Having just had the wonderful opportunity to see Julia Donaldson live presenting her show “the Gruffalo”, again emphasised the importance of rhyming.
Julia has a wonderful way of writing the most delightful books which all children love. They are easy and fun to read and the wonderful use of rhyme makes you want to break out into song! Which is exactly what Julia did!
Did you know that her first book “a Squash and a Squeeze” originated from a song and then became a book? I still have that song in my head.
Why is rhyming so important you say? Well, think about it, if you can make a rhyme about something doesn’t it make it easier to remember? Yes, of course it does! I’m sure you can remember making up rhymes in school as part of your study skills to help you to remember the work? This is perhaps more relevant in the senior primary child’s life but for the younger child the reason why rhyming is so important is because the children learn to differentiate between different sounds by hearing the phonetic differences and similarities in words. It helps children to break words into smaller parts and to recognise smaller parts in words. These skills are important for reading and writing.
Songs and rhymes also teach children how to use expression which is also important when learning to read. Rhyming also helps children to predict the story and gives them decoding skills.
Children who struggle with reading often find it difficult to break words down into their individual sounds. Thus, rhyming is a very helpful tool to improve their phonemic awareness skills.
An easy way to enrich your children is to read them nursery rhymes when they are little and to continue with lovely picture books that rhyme such as the Julia Donaldson books.
Children love to rhyme and it can be done incidentally, while you are driving in the car, are at the shops or taking a walk in the park. Children love to do it and often make up the silliest rhymes, but learning should be fun, so let it be.