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Singing helps your child learn how to hear smaller sounds in words. Learning to hear and break down parts of words help your child develop phonological awareness, which will help him learn to read.
Do not be afraid of being silly or singing off-key; your child will not mind at all. He is more likely to love the great bonding experience of singing with you! Children also remember things better when they are said in a rhyme or sung to a catchy tune.
Nursery Rhymes and Songs Cube
Make your own nursery rhymes and songs cube! It is a great way to encourage your child to sing nursery rhymes and songs. Let your child roll the cube and identify the rhyme or song to sing together.
Use an empty square tissue box and fill it with recycled paper. It will be better if the box is filled so that it is sturdier. Find some recycled wrapping paper or brown craft paper to cover up all sides of the box with tape. Decide on six nursery rhymes that your child is familiar with and find clip art images that represent each of the rhymes as well as a short word that goes along with it.
For example, “Itsy Bitsy Spider” is represented by a clipart of a spider and the word “Spider”; “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” is represented by a clipart of a star and the word “Star”. Your completed nursery rhymes and songs cube should look something like the image below. Do ensure that all six sides of the cube are represented by a rhyme or song.
Change the nursery rhymes or make a new cube with 6 different nursery rhymes or songs to add some variety.
Adapted from: Storytime Cube
I Spy… Rhyme
Play the classic game of I Spy. First, explain to your child that there are rhyming things all around us. Second, provide your child with a clue word and guide them to find an item in the room that rhymes with the clue word. The clue should be a one-syllable word such as ball, cat, mouse, duck etc. To play the game, you can follow the example given below and adapt accordingly.
Parent: I spy, with my little eye. Something that rhymes with hook.
Child: [looking around] … I don’t know.
Parent: Hmm, what is on the shelf over there?
Child: A book?
Parent: Yes, a book. Does that rhyme with hook? Say the two words together.
Child: Hook and book.
Parent: Do they rhyme?
Parent: Yes, hook rhymes with book.
If the child is not able to find something that rhymes, you may provide more clues and narrow the search area to help them.
Adapted from: I Spy a Rhyme
Matching Rhyme Time!
This is a fun and easy rhyming card game for the whole family! Prepare a set of picture cards. Each picture card will have its matching card that rhymes with it. For example, a card with an image of a cat and another card with an image of a hat as seen below. Other examples can include, “fox” and “box”, “dog” and “log”, “slug” and “jug” etc.
To play the game, separate the pairs of rhyming cards into two separate stacks and face both stacks down on a flat surface. Take turns with your child to flip over one picture card from each stack and name the picture seen on the card.
If a rhyming match is made, you or your child call out “Rhyme Time!” and keep the pair of rhyming picture cards. If a match is not made, return the card randomly to the respective stacks. Continue until all the matches are made.
Depending on your child’s age, you can tweak the level of difficulty accordingly. Challenge your child to try naming another item or object that also rhymes with the matching cards.
Adapted from: https://www.readingrockets.org/sites/default/files/fcrr-rhyming-games.pdf
Title: Playtime Rhymes
Author: Joel Selby
Illustrator: Joel Selby
Publisher: London: Campbell Books, 2021.
Location: Early Literacy Sense & Sensations
Call Number: English 398.8 SEL
Follow Jack and Jill up the hill, row row your boat down the stream and buckle your shoe in Playtime Rhymes. Toddlers will love using the chunky push, pull and slide mechanisms to bring these classic playtime rhymes to life. Scan the QR code to sing along together too!
Title: Eric Carle’s Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star: and Other Nursery Rhymes: a lift-the-flap book
Author: Eric Carle
Illustrator: Eric Carle
Publisher: New York: World of Eric Carle, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC, 2021.
Location: Early Literacy Sense & Sensations
Call Number: English 398.8 CAR
Featuring an interactive lift-flap on every spread, a sturdy casebound board book complements five classic nursery rhymes with signature artwork by the award-winning creator of The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
Title: Rapunzel: A Favourite Story in Rhythm and Rhyme
Author: Jonathan Peale
Illustrator: Villie Karabatzia
Publisher: North Mankato, Minnesota: Cantata Learning, 2020.
Location: Early Literacy Poetry & Rhymes
Call Number: English PEA
Rapunzel has been trapped high up in a tower by an evil witch. The only way in or out of her prison is to climb Rapunzel’s long, golden hair. Then one day a prince sees Rapunzel, but what happens when evil witch catches him climbing up into the tower? Find out as this classic fairy tale comes to life with music and full-color illustrations.
Title: Little Dragon
Author: Rhiannon Fielding
Illustrator: Chris Chatterton
Publisher: London: Ladybird Books, 2021.
Location: Early Literacy Picture Book
Call Number: English FIE
This is the perfect book to calm little sleepy dragons everywhere, just in time to go to bed. Soaring high in the skies to find adventure, little dragon siblings Flicker and Flash are doing their best to avoid going to bed. But then they spot a lost egg that they need to get back to its mother - will they get back in time? This story is told in rhyming verse.
All synopses taken from the respective publishers. The book covers are the copyright of the respective publishing companies.
For more activities and book recommendations, click here.