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Rhyming Books: Powerful tools for fostering early literacy skills, written by Carrie Griffin, CCPC

My absolute favorite books to read out loud are rhyming books. A good rhyming book has an interesting plot with a loveable protagonist, and it must have lyrical text that flows like warm maple syrup. That's the kind of book that makes children fall in love with books and with language. When a child is exposed to beautiful writing that sounds like music, the end result is that they will fall in love with reading.

Research shows that rhyming skills are essential in early childhood for building reading competence proficiency. The more we rhyme out loud with children, the better they will be able to find patterns in language. By using engaging rhyming books that hold their interest, we are giving them the gift of literacy in a fun, appealing way.

To read more about the benefits of rhyming with children, click here:

My favorite rhyming book of all time is Giraffes Can't Dance. Every one of my children can relate Gerald's clumsy dancing to something they can't do well...yet. Gerald's growth mindset is inspirational, and while the rhyme works its magic throughout the story, my children sit entranced no matter how many times they've heard the tale.

Another wonderful series is The Little Blue Truck. "Horn went 'Beep!' Engine purred. Friendliest sounds you ever heard." The Little Blue Truck is always willing to help a friend, and the use of onomatopoeia is such a fun way to rhyme! This is also a great book to practice pausing. When we pause and let the child predict the next word, they are building essential comprehension skills. Sheep said ______, Cow said _____. This practice will keep your children fully engaged and forming new connections.

To expand older children's vocabulary, I love reading The Pout Pout Fish series. Words used to describe the Pout Pout Fish's demeanor include grimace, scowl, impolite, unattractive, and mope. When he is met with a shock he is astounded, aghast, and stone-faced. There are so many opportunities in this story to stop and talk about what each word means. Then, as a child gets a firm grasp on the vocabulary, it gets easier to let the melodic verses carry you through the story.

In addition to all the important skills learned from rhyming books, the most important thing is to foster a love for books. Children who form positive emotional connections to reading generally grow up to be excellent readers. Reading while cuddled up with someone they love will cultivate a love for books. Encourage the families you serve to read this information and guide them to create a daily routine with their children to promote early literacy.

Other Rhyming Books to enjoy with your children:

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