May 15, 2008

Making Time for Rhymes

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"Do chair and chicken rhyme?" Talie wonders out loud from the back seat of the car.

"Think of a word that ends the same as chair," I suggest from the front. "Like hair."

That gets her going -- "Bear! Care! Fair!" -- all the way down the street.

My 4-year-old's interest in words and letter sounds is growing faster than a pumpkin in August, so we have this sort of conversation a lot. Since rhymes got hot, I've been scanning our shelves for books that are rife with them. The sillier the tale, the better she likes them.

It's hard to compete with the king of wacky rhymes, Dr. Seuss, but Talie's added a few more to her hit list. One is The Feet in the Gym by Teri Daniels, which in tidy but rollicking couplets tells the plight of a school janitor as he attempts to keep the gym floor clean.

Another is Pigs Aplenty, Pigs Galore, in which David McPhail clarifies why you should hope a bunch of swine never drop in for a visit.

My husband Matt leans on rhyming books for another reason. He points out that at the end of a hectic day, they're by far the easiest to read. Fair enough. With that in mind, I found him one to read Caitlin and Ellie tonight: The Princesses Have a Ball by Teresa Batemen. It's an award-winner with a storyline for slightly older listeners that puts a new twist on a classic princess tale. If that doesn't fly, I know a 4-year-old who would be happy to recite some homegrown rhymes for them instead.

Looking for more creative solutions? Click here to see our best Dream Team stories.

How do you teach your kids how to rhyme? Do you have favorite books that help you do this? Click the comments link below to find and share ideas.

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Making Time for Rhymes

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