Before a child is ready to jump into learning to read, it’s important to review basic phonemic principles, such as hearing the parts of words. Rhyming is a fun activity that is ideal for kids preparing to read or just starting out. After reading a favorite picture book, we played a “Dusty” Rhyming Game to practice making our own rhymes.
About Rhyming Dust Bunnies
Rhyming Dust Bunnies by Jan Thomas gives the little clods of dust in our homes a personality. It makes clean up time fun because we can imagine all the clods of dust screaming at us! Who would have thought to give personality to dust? Jan Thomas, of course. A sequel to this book is Here Comes the Big, Mean Dust Bunny by Jan Thomas.
These brightly colored dust clods love to rhyme. But the characters worry that Bob is not understanding the game when he say things like “Watch out!” Nothing rhymes with that! It turns out that a broom, and later, a vacuum cleaner, are on a mission to clean up the dust.
About the Rhyming Game
We decided to make our own rhyming game using dust clouds. In our game, we reach in a bag and get a (paper) dust cloud. On each dust cloud, there is a picture. We must name the picture and say a word that rhymes with it. If we cannot think of a rhyme, we must put it back in the bag. The trick is that some of the dust clouds have a broom or a vacuum! If we get a broom or vacuum, we have to put our collection of dust back in the bag: they’ve been swept up!
How “messy” can our pile get before we get swept up again?
My daughter really enjoyed challenging herself to think of rhymes for the images she drew. I also made a version with the words on the dust clouds. I imagine as she gains more confidence in reading, she’ll enjoy revisiting this game to read the words and avoid being “swept up” that way as well!
I put a second set of picture rhymes dust clouds in the product. With two sets of rhyming cards, the students can instead play a matching game. In that version, the player would say the picture on the two cards selected. If the two words rhyme, they have a match! In this game, whoever has the most matches at the end is the winner.
What We Learn from Rhyming Games
My kids go through these rhyming stages when they just want to “rhyme” all day. I remember my oldest would insist he’s a “rhyming boy” and he would only respond to that name for a day at a time. Strawberry hasn’t been quite as intent yet (I suspect it will come), but she loves finding rhymes in the words she says and in the books we read. Rhyming is understanding the sounds of words, rather than the literal meaning of words.
Playing these rhyming games helps us think of rhymes and hear rhymes. It also teaches Strawberry that not all things that rhyme are real words! Don’t we wish! We have to slow down and listen to the words we say to make sure they rhyme. And, as I said, we’ll come back to this again when she’s ready to actually read the words on the dust clouds.
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