Play with Words
Using rhymes, riddles, word play and nonsense words can help to build and strengthen kids’ reading skills and boost reading and learning fun!
- Tune your child’s ear to word patterns and word sound by frequently sharing nursery rhymes, songs, and the poetry of Dr. Seuss. The ability to pick out sounds that rhyme and sounds that don’t is a very important skill for children learning how to read.
- When you read aloud a book that rhymes, stop before the end of a sentence and let your child supply the closing rhyme, like “STOP. You must not hop on ________.”
- Play rhyming games with your child. Take turns thinking of words that rhyme with an object in the room. Or make your rhyme game a riddle, giving clues such as, “What’s a word that rhymes with red? It’s where you go to sleep at night.”
- Distinguishing beginning sounds in words helps your child understand that words are made up of separate sounds. Tongue twisters are terrific for focusing on beginning sounds in words. Warm up with "Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers," before you tackle Fox in Socks!
- Making up nonsense words or reading them aloud helps your child understand how sounds come together to form words and reinforces what they know about those sounds. And as Dr. Seuss proved well, nonsense words are lots of fun!