The Value of Rhyme

During the preschool storytimes this Wednesday and Friday, we played a game in which we tried to guess the different objects that were hidden in a box. The game included this song:

Someone’s at the door. Hear the knocks!
I open up the door and see a box.
I open up the box, but the box is full of rocks.
I really didn’t want a box of rocks!

We sang the song several times. The box contained rocks the first time, but subsequent verses included clocks, locks, blocks, socks, and smocks. Before each verse, the group tried to think of a new object that rhymed with “box.”

This activity combined two things children love: guessing games and wordplay. But playing with language isn’t just for fun; it plays an important role in early literacy. Rhyming encourages children to recognize patterns in sound and language, which increases their phonological sensitivity, or awareness of the idea that words are made up of smaller sounds. Phonological awareness is essential to learning to read and spell, and rhyming games are an easy and fun thing you can do at home to help your child develop this important pre-literacy skill.