Tag Archives: rhyme

Five Favorites….To Start

OK, for those of you looking for more Dr. Seuss activities, here are five favorites to start off with!  More to come!

(Does anyone else ever feel like they’re juggling this many things?)

The Cat in the Hat

After reading this timeless and iconic favorite, follow-up by playing your own version of UP, UP, UP with a Fish!  You can use balls or bean bags to represent “the fish” and toss with a partner, stepping backward after each catch.  Or you can simply add physical tasks, one on the other.  Stand on one foot.  Now hop!  Now reach one hand up like you’re holding a fish bowl.  Now fan yourself with the other hand.  Oh, no!  Everyone fall down!  Great for large motor skills!

Green Eggs and Ham

Do I have to say it?  Make some green eggs!  Just add a little green food coloring (maybe even play around with color mixing by adding blue to the yellow eggs).  Involve the little ones and build vocabulary by using good descriptors as you work.  Emphasize the change from liquid to solid as you crack, whip, cook, and serve!  I do so love green eggs and ham!  Oh, as an insider tip, when you read this book, toward the end, the characters are talking underwater.  Wiggle your finger over your lips as you read those lines to simulate underwater talking.  The kids eat it up!

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

This book is essentially a series of wacky rhymes!  One advantage to this is the fact that you can edit and shorten it as much as you need to in order to match the attention span of your audience, since you don’t really need to tie together a storyline.  Since it’s all about rhyming, follow up with a rhyming activity.  Make rhyming sandwiches, as in this activity, or use the same cards and have the children jump, clap, ring a bell, etc. when they hear a rhyming pair.

There’s a Wocket in My Pocket

This is another perfect book for rhymers!  Especially to help them focus on the sound, not the meaning since the rhyming pairs are all invented.  Play a Wocket in the Pocket game afterward.  Create a wocket by enlarging the illustration onto tagboard or simply drawing a face on a tongue depressor. It doesn’t have to be elaborate!  Have one child, the seeker, close her eyes, while someone else hides the wocket by sitting on it.  The seeker then asks a child, “Is there a wocket in your pocket?”  If the guess is wrong, that child can give a clue as to where the wocket is.  (“No, but it’s hiding by someone with pink shoes.”)  Rhyming clues are even better.  (“No, but it’s hiding near someone with pink moos.”)  Take turns being the seeker and the hiders!

The Foot Book

Even as babies, my boys loved this book!  Extend by painting with your feet!  Use the same materials you would for finger painting, but use your toes (or entire feet) instead.  Have children sit in a chair and paint on the paper on the floor, or roll out some big sheets of paper and let them run with painted feet!  Have a wash bin and towels handy!

Next up: If I Ran the Zoo, And to Think that I Saw it on Mulberry Street, and Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You?

For more Dr. Seuss activities, click here!



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Crayons in the Box Song

This is a great song for learning about colors and for building rhyme recognition, an important skill for pre-readers (read more about phonological awareness here).  Use this song during large group, music and movement time, or just as a filler during a transition.  The little ones love it!  Eventually, they’ll be ready to be the ones giving the clues!

Tune: Five Little Ducks (You know, “…but the one little duck with the feather on his back….”)

So many crayons in the box for you,

Red ones, yellow ones, blue ones too. (You’re welcome to change up the colors)

But the one little color that rhymes with (head)

It’s my favorite color, it’s the color….(red!)

(Hesitate at the end so the kiddos can fill in with the mystery color!)

More from the “Exploring the Arts through Our Senses” unit here!

Top photo by ctech.


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Book Activity – The Hungry Thing

The Hungry Thing

I was first introduced to Jan Slepian and Ann Seidler’s The Hungry Thing at a workshop on phonemic/phonological awareness (learn more about that here).  So, obviously, this book and activity are great for building those critical prereading skills.  In this story, the Hungry Thing shows up in a town, asking for food.  The people can’t figure out what he wants.  When he requests “shmancakes” they each have a different idea about what “shmancakes” actually are.  One boy makes sense of it all, reminding them that “shmancakes” sound like “pancakes”.  So they give the Hungry Thing some and he eats them all up!  This continues on to include “feetloaf” and “gollipops”, “boop with a smacker” and “tickles”.  As I read this story, I always pause a bit, allowing the children to chime in with the appropriate rhyming word.

Afterward, I introduce my Hungry Thing puppet.  Mine is just a fuzzy, monster-like puppet.  You could make your own out of fabric or a paper bag, improvise with one you have, or create a cardboard picture with the mouth cut out, similar to what I did in the dinosaur activity here.  It doesn’t matter which one you use, the Thing is so hungry!  Can the children help feed it?   Arrange some play food on the floor, or give one piece to each child.  Be sure to say the name of each piece of food as you set it down or hand it out so that the children are sure to know what they’re called. 

“FEED ME!” the Hungry Thing says, just as it did in the book.   The children respond as the townspeople did in the book, “What would you like to eat?”   With much expression, the Hungry Thing asks for each food, substituting the first sound in each word as he did in the story.   (You can certainly use nonesense words, “felery” for celery, but some of the children’s favorites are also when it ends up being a real word – hair for pear, sneeze for cheese.  Do it any way you want, it just needs to rhyme.)  The children place the food in the hungry thing’s mouth.  My kids’ favorite part with my puppet is when the Thing munches voraciously on the food and then burps loudly with the food flying back out (so that I can clear the way for the next item).  Think of Cookie Monster as your motivation.

Reading this book and participating in this activity helps to build rhyming skills, which are a fundamental pre-reading skill.  Your children will love this activity!  I often leave the book, puppet, and a bowl of food out in the reading area after doing this activity with a group of children so that they can continue the activity on their own!

For more food-themed activities, click here!

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The Invisible Man

invisibleHere’s an activity I think I picked up in a phonemic awareness book once upon a time.  You begin by telling the children you have a friend who wants to be an invisible man, perhaps as a Halloween costume.  (You may need to explain what “invisible means”.)  Show a picture of a person (stick figures are ok) or just a face, if you’re working with younger children, drawn on a chalkboard or dry erase board.  This man is not invisible at all!  Tell the children that if they want to make part of the man invisible, they have to say the rhyming word.  Give a few examples.  If you or the children say “pies”, you erase the eyes.  If you say “farm” erase an arm.  Accept nonsense words (“gegs” rhymes with legs) as rhymes.  Rhyme production is more difficult than rhyme recognition, so for younger children, you would say the rhyming word and give two options for the part to be erased (rhyme recognition).  “What if I said “south”?  Would that be the mouth or the eyes?  South-Mouth, or South-Eyes?”  For older children, you might say, “What word rhymes with arm?” (rhyme production)

Photo by phillip13.

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The Wiggle Waggle Song

Photo provided by rrss.

laughWant a fun little song that gets the wiggles out while enforcing phonemic awareness skills?  I thought you might be, so here it is!

It’s a very simple song, but kids love it!  To the tune of “Shortnin’ Bread”:

“We go wiggle waggle, wiggle waggle, wiggle waggle”

“We go wiggle waggle, wiggle waggle, STOP!” 

As the children sing “wiggle waggle” they wiggle their bodies, but on STOP, they freeze.  Next, have them specify one part of their bodies to wiggle.  Say, their heads.  This time, instead of wiggle waggle, use the same beginning sound, in the case of heads, higgle haggle. 

“Heads go higgle haggle, higgle haggle, higgle haggle,

Heads go higgle haggle, higgle haggle, STOP!”

Continue with other parts of the body, and ask the children before you start, what you will say in the place of “wiggle waggle”.  They will quickly catch on to the pattern.

Bellies go biggle baggle,

Noses go niggle naggle,

Legs go liggle laggle

A personal favorite:

Tongues go tiggle taggle (It’s always fun to sing with your tongue sticking out!)

For words that begin with a vowel sound, simply omit the beginning consonant sound (w) of wiggle waggle:

Arms go iggle aggle, etc.

Besides being silly and fun, this is a great phonemic awareness exercise.   Changing the beginning sounds is called phoneme substitution, and is a skill that develops as children become more aware of the sounds in words and more able to manipulate them.  All of these skills help in preparing children to read.  Additionally, this is a wonderful transition song because it has plenty of movement and gives children an opportunity to be active, helping them to focus afterward.  It also enforces an awareness of the names of body parts as well as the controlled movement of them.

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dscn1290For a fun rhyming activity with your preschoolers, create a Rhyme-A-Saurus!  This dinosaur is not a meat-eater or a plant-eater, he eats rhymes! 

Using a set of rhyming cards (you can find printable ones here or purchase a set at a teaching supply store)  give your children one card each, and keep the rhyming pair yourself.  Explain that this dinosaur is a rhyme-eater and loves rhyme sandwiches.  Ask them to help you make a sandwich by putting two rhyming words together and feeding them to the dinosaur! 

One by one, show and say one of your rhyming words and invite the child with the rhyming pair to put both words in the dinosaurs mouth.  Of course, this activity is enhanced by ferocious eating sounds, and burps are always a favorite! 

The dinosaur is made by drawing a dinosaur face on tag board or cardboard, coloring, and cutting a slot in the mouth.  I used the T. Rex on the cover of Trouble at the Dinosaur Cafe for my inspiration.  (Use this activity in conjunction with that story for a great book activity!)  You may opt for a less ferocious looking specimen.  If you’re not comfortable free-handing, use a copier or an overhead projector to transfer an enlarged image from a book.

This activity enhances language skills, and rhyming skills in particular.  Rhyming skills are a part of phonemic awareness, a huge predictor and precursor for reading success!

 Click here for more dinosaur ideas!


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