early readers will have so much fun with these Rhyming Jars . / No Time for Flashcards

Let’s go fishing! Fishing for Rhyming Words , that is! / This Reading Mama

This Outdoor Rhyming Toss  is a great way to take the learning outside and get active. / Fantastic Fun & Learning

Use your Duplos for a round of Duplo Rhyming .  Kids will love it! / This Reading Mama

This collection also includes ideas for using supplies at home like sponges, cardboard tubes, and more to practice rhyming.

Use these Rhyming Word Puzzles  with any theme. / School Time Snippets

Grab some simple supplies and Spin a Rhyming Word .  / No Time for Flash Cards

Make this fun Rhyming Basket  and practice rhymes in a playful way with your kids. / The Imagination Tree

Read the awesome book and then make these adorable Rhyming Dust Bunnies .  / Growing Book by Book

Like a little messy play? Then Rhyme or Slime  is for you! / How Wee Learn

Practice reading word families with this Spin a Word Family  game. / Playdough to Plato

This collection includes interactive activities like clothespin clip cards and using chalk activities to work on rhyming.

Make these easy and fun Word Dominoes !   / Nurture Store

Print out these Rhyming Stars  and start matching for a fun game. / Fun-a-Day

Print out and play with these Rhyme Cards .  / Totschooling

These Rhyming Robots  are fun to match up! / 123 Homeschool 4 Me

Want unlimited access to even MORE of our activities and resources? Join us in the Print and Play Club!

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Want unlimited access to tons of activities and resources for Pre-K, TK, and Kindergarten? Join us in the Print and Play Club!

Be sure to request an invitation so that you don’t miss your chance to be part of the best early childhood club around!

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This Reading Mama

20 Free Rhyming Wheels – I Can Rhyme

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These FREE Rhyming Wheels will get learners making a rhyme every time! There’s such a simple way to practice rhyming.

Find all our Printable Rhyming Activities . We have a TON.

rhyming to activity

*This post contains affiliate links. **The free download for the rhyming wheels can be found at the END of this post.

Learning How to Rhyme

Learning how to rhyme is a vital part of learning to read AND spell. But learning to rhyme doesn’t happen overnight. Learners must first be able to recognize rhyming words when they hear them before they are ready to create the rhymes themselves.

The first place I always start with rhyming words is reading and singing. Reading books that rhyme is a great way to show young learners how we can manipulate sounds and play with words. Singing silly rhyming songs or even adding a little rhyme to your routine is another fantastic way to play with rhymes.

rhyming to activity

If you’re looking for rhyming books, be sure to check out my two book lists: Rhyming Books for Kids and Rhyming Books that You Can SING ! I also have a Rhyming Books & Poetry for Older Readers .

Rhyming Wheels – I Can Rhyme!

Some learners really struggle  just to recognize rhyming words. This can happen even after the preschool years, especially if learners are English Language Learners or have another language learning differences, like dyslexia.

The purpose of these rhyming wheels is to take all the guessing out of rhyming for these kinds of learners.

rhyming wheels - great for kids that struggle with rhyming words

Because ALL the words rhyme on each wheel, learners will make a rhyme every time! Just by saying the words such as  bell, yell, shell, well, fell, learners are hearing the rhyming words spoken. Say them out loud and have learners repeat after you.

Be sure that your learners know what each picture represents {there’s a picture key included in the download}. The purpose is to practice rhyming; not to play a guessing game on what all the images are.

use clothes pins to clip the rhyming wheels

Add clothes pins to the activity to work in some fine motor skills, too. Learners just clip the pictures as they say the rhyming words. SO simple!

There are 20 FREE rhyming wheels included {in color AND blackline}.

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Printable Rhyming Word Activities

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Enjoy teaching! ~Becky

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Fun and Easy Rhyming Games for Preschoolers

Shared by Mary Catherine 14 Comments

Learning how to rhyme doesn’t need to be complicated! Check out these engaging, and super low-prep, rhyming games for preschoolers for some inspiration.

Simple and engaging rhyming games for preschoolers

Related: Why is Rhyming Important?

As I’ve mentioned many times before, sometimes the simplest activities are the best. This is especially true when it comes to young children!

Teaching kiddos to rhyme can definitely fall into this category. Games and rhyming activities for preschool don’t need to be overly complicated, nor do they need to take a lot of time. In fact, sometimes it’s those 3-minute, spur of the moment games that help children have an “Aha! I can rhyme!” moment.

Table of Contents

Rhyming Games for Preschoolers

Using games as a way to teach rhyming is always a great idea.  Kids love playing games, and games easily incorporate all kinds of learning.   Just keep in mind that rhyming is a phonemic awareness skill, so rhyming activities should focus on how words sound.  Use pictures or spoken words, rather than printed words, with these games.

I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Rhyming Bingo

Rhyming bingo games can be purchased online or at local stores.  Homemade bingo games work just as well and can be tailored to better meet the needs of the kids playing.

Rhyming Memory

Use picture cards (purchased or handmade), turned upside down, for this rhyming game.  Children can play in small groups with their peers or with an adult, depending on their level of need.  

Just like any memory game, the kiddos take turns turning over two cards.  Have them say the words aloud, then help them to determine if those words rhyme.  This really gives the children the chance to say rhyming words in a fun way.

Related: Homemade Games for Kids

Rhyming Puzzles

Once again, this is a game that can be purchased or homemade.  Good rhyming puzzles use clear pictures that children can identify.  A way to self-check is also important if the children are assembling the puzzles without assistance.  Encourage the children to say each word out loud so they can hear which sound the same at the end.

Picture Sorting Games

Rhyming games for preschoolers can also involve picture sorts!  Picture cards, magazine cut outs, clip art, and even children’s drawings, can all be used as sorting materials.  Obviously, since this is about rhyming, the cards should be sorted based on their ending sounds.  Children can sort the cards individually, with their peers, or with adult help.

Picture sorts can be done a variety of ways – at a table or desk, on a large floor mat, in pocket charts, on Velcro or felt boards, etc.  Another idea is to use some some of the children’s favorite toys involved!  Tape pictures to trains, trucks, or cars and have the kids drive the vehicles to the appropriate rhyming picture.  Have dolls and action figures hold pictures, then have the kiddos match up the pairs that rhyme.

The Cows are out of the Barn

Make barns with pictures on them, and the kids have to find the cows with the correct rhymes on them. Their goal is to put all the cows back into the correct barns. You can do this all on paper if you want. Alternatively, grab a barn play set and tape rhyming pictures to the animals!

Feed the Animals

Use shoe boxes (or other small boxes) to create different animals.  Then make “food” for the animals to eat.  For example, one box could be a dog, with children putting rhyming bones into its mouth.  The bones would have appropriate rhyming pictures on them, of course. Definitely a must in your toolbox of rhyming games for preschoolers to play!

Dinner Time!

Children who enjoy pretend play in the kitchen will enjoy this rhyming activity.  Put pictures on plastic plates. Then have the children use spatulas or chopsticks to transfer rhyming pictures to the correct plates.

Gross Motor Rhyming Games for Preschoolers

What child doesn’t love running and jumping around?!  Get the children moving with these rhyming activities:

Rhyming Race

Pin a picture to each child’s shirt.  When you tell them to, the kiddos have to race to their partner (who has a coordinating rhyming picture).  Whoever gets to their partner first, wins.  If playing this game with just one child, place objects or pictures that rhyme in different spots outside.

Rhyming Hopscotch

Use tape to create a hopscotch game inside, or chalk for an outside game.  Have pictures inside each hopscotch square.  Yell out a word, then have the child hop to the appropriate rhyming word.

Rhyming Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger hunts make for great rhyming games for preschoolers! Hide objects or pictures in the home, classroom, or outside.  Give children picture checklists and have them go hunting for rhyming words.

Walk the Tightrope

Glue pictures to footprint cut-outs , then place these footprints in a line.  Be sure to place rhyming pairs next to each other.  Have children say the rhyming words as they step on the pictures.  The rhyming pairs could also be mixed up, with the children having to hop from one rhyming word to another.

What are some of your favorite rhyming games for preschoolers? My kiddos always seem to love memory, bingo, and anything that involves moving around.

Digital Rhyming Resource

Be sure to check out this AMAZING digital rhyming resource made just for preschool and kindergarten children!

It comes as a set of Google Slides that you can use in the classroom or as part of virtual learning. Plus, it includes a printable set of the slides that can be used in your classroom centers and small groups.

digital and printable rhyming pack image

Originally published April 18, 2013

Easy and Low-Prep Rhyming Games for Preschoolers

Related: Hickory Dickory Dock printable

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April 19, 2013 at 1:22 am

What a great post! Rhyming is such an important skill, and it’s so beneficial for children to be exposed to it often, especially early on. Love all the ideas!

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April 19, 2013 at 1:42 pm

Thanks so much, Chelsey! 🙂 I agree — kiddos need to be exposed to rhyming early and often. They learn so much from it.

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May 1, 2014 at 8:56 pm

I absolutely love this post – rhyming is just so important and the most fun way to learn sound recognition skills and a love of language – discovered you post via Measured Mom Alice @ Mums Make Lists

May 14, 2014 at 11:46 pm

Thanks for the kind words, Alice! I really appreciate them. 🙂 I completely agree with you — rhyming is so very important to children’s language and literacy skills. Plus, kiddos just love playing around with words!

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October 4, 2014 at 6:01 pm

The first thing to do is to say ‘Thank you’, I am an English teacher in Mexico and I have to teach rhyming to my kids but I honestly didn’t have a clear idea of the best way to do it, now I feel really excited to adapt many of your ideas, thank you for all your suggestions. I loved your post!

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March 10, 2015 at 1:25 pm

Thank you so much for all the wonderful resources you have made and now share with us! I am so grateful. You have enhanced my classroom resources as I make new games from your website. I have a rhyming game idea to share. I printed out mittens (on scrapbook paper) and put pictures of rhyming words on each pair of mittens. Then I hung up a clothesline and my students hung up the rhyming pairs with clothespins. They have been having a blast with the game. I tied it in with the Nursery Rhyme, “Three Little Kittens”.

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March 19, 2017 at 7:24 pm

I absolutely loved your ideas, thank you!

March 21, 2017 at 2:53 pm

Thanks so much, Deborah! 🙂

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November 12, 2017 at 6:57 am

Just what I wanted thanks for the great bunch of activities for rhyming !!!

November 20, 2017 at 11:55 am

Thanks so much! 🙂

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March 11, 2018 at 2:51 pm

musical chair (do not remove chairs), child gets a picture card, finds the rhyme, then sits. exchange card with another child. repeat.

March 11, 2018 at 8:12 pm

I love that idea for a rhyming game! Thanks for sharing it here. 🙂

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August 19, 2018 at 11:13 am

A very helpful site. Thanks for sharing your ideas.

August 28, 2018 at 4:11 pm

So glad you stopped by, Elizabeth. Thank you!

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15 Fun Rhyming Activities for Preschool Kids

By: Author Tanja McIlroy

Posted on Last updated: 15 May 2024

Categories Early Literacy

From an early age, children are attracted to the rhythmic sounds of poems, songs, chants and stories that rhyme. 

But rhyming for preschoolers is much more than just delightful fun and is an essential part of their development.

Why is Rhyming Important for Preschoolers?

Rhyming is a key pre-reading skill leading into kindergarten and first grade. 

The ability to detect rhyming sounds within words and being able to manipulate them are both aspects of phonemic awareness, which is a building block of reading development.

One important aspect of learning to read is the recognition of word families or those words that end in the same sounds. 

For example, if children know that “school,” “cool,” and “tool” all rhyme, they often have an easier time learning to read other words that end with that same “-ool” pattern.

How Do You Teach Rhyming to Preschoolers?

Rhyming activities for early years incorporate two important features: listening for the rhymes in the ending sounds (also called “rimes”) and producing new rhyming words (real or pretend). 

Exposure to rhyming sounds on a regular basis is an essential part of learning the skills. Kids must play with rhyme, talk about rhyming sounds, sing rhyming songs and make up new rhyming words!

Family sticking their heads out of the car window. Text reads

15 Rhyming Activities for Preschoolers

Introduce the concept of rhyming with literature, activities and rhyming games.

Here are some rhyming activities for preschoolers and kindergarteners to do at home or at school. Have fun with the concept!

1. Rhyming Books

Many authors are known specifically for their rhyming books. Other authors sometimes surprise us and write an occasional story in a rhyming format. Here are several popular choices:

  • Giles Andreae – Giraffes Can’t Dance, Down by the Cool of the Pool , and others
  • Nick Bland – “Bear” series of rhyming book
  • Anna Dewdney – “Llama Llama” series
  • Julia Donaldson – “The Gruffalo” series and many other titles
  • Dr. Seuss – The Cat in the Hat, Hop on Pop, and so many more
  • Nancy Shaw – Sheep in a Jeep and others in the “Sheep” series

Read your kids these amazing rhyming fairy tale poems too!

Mom snuggling as she reads to her child

2. Nursery Rhymes

For generations, parents and teachers have used nursery rhymes as a way to entertain and teach rhyme. 

Although these are often sung to a tune, nursery rhymes can also be chanted, as well. These are some favourites:

  • 1, 2, Buckle My Shoe
  • Hickory, Dickory, Dock
  • Itsy Bitsy Spider
  • Jack and Jill
  • Little Jack Horner
  • Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star

Here are the lyrics of 40 classic preschool songs .

3. Rhyming Songs

Singing fun songs is another good way to listen to and enjoy rhyming. Some favourites include:

  • Five Green Speckled Frogs
  • Down by the Bay
  • Five Little Ducks
  • The Ants Go Marching

Drawing of four ants on the ground.

4. I Spy With My Little Eye

Play a game of I Spy With My Little Eye to teach rhyming. 

Share an example to show the kids how this works. 

  • Decide on something in the room, like “clock,” as the target word. 
  • The task of the person who is “it” is to think of a word in their minds that rhymes with that as the clue: I spy with my little eye something that rhymes with “rock”. 
  • The other players then look around the area for objects that rhyme with “rock,” (block, crock, flock, lock, sock) until they guess the correct word, “clock.”

Another way to play this game is for a child to say, I spy with my little eye something that ends with “-ock” . And the other players then guess objects accordingly.

5. Telephone Game

Play the Telephone Game , also called Broken Telephone.

Discuss with kids what a “full sentence” is – someone or something does a type of action (subject, verb, object). For example, “The cat sat on the mat” is a full sentence, while “Cat mat” is not. 

Also, talk about which words rhyme in the example.

To play the game:

  • Children sit in a line or circle. 
  • The first person whispers a rhyming sentence, “The cat sat on the mat,” in the next person’s ear, and so on, down the line or around the circle. 
  • The last person says the sentence out loud, and giggles could follow when the ending sentence is much different than it began. 

For a group that is just beginning to learn about rhyme, the adult could be the first to whisper the rhyming sentences.

6. From My Window Game

Practise rhyming skills with a fun travel game . 

When kids see something out the window of the vehicle, they state its name and then words that rhyme. 

For example, “cow” followed by “how, now, jow, bow, gow, zow.” Accept pretend rhyming words too!

Family in a car with their heads sticking out of the windows.

7. Clean-Up Rhyming Challenge

During clean-up time kids are challenged to name a rhyming word for each item they pick up to put away: book/look, block/frock, car/tar and so forth.

8. Body Parts Rhyming

Teach body awareness and rhyming with this body parts activity .

The leader points to a body part, such as “nose.” Instead of calling out what that is, the other players try to come up with words that rhyme, such as “rose.”

Child pointing to his nose

9. Colours Rhyming

A person who is “it” points to a coloured object or holds up a colour card, such as “red.” Instead of naming the colour, the other players are challenged to name rhyming words, such as “bed.”

10. Rhyming Names

Kids are challenged to think of names that rhyme with their own. These could be real names or just random words. 

For the day, their name is then a combination of the two: Ken-Ben, Terri-Mary, Doug-Pug, Jan-Tan.

11. Numbers Rhyme

The leader writes or holds up a number card, such as a 2. Instead of calling out the number, the other players must name words that rhyme, such as “boo.”

12. Jump Rope Rhymes

Playing jump rope games with rhymes is another favourite childhood activity. These include “Miss Mary Mack, Mack, Mack,” “Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear,” and “Down in the Valley Where the Green Grass Grows.” 

Little boy skipping with a rope next to the river.

13. Make it 3

Call out two words that rhyme and then the children name the third. For example, the teacher/parent says “dive-alive” and the kids add “hive.”

14. Odd Word Out

Turn the previous activity around. Name a group of three words, in which just two of them rhyme. 

Kids must name the one word that does NOT rhyme with the others.

15. Good Night, Sleep Tight

At home, join your child in a rhyming goodnight ritual. As they say “Goodnight” to the various objects in their room, they try to name a rhyming word (real or pretend). 

For example, “Goodnight bear-share” or “Goodnight drum-tum.”

As children progress from activities that are fully verbal to those in written form, they eventually notice that many rhyming words end with the same letters but some of them do not! 

For example “boo” and “true” rhyme but vary in spelling pattern. Assure them that those are still rhyming words but that in the English language, combinations of different letters can make the same sounds. 

Are you a preschool teacher or working in Early Childhood Education? Would you like to receive regular emails with useful tips and play-based activity ideas to try with your children? Sign up for the newsletter!

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How to Teach Rhyming Words to Kids in Preschool and Kindergarten

Are you looking for an engaging way to teach rhyming words to kids? I’ve got ya covered! Rhyming is an important part of phonological awareness , an important stepping stone to learning to read. We’ve rounded up some creative (and even silly!) rhyming activities that will help make teaching rhyming words a breeze.

kids laughing - how to teach rhyming words

Why is It Important to teach rhyming?

Understanding the concept of rhyme is an important component of phonological awareness. When kids develop phonological awareness, they have the ability to break down and manipulate the parts of spoken language.  That ability to notice and manipulate the different parts of language and words is a fundamental component of learning to read.  

I’m always looking for ways to help children learn and grow. One of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to do that is by introducing kids to rhyme.

So, let me show you how to teach rhyming words to kids.

rhyming awareness exercises and activities


No time to read the whole article.

Here are the quick links to purchase the Rhyming Awareness Exercise Printables

Exercises to Develop rhyming awareness skills

Just like teaching syllable awareness , it doesn’t take a lot of time to help your kids develop phonological awareness skills. In fact, you can fit phonological awareness activities into your daily routine by spending just a few minutes per day playing with words. Let me show you a series of fun and easy rhyme awareness exercises that you can do.

The cards pictured below are part of my Rhyming Awareness Exercises set. The set includes rhyming picture cards plus a sequence for six different exercises (22 weeks) to help you build rhyming awareness skills. If you don’t have the cards, you can do these activities on your own.

How do you explain rhyming words to young kids?

Before we get to the exercises, I know explaining the concept of rhyme to young kids can seem daunting. It can be tough to find the right words, but I have some great tips for you.

First of all, it’s important to start by defining what rhyming words are. The simplest way to explain it to kids is that word that rhyme sound the same at the end.

Repeat Rhyming Words Exercise

Now that you know how to explain this simple definition to your kids, you can start working on some rhyming awareness exercises. In the first exercise, ask your kids to repeat a group of rhyming words. As you say each word, isolate the onset and rime of each word, and then blend them together to say the complete word. For example:

how to teach rhyming words with rhyming awareness exercises.  Repeat a set of 4 rhyming words on cards.  The cards say hat, cat, mat, bat.

After you say each word, ask your kids to repeat it. If you have the printable rhyming picture cards, you can use the cards for multi-sensory support.

Remind them to listen to and notice that the ending sound (rime) is the same in each of the words.

Repeat this activity with different groups of words that rhyme. The Rhyming Awareness Exercises Se t provides you with word sets and picture cards you can use with your kids.

Rhyme Matching Exercise

The next exercise will help them discriminate between words that rhyme and words that do not rhyme.

Begin by saying a word and segmenting the word to emphasize its onset and rime. For example cat, c-at. Ask your kids to repeat the word, and segment it just as you did.

Explain that the word cat can be broken down into a beginning sound (/k/) and an ending sound (-at). When you blend the beginning sound and the ending together, they make the word cat.

Ask them to close their eyes so that they can concentrate and really listen to the word.

Now, tell your kids that you will say two more words. They will need to listen closely and will repeat them. Ask them to listen to see if either word sounds the same as “van” at the end.

Present your kids with one word that rhymes with van and one that does not. For example:

rhyming to activity

You may have to repeat the words in pairs with the first word so they can hear the difference between words that rhyme and those that do not.

“Which word rhymes with van?”

Rhyming Pairs Exercise

In the next phonological awareness activity, you will present two sets of words to your kids. One set will rhyme, while the other does not.

For example:

  • 1st Pair – bat, ram
  • 2nd Pair – mop, hop

Which set rhymes? You can help your kids check their answers by segmenting each of the words to see if they have the same rime.

how to teach rhyming words to kids in preschool with this rhyming pairs exercise.  2 pairs of rhyming picture cards are shown to kids (bat, sheep and mop, hop).  Kids will choose the pair that rhymes.

m-op, and h-op have the same rime (or ending), so that means that they rhyme.

Eliminate the Word That Does Not Rhyme Exercise

Present your kids with a group of 4 word cards in which three rhyme and one does not. Say the word on each card, and ask your kids to repeat them. Then, say each word a second time and ask your kids to touch their nose when they hear the word that does not rhyme. For example, you can use this set of words:

Kid eliminate the word that does not rhyme in this rhyming exercise.  The cards illustrate the words dip, rip, zip, and hat.

When kids indicate that hat does not rhyme with the other words, you can blend and segment each of the words to check their answer.

Manipulate Rhyming Words Exercise

Present a word to your kids. For this example, let’s use the word “dip”. Next, tell them that you are thinking of a word that rhymes with dip, but it starts with a different letter. For example, “I’m thinking of a word that rhymes with dip and it starts with the /l/ sound. What is the new word?” In this case, the new word is lip.

manipulate the onset in CVC words to create a new rhyming word.  The rhyming picture cards show the words dip and lip.

Produce Rhyming Words Exercise

Once your kids understand how to recognize rhyming words, segment & blend rhyming words, discriminate words that do not rhyme, and manipulate onsets in rhyming words, they should be able to start producing rhyming words.

In this exercise, begin by giving kids a word and asking them to think of words that rhyme with it. You can encourage them to produce actual words or they can get sill and create nonsense words.

A set of rhyming word picture cards spread on the table.  The cards are used in a rhyming and phonological awareness activity.  The directions for the activity are outlined in his article about how to teach rhyming words to kids in preschool

For example, if you start them with the word “hen” they might tell you some of these rhyming words:

Additional opportunities to Identify Rhymes

As you introduce the concept of rhyme to your kids, you can bring words that rhyme to their attention. Soon, they will be able to recognize rhymes independently, and eventually, you will be able to challenge them to produce words that rhyme.

Pointing out rhyming words in stories, introducing classic nursery rhymes, and making up silly rhymes will help your kids become proficient at recognizing words that rhyme.

How to Teach Rhyming Words to Kids with Fun Activities

Now that you know how to teach rhyming words to kids, you will want to introduce some fun literacy activities to reinforce and practice the concept. Here are some fun and easy activities and ideas that will help your kids learn to recognize and produce rhymes.

Fun songs With Rhymes

Classics like This Old Man and Hickory Dickory Dock are great songs with rhyme to share with kids. You can also find lots of ideas in my article about the best rhyming songs for kids.

how to teach rhyming words with rhyming songs

Rhyming Games

You can use games to give kids hands-on practice when teaching words that rhyme to preschool and kindergarten children. Rhyming games are a great way to teach kids new words and help them better identify words that rhyme.

You can change up an existing game where kids have to recite the rhyme in order to get a point or advance. Check out my article about rhyming games for kids for lots of ideas.

how to teach rhyming words with rhyming bingo game

Rhyming Books

One of the best ways to teach rhyming words to kids is through books. Check out my list of the Best Rhyming Books for Kids . My favorite is the Rhyming Dust Bunnies.

20 of the best rhyming books for kids

Silly DIY rhyming books are lots of fun too. My favorite are these Lift-the-Flap Name Books featuring silly animals. They feature the names and pictures of kids in your class and teach how to produce rhymes in a fun and silly way.

how to teach rhyming words with rhyming animal lift the flap name books

Teach Rhyme with Clip Cards

All you need to do is print out the cards, cut them out and grab a set of clothespins. Have your learners look at the picture at the top of each card and then clip the clothespin on the picture at the bottom that rhymes with it. These hands-on rhyming activity clip cards will help your kids develop their phonological awareness skills as they match up word pairs that rhyme. Plus, it’s a great way to practice fine motor skills too!

Rhyming clip cards featuring the rhyming words cat and bat in an article about how to teach rhyming words

Rhyming Puzzles

Rhyming puzzles are a great way to practice phonological awarentess with your students! You can print out the puzzles, cut them, and laminate them for longevity. Then, you can have your students match the words that rhyme together.

how to teach rhyming words with printable rhyming puzzles for kids

Purchase Rhyming Awareness Skills Exercises Printables In the Store Today

Are you ready to get started with the rhyming exercises? This set includes daily activities to help your kids develop rhyming awareness. Purchase the rhyming awareness printables in my store today.

Purchase the Printables on TPT

Do you prefer to shop on TPT? You can also get the rhyming awareness program printables in my TPT store.

Printable Additional Rhyming Activities in the Store

Now that you know how to teach rhyming words to kids, I bet you are ready to work on rhyme in your classroom today. Check out these hands-on rhyme activities in the store:

rhyming name class book bundle

Keep students engaged with these summer-themed math and literacy centers !

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10 Rhyming Word Activities for Kindergarten

Nursery rhymes, silly songs, and classroom cheers. What do these all have in common? The ever-important literacy skill…rhyming! As students become more confident in their letter and sound recognition, they begin to work on key phonemic awareness and fluency skills with rhyming words. These 10 rhyming activities for kindergarten will help students lay a strong foundation for reading skills to come!

10 rhyming activities for kindergarten

Why is it Important to Teach Rhyming Words?

Rhyming words are words that end with the same or a similar ending sound. When it comes to rhyming, it's all about phonemic awareness, which is the sounds that letters make. Not all rhyming words end with the same spelling, so it is important to teach students to listen for the sounds in words to determine if they end the same and rhyme.

Once students have a strong understanding of letter names and sounds, it's time to introduce rhyming words. Rhyming words are a key element in helping students segment words into sounds and hear patterns in words, thus improving their decoding skills and fluency. They also help students as they work with CVC words and other literacy skills in the future.

Rhyming Activities for Kindergarten

When it comes to teaching rhyming words in the classroom, it is important to keep the learning fun, upbeat, and provide a variety of activities for students to learn with. The more opportunities they have to work with rhyming words, the better. Activities that are hands-on and that include different words and rhyming pictures are key in keeping the engagement high. 

#1: Rhyming Match-Up

One of the most basic and effective rhyming activities for kindergarten is rhyming match-up! All you need for this activity are picture cards and/or word cards. You can draw simple pictures on notecards if you don't have picture cards in your classroom and save them for future activities!

There are a couple of different ways you can play this game. The first option is to have students match pictures based on if they rhyme. They can match pairs of pictures or make a whole stack of pictures that rhyme.

The second option is to have students match the picture card to a rhyming word card. This gives them a little more practice with decoding CVC words. This option is a bit more advanced as they will use their phonics skills as well as their phonemic awareness skills. 

#2: Pass the Rhyme

Pass the rhyme is a fun circle time activity for students and requires zero materials or prep! The first person says a word out loud. The next person says a word that rhymes with that word. Play continues in a circle until all students in the circle have said a rhyming word.

This is a fun activity for students and is a great way to expose them to more words and give them ample opportunities to practice listening for those same ending sounds.

#3: Rhyming Mats

For a hands-on rhyming activity for kindergarten, rhyming mats are perfect! With these rhyming mats , students will look at the mat, say the name of a picture, and cover it with a rhyming picture card. Then they will record the rhyming words on their recording sheet, giving them an opportunity to practice writing and spelling the words.

These mats include 4 different sets: CVC words, CVCe words, short vowel words, and long vowel words. 

rhyming to activity

#4: Rhyming Word Ladders

Word ladders are a great rhyming activity for kindergarten. This activity can be done as a whole group activity, in small groups, or during literacy centers. The first time you use this activity, I recommend doing it as a whole group activity on the big teacher whiteboard.

To begin, write a word at the bottom of the whiteboard. Have students think of a word that rhymes and write that word above it. Once they get the hang of the activity, you can have the students write the word on the board, going around the room until all students have had a turn and the ladder is complete!

This activity can easily be extended to work on phoneme substitution with rhyming words. To use the activity in this way, prompt students to change the beginning sound in the word to make a new word. This will help them understand that even though the beginning sound changes, the ending sound stays the same.

For example, to change the word from “bat” to “cat,” use language such as, “c hange the /b/ sound to a /c/ sound.”

#5: Sticky Note Rhyming

This DIY rhyming activity is super easy to prep and only requires sticky notes and either a whiteboard or piece of chart paper! Simply make columns on your whiteboard or chart paper with 1 word at the top of each.

You can make 5 columns and choose a different vowel sound for each column or you can differentiate and choose as many columns as you'd like and whichever word families you'd like. You can also draw a simple picture next to the focus word in each column as an additional visual aid for your students.

Next, write words that rhyme with each word on sticky notes. Again, you can write as many or as few words as you'd like depending on if you are using this as a small or whole group activity. 

You can either pass out the sticky notes to students or have them draw a sticky note from a pile. Then have them come up and place their sticky note under the correct column, matching their rhyming word to the word on the board or paper.

#6: Rhyming Centers

For a ton of hands-on, differentiated rhyming practice, rhyming centers take the cake! There are 8 different low-prep rhyming centers included, covering various skill levels. This allows you to differentiate to meet the needs of your students. Some students may be working on matching rhymes with “iRhyme” while others are producing rhymes with “Make a Rhyme.”

rhyming to activity

#7: Find the Rhymes

This rhyming activity for kindergarten also incorporates fine motor skills, which is a double-duty activity! In a large container of rice, cereal, noodles, or another sensory material of choice, hide rhyming picture cards or rhyming word cards. Students will use jumbo tweezers to pull out the cards, working to find 2 cards that rhyme. 

#8: Build a Rhyme 

This rhyming activity for kindergarten is super versatile and hands-on. All you will need for this activity are magnetic letters or another letter manipulative of your choice. There are many ways to play. 

  • Lay out a picture card and have students build a word that rhymes with it.
  • Say a word and have students build a word that rhymes with it. 
  • Have students build 2 words that rhyme.
  • Give students a word family and have them build as many words as they can with their manipulatives.
  • Build the rhyming words they hear in a rhyming read aloud

#9: Rhyme the Room

Need to get your students up out of their seats and actively learning? Rhyme the room is an effective way to keep students engaged and practicing rhyming words at the same time! There are 13 different activities included in this activity bundle. They can be used around the room or at a small group or literacy center. 

Students will search to find the rhyming picture around the room that matches the picture on their recording sheet. They will write the word on the picture card next to the rhyming picture on their sheet. There are options for CVC words, CVCe words, and short vowel words. 

rhyming to activity

#10: Rhyming Read Alouds

When it comes to teaching rhyming, using read alouds is one of the best ways to help students catch on to this skill! There is just something so powerful about read alouds, not only for developing a love of reading, but also for teaching skills such as rhyming! 

Read alouds, nursery rhymes, and other books with a rhyming format are the perfect way for students to listen for the segments in words.

As you read, pause and talk about the rhyming words they hear in the story. It is also fun for students when the teacher pauses during reading to let them say the rhyming word that comes next! Plus, this ensures that they are on task and paying attention to the story! 

Additional Rhyming Activities

Want to incorporate even more rhyming games and activities for kindergarten into your lesson plans? This rhyming bundle is jam-packed with 9 most-loved rhyming resources, including the rhyming centers, rhyming mats, and rhyme the room from above, along with 6 other resources, such as rhyming spin and cover, rhyming games, and more! 

rhyming to activity

With these rhyming activities for kindergarten, your students will be rhyming masters before you know it. Rhyming truly is a fun concept to teach and a fun concept for students to learn. Work rhyming into your day whenever you can. That might be in the lunch line, in transition, or with these activity ideas! The more your students hear rhyming words, the faster their skills will grow! 

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Rhyming Activities for Kindergarten and First Grade

Susan Jones January 25, 2021 1 Comment

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In this blog post, I am going to share some quick and easy rhyming activities to do with kindergarten and first-grade students to help promote their phonological awareness.

First, I should mention that rhyming is a phonological awareness skill. Phonological awareness is a meta-cognitive skill and in this case, students are listening to different words to see if they can identify if the words rhyme. When practicing rhyming, we want students to be able to identify (yes or no) if two words rhyme and we also want students to be able to generate their own rhyming words.

I also want to mention that there is no downside when it comes to teaching rhyming to our students. It will benefit students greatly in their readiness to read and it will develop their phonological awareness. That being said, if a student struggles with rhyming, that is not a n indicator that they will struggle with reading. So there shouldn’t be an over-emphasis on having students master rhyming before teaching students other phonological and phonemic awareness skills!

Before I dive into the rhyming activities, I want to let you know that if you want to watch/listen to all this same content, you can do so by watching my YouTube video below:

To continue reading about the activities instead, just keep scrolling!

Activity 1: Use Rhyming Picture Cards

The first easy easy way to have students practice identifying rhymes is by using some rhyming picture cards like the ones below.

Rhyming activities for kindergarten, first, and second grade. Grab ideas and freebies over in the blog post!

With these cards, there are a few ways I like to use them. First, is a game called  Mix and Match. To play this game, students would simply each receive one picture card and they need to first identify what word is being shown with the clip art. Then, everyone stands up and mixes around the room trying to find their match. In this case, their match would be the word that rhymes with their card!

Secondly, I like to have students play  Memory! I am pretty sure everyone knows how to play memory, but if you happen to be teaching virtually, I actually shared a free digital memory game that makes it easy to plug in different words and pictures into a template. You can grab that below:

This small group digital game is an easy template to practice many different skills! Grab your free memory template over in the blog post!

If you’re playing in person, simply have students cut out and flip over each card. Then, they would take turns flipping two cards at a time, saying the word aloud and identifying if it rhymes! If it does, they keep the pair of cards and pick again. If they don’t rhyme, students put the cards back in the same spot and the other player takes a turn. Continue playing until all cards are removed. Whoever collected the most pairs, wins!

Lastly, I also use the cards by cutting them up and putting them in a bag, and mix them all up. In a small group, I like to either have students go around and take turns pulling out two cards, saying them aloud, and identifying if the two words rhyme. Or, I will have one student be “the picker” and they would choose 2 cards from the bag, say them aloud, and then the other students in the group would have to give either a thumbs up (yes, the words rhyme) or a thumbs down (no, they don’t rhyme). I like that last option because it involves everyone in the small group at one time!

Activity 2: Read poems and nursery rhymes often

It is important for students to hear rhymes within text often and repeatedly in your kindergarten and first grade classroom! Not only would I read rhyming texts aloud often, but in my classroom, we also had poetry folders. Whenever we would introduce a new poem, students would listen to me read it aloud, they would echo read it, they would choral read it, they would partner read it, they would whisper read it. You get it. By the end of the week, students would’ve read the rhyming poem 5-6 different times and would get to hear and read the rhymes.

I would always use my phonics poems and while the main skill of them poems were to identify the phonics patterns, my poems always rhymed. And more often than not, the rhyming words were the ones with the phonics pattern in them. Here is an example of a phonics poem you can grab for FREE in the preview of the product:

Phonics poems for students to practice many different skills: rhyming, visualization, fluency, phonics patterns and word families!

You can incorporate any poems or rhyming books you enjoy in your classroom so students get used to listening to and reading rhymes! One of my favorite rhyming books is Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andrae. I like to choose one or two pages from the book and copy it over onto chart paper for us to read, re-read, and identify the rhyming words in the story! As students listen to the passage being read aloud, they can clap or jump or snap when they hear the rhyming words. I also like to cover up some of the rhyming words when we’ve read the passage at least once already. This way, when we read it aloud students can generate that missing rhyming word. Some will be doing it from memory, but others will also recognize that it needs to rhyme with the previous word so it gets them thinking about what words could fit that description! You could also photo-copy the pages from the book for your students to highlight the rhyming words on their own.

rhyming to activity

Activity 3: Discrimination activities

With this type of activity, students won’t just listen to 2 words. Instead, they will listen to 3 different words and they will need to identify which 2 rhyme. This can be trickier for your students. I like to do this because often teachers will say “two words rhyme if they have the same ending” which can be confusing. To help students with this, I would choose 2 words with the same ending letter and write them on the board.

For example,  cat, mat, part

When students look at the words, they can notice that all 3 words end in /t/, but only two of them rhyme and have that same ending sound of /at/. You can do this with any three words (top, mop, clap). Once students go ahead and find which word doesn’t belong, I like to have students then generate a new word that rhymes with the “misfit.”

So there are 3 fun rhyming activities you can do with your students to help them with their phonological awareness! I also went ahead and made a video with some phonemic awareness and phonics activities that you may enjoy. You can find that here: Phonemic Awareness Activities for a K-2 Classroom

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Rhyming word activities for kindergarten and first grade! This blog post shares some fun and simple activities to teach students how to rhyme. There are some free rhyming cards on the post too!

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February 24, 2022 at 12:15 am

Great info. I’ve been having trouble helping kids with rhyming.

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Hello Friends!

Welcome to Susan Jones Teaching. When it comes to the primary grades, learning *All Things* in the K-2 world has been my passion for many years! I just finished my M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction and love sharing all the latest and greatest strategies I learn with you through this blog and my YouTube channel! I hope you'll enjoy learning along with me :)

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Early Literacy Rhyming Activities for Preschool and Pre-K

Unicorn Rhyming Printable

Rhyming is an important early literacy skill for your Pre-K, Preschool, and Kindergarten students to learn. While it may not seem like an easy skill to teach, you can make learning how to rhyme fun and exciting for the young children in your early childhood classroom.

I created these super fun and engaging rhyming games your little learners are going to love, and there’s even a freebie for you to try out! To take your phonemic awareness game to the next level grab your copy below!

Unicorn Rhyming Activity Printable

Early Literacy Rhyming Activities

Let’s face it, you can recite nursery rhymes and read rhyming books until you’re blue in the face, but you’ll still have some kids who struggle to understand the concept of rhyming.

That’s because not all children learn at the same pace. Some may enter your classroom understanding a few basic phonemic awareness skills, while others will not know any. Before you know it, you may start to feel like you’re in a race against the clock to get your little learners kindergarten or first grade ready.

Feed the Monkey Rhyming Game

Fun Rhyming Activities for Preschool

Rhyming is an auditory skill, which means we learn to rhyme by listening to and hearing the sounds in words. But young children learn best when they experience things concretely first, hands-on activities can help them better understand abstract concepts.

Frog Rhyming Game

Printable Rhyming Activities for Pre-K

Because you can’t touch it with your hands, rhyming can be considered an abstract concept. Therefore, it makes perfect sense to use real objects and picture cards, combined with fun rhyming games when teaching this concept to your students.

Gingerbread Rhyming Game for Pre-K

I’ve created a set of fun learning activities you can use to teach rhyming skills to the young children in your Pre-K and Kindergarten classroom. Here are the characters included in the Rhyming Activity Bundle .

  • Unicorn ( Freebie, see below)
  • Gingerbread

To prep these games you’ll need some paper, a printer, scissors, a box or bag and some tape – that’s it! Of course, if you want your games to last longer, you’ll probably want to laminate them too.

Feed the Giraffe Rhyming Activity

Teaching Rhyming in Pre-K

Start by printing out your character faces and rhyming cards, then cut them out with your scissors. Next, decide if you’ll use a box or a bag for the character’s base and cut a hole for the mouth. Then, use your tape to attach the character’s face to the base and you’re ready to play. I used a tissue box for my base, but you can use whatever you have on hand.

As promised, here’s your Unicorn freebie below!

download button

How to Play the Rhyming Game

Using your assessment data, determine which small groups you will be working with.

After you’ve gathered your students in your small group, introduce the rhyming cards to them to familiarize them with each word and corresponding picture. This will help set them up for success when they play the game. For example, if a child sees the picture of the dragon and says “dinosaur” it wouldn’t rhyme with any of the other pictures. By “front loading” and introducing the pictures and words before you begin playing you’re setting them up for success. This will help eliminate any frustration or confusion during the game.

Invite your students to take turns drawing a card and saying the names of the pictures on the card. Then, ask them if those two pictures rhyme. If the pictures rhyme they can “feed” them to the character by placing them in the mouth. If the cards don’t rhyme, they can return them to the basket or you can ask them to turn them face down on the table so they won’t be chosen again.

Rhyming Activity Bundle

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