Why is learning to rhyme important to my son's development?

Research has shown that strong rhymers make good readers! The reason that learning to rhyme is so important is because it helps with phonological awareness. By listening to rhymes, your son begins to recognize that words share segments of sound (for example, cat and hat, share the sound “at”), and that words that have sounds in common are often spelled similarly. You can foster phonological awareness by reading your child rhyming books (for example, Dr. Seuss or classic nursery rhymes). Once he is familiar with the story, try pausing at the end of each sentence to let him identify the rhyming word. You can also play rhyming games (e.g., “can you think of word that rhymes with __?”) or sing rhyming songs such as “Down by the Bay” and take turns making up fun rhymes.

Jennie Ito, Ph.D.

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