It's Rhyme Time!
We have a lot of fun in music class - so much fun, in fact, that I often forget that I am actually teaching. I know how important music is for early education, and sometimes I take it for granted.
One of the things I love about the Makin' Music program is that is educationally based. Each song has a purpose in your child's learning and development. The "Popcorn Chant," for example? It actually ISN'T all about being silly and watching the children's faces light up with giggles and surprise. I know, right?! As short as it is, it's really about:
Opposites - slow and fast (or in musical terms, largo and presto)
Motor Skills - small movements and large movements with our arms (and let's face it, legs, too, since most of the children jump when we really get popping
Patience and Impulse Control - waiting until we say "pop, pop, pop!" before sending the pom poms flying - so. difficult.
Listening and Following Directions - practicing before we start, waiting for the right words, picking up the pom poms afterward
Imagination - pretending the pom poms are popcorn
Sharing and Compromising - sharing and taking turns with the handles
Personal Space - spreading out so everyone has enough room
Colors - which color are you holding on to? What color is the pom pom in your hand?
Rhyming - pot/hot, in/grin
I could get fancy and say that physics and gravity are also involved, but we'll save that one for later. . .
Anyway, this brings us to our educational theme for the week. Rhyming. Those nursery rhymes we learned as children, while they may seem old fashioned, are an important part of your child's reading and literacy skills!
Rhyming teaches children how language works - it helps them to notice the sounds within the words. Certain vowel/consonant combinations sound the same. Cat, bat, hat, etc. As they add to their vocabulary and reading skills, words with the same sounds will start to become easier for them to recognize. This skill will also help later down the road, when they begin writing.
Rhyming teaches children about rhythm - nursery rhymes and music have a rhythm to them. The words fit in a certain way. We often speak them in animated voices. As children learn and repeat them, they'll copy that rhythm. It will help them to have expression when they are reading later on, which can also aid in comprehension.
Rhyming makes reading fun - learning to read is not easy! Songs and rhymes can add joy to a sometimes overwhelming and difficult task.
Rhyming helps to expand the imagination - when children listen to rhyming songs and poems, it creates a mental picture. One of my favorite examples of this is "Down by the Bay." Not only is this an incredibly catchy tune, but it also has some great, silly rhymes. Did you ever see a fly wearing a tie? Did you ever see a llama wearing pajamas? Here's my favorite version, from Super Simple Songs.
These are just a few of the reasons why rhyming is important.
So now what? What do you do with this information? Well, it's super easy to incorporate rhyming in your everyday life!
You are probably already reading to your children before bedtime. Or if your child is like my Charlie, it's also when they wake up, when they are playing, when it's nap time, when they wake up from nap, in the car. . . So here are a few of my favorite rhyming books.
I can't talk about my favorite rhyming books without mentioning the master, Dr. Seuss. Amazing stories, adorable illustration, and silly characters make his books fun for all ages. It would be hard for me to pick just one! So my two favorites are Hop on Pop for the really little ones, and Green Eggs and Ham for children who have a slightly longer attention span.
Another of my favorites is Squeak, Rumble, Whomp! Whomp! Whomp! I love this one for several reasons. There is rhyming, yes, but it's subtitle is "A Sonic Adventure." There is music EVERYWHERE! You'll get lots of giggles from this one when you read the funny sounds.
Motor Goose. Now that you've got those nursery rhymes down pat, here's a twist! Nursery rhymes rewritten for cars, trucks, boats, trains, and airplanes. Silly rhymes to familiar tunes and chants.
Want more? Here's a list of singable rhyming books from This Reading Mama. (You didn't think I'd leave out musical books, did you?)
Here are a few of my favorite activities that incorporate rhyming, and each link will lead you to even more rhyming fun.
(Free!) Printable rhyming letter books from The Measured Mom - print them out, take them with you, and read them aloud while you're waiting at the doctor's office, restaurants, in traffic. . .
Rhyming on the go from Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas. A twist on Eye Spy. Someone sees something outside the car, and everyone else comes up with words that rhyme!
10 Songs that add rhyme to your routine from This Reading Mama. You can even start first thing in the morning with this one: (tune: Happy Birthday to You) Good morning to you, Good morning to you, Good morning, dear (child’s name), Good morning to you!
And the easiest one? Put music on! In the car, in the bath, at night, while playing. . . Makin' Music CDs have LOTS of rhyming music. Just saying. Did you know you can get those without signing up for class? Ask me!
I'm so glad you joined me here! This was the first of my educational theme posts. You can get even more when you join our Facebook group, Makin' Music Delaware Groupies. Join us for Silly Sundays - live videos on Sundays at 7 PM! Every week is a new educational theme.
I hope I've given you a nice jumping off point to incorporate rhyming into every day (musical or not)! Are there any other rhyming activities that you and your family like to do? Let me know in the comments!