Teaching Rhyming in Pre-K

Here are some fun ways to teach rhyming in Pre-K.

Teach Rhyming in Pre-K, Preschool

Nursery Rhymes

We recite traditional nursery rhymes while doing movements that correspond with them. The movements we use come from Jack Hartmann’s CDs Rhymin’ to the Beat volumes 1 and 2. We learn to recite the rhyme with the movements before doing the song. Reciting nursery rhymes is the best way to begin teaching rhyming to preschoolers. We start the school year with nursery rhymes and continue them all year long. You can get free printable nursery posters here at PreKinders.com.

Rhyming Basket

Objects are placed in a basket (one object for each child present), and the basket is passed around the circle. As each child gets the basket, I say a word (such as “fizzers”) and they pull out the object that rhymes (“scissors”). You can use any objects because it doesn’t matter if the rhyming words are real words or nonsense words.

rhyming basket

Erase a Rhyme

Draw a picture on a dry erase board, such as grass, sky, tree, flower, and sun. Say a word, such as tower, and have a child come up to erase what rhymes (flower); erase what rhymes with bee (tree); erase what rhymes with fun (sun). Continue until the whole picture is erased. Draw on a dry erase lap board before the children arrive, so that they don’t have to wait while you draw. Usually, after I’ve drawn a few, some of the children will volunteer to draw one for the next day.

erase a rhyme

Rhyme Time Pocket Chart

This is just another way to use and display rhyming cards. We use this pocket chart for matching games at circle time, and the children use it during center time. I purchased the set of rhyming cards in the school supply section of a store (I no longer remember where). You could also print the cards from the Rhyming Match Game to use for the pocket chart.

rhyming cards pocket chart

Rhyming Rings

Hook words that rhyme together on a metal ring. Include a picture with the word. Children flip through the picture cards and say them into a PVC phone. Example: bag, tag, rag, wag. You can make these using clipart, or save time and purchase Rhyming Rings at Teachers Pay Teachers.

Rhyming Word Rings

Rhyming Bingo

Download this free set of Rhyming Bingo mats. There are 8 mats included so that you can use them with a small group of children. You do not have to use all 8 mats, so you can work with smaller numbers of children. My small group typically has 4-6 children.

Give each child a bingo mat and something to cover each picture (plastic cubes, plastic bingo chips, or plastic bear counters work great). This game is played the way traditional bingo is played.

Cut out the Calling Cards and shuffle them. Draw a card from the stack and call out the word (for example, “truck”). Children will search for the picture that rhymes (duck) on their mat and cover it if they have it. Keep playing until a child gets BINGO, when they have covered all 8 pictures on their mat. With Pre-K children (because they’re so young), I keep going until each child in the group wins, and we celebrate with each one as they get BINGO.

Download the Free Rhyming Bingo Game

Rhyme Freeze Dance

Play music and have the children dance around. When the music stops, call out a word, and the children have to freeze and think of a rhyming word before they can start dancing again.

Many More Rhyming Resources

There are many more resources for teaching rhyming here at PreKinders. Be sure to check out these ideas and printables:

Don’t miss the Phonological Awareness page!

Originally published Sep 2009. Updated July 2023.

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