Rhyming games for preschoolers that are fun, engaging, and super low prep.
As I’ve mentioned many times before, sometimes the simplest activities are the best. This is especially true when it comes to young children!
Teaching kiddos to rhyme can definitely fall into this category. Games and rhyming activities for preschool don’t need to be overly complicated, nor do they need to take a lot of time. In fact, sometimes it’s those 3-minute, spur of the moment games that help children have an “Aha! I can rhyme!” moment.
Simple Rhyming Games for Preschoolers
Using games as a way to teach rhyming is always a great idea. Kids love playing games, and games easily incorporate all kinds of learning. Just keep in mind that rhyming is a phonemic awareness skill, so rhyming activities should focus on how words sound. Use pictures or spoken words, rather than printed words, with these games.
Rhyming bingo games can be purchased online or at local stores. Homemade bingo games work just as well and can be tailored to better meet the needs of the kids playing.
Use picture cards (purchased or handmade), turned upside down, for this rhyming game. Children can play in small groups with their peers or with an adult, depending on their level of need. Just like any memory game, the kiddos take turns turning over two cards. Have them say the words aloud, then help them to determine if those words rhyme. This really gives the children the chance to say rhyming words in a fun way.
Once again, this is a game that can be purchased or homemade. Good rhyming puzzles use clear pictures that children can identify. A way to self-check is also important if the children are assembling the puzzles without assistance. Encourage the children to say each word out loud so they can hear which sound the same at the end.
Picture Sorting Games
More great rhyming activities involve picture sorts! Picture cards, magazine cut outs, clip art, and even children’s drawings, can all be used as sorting materials. Obviously, since this is about rhyming, the cards should be sorted based on their ending sounds. Children can sort the cards individually, with their peers, or with adult help.
Picture sorts can be done a variety of ways – at a table or desk, on a large floor mat, in pocket charts, on Velcro or felt boards, etc. Another idea is to use some some of the children’s favorite toys involved! Tape pictures to trains, trucks, or cars and have the kids drive the vehicles to the appropriate rhyming picture. Have dolls and action figures hold pictures, then have the kiddos match up the pairs that rhyme.
The Cows are out of the Barn
Make barns with pictures on them, and the kids have to find the cows with the correct rhymes on them. Their goal is to put all the cows back into the correct barns. You can do this all on paper if you want. Alternatively, grab a barn play set and tape rhyming pictures to the animals!
Feed the Animals
Use shoe boxes (or other small boxes) to create different animals. Then make “food” for the animals to eat. For example, one box could be a dog, with children putting rhyming bones into its mouth. The bones would have appropriate rhyming pictures on them, of course.
Children who enjoy pretend play in the kitchen will enjoy this rhyming activity. Put pictures on plastic plates. Then have the kiddos use spatulas or chopsticks to transfer rhyming pictures to the correct plates.
Gross Motor Rhyming Games for Preschoolers
What kiddo doesn’t love running and jumping around?! Get the children moving with these rhyming activities:
Pin a picture to each child’s shirt. When you tell them to, the kiddos have to race to their partner (who has a coordinating rhyming picture). Whoever gets to their partner first, wins. If playing this game with just one child, place objects or pictures that rhyme in different spots outside.
Use tape to create a hopscotch game inside, or chalk for an outside game. Have pictures inside each hopscotch square. Yell out a word, then have the child hop to the appropriate rhyming word.
Rhyming Scavenger Hunt
Hide objects or pictures in the home, classroom, or outside. Give children picture checklists and have them go hunting for rhyming words!
Walk the Tightrope
Glue pictures to footprint cut-outs, then place these footprints in a line. Be sure to place rhyming pairs next to each other. Have children say the rhyming words as they step on the pictures. The rhyming pairs could also be mixed up, with the children having to hop from one rhyming word to another.
What are some of your favorite rhyming games for preschoolers? My kiddos always seem to love memory, bingo, and anything that involves moving around.
Originally published April 18, 2013