Rhyme with me! It's fun, you'll see!

Help your child develop an ear for rhyme with these tips, activities and books.

Learning Stages

By Tina O'Shea

Managing Editor at LeapFrog

Tina O’Shea is LeapFrog’s Managing Editor and the voice of @LeapFrog on Twitter, but to her kids, she’s the Freeze Dance DJ.

Rhyming is one of the first steps to learning to read, because rhyming helps children to listen carefully to the sounds in words. 

When choosing new children's books, make sure to pick up some rhyming books for kids. Also play with rhyming words, play rhyming games, or sing rhyming songs (see our suggestions below).

Help your child develop an ear for rhyme with these rhyming activities:

  • Play rhyming games and sing rhyming songs with your child. Many include hand-clapping, playing with balls, and playing in groups. 
  • Read rhymes to your child. When reading a familiar one, stop before a rhyming word and encourage your child to fill in the rhyme. When he does, praise him. 
  • Listen for rhymes in songs you know or hear on the radio, TV, at family or other gatherings, and sing them with your child. 
  • Find and play rhyming games on your computer.


LeapFrog recommends:

Animal Crackers: A Delectable Collection of Pictures, Poems and Lullabies for the Very Young
Edited by Jane Dyer
Little, Brown

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
By Bill Martin, Jr., illustrated by John Archambault
Simon & Schuster

Diez Deditos: 10 Little Fingers and Other Play Rhymes and Action Songs from Latin America
By Jose-Luis Orozco, illustrated by Elisa Kleven

Eentsy, Weentsy Spider: Fingerplays and Action Rhymes
By Joanna Cole and Stephanie Calmenson, illustrated by Alan Tiegreen
Mulberry Books

Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed
By Eileen Christelow

Read Aloud Rhymes for the Very Young
By Jack Prelutsky, illustrated by Marc Brown

My Very First Mother Goose
Edited by Iona Opie, illustrated by Rosemary Wells
Candlewick Press