Easy Hands-on Activity to Teach Rhyming Words
I am always looking for ways to make learning more fun for Ace. He is a very hands-on learner and I know I have to keep things interesting so he will stay engaged.
As part of our writing curriculum, we have been working on rhyming words and I thought it might be fun to use the energy and activity of hopscotch to create a hands-on activity we call Rhyming Hopscotch.
My original vision was to play this game outdoors with sidewalk chalk. But today was rainy.
So rather than wait for the sun to come out, I got creative and made an indoor version with painter’s tape and a rhyming words “key.” (I tried “writing” the rhyming word family roots in each square with the painter’s tape but the result was not very readable…or nice to look at. So I modified the plan and created a key instead.)
How to Play Rhyming Hopscotch
You play Rhyming Hopscotch much the same way you play regular hopscotch.
On each player’s turn, he or she throws a block (or whatever suitable object you find around the house) onto the board. When it lands in a numbered square, that player must say a word that rhymes with the listed sound before he or she starts hopping.
The player hops through the board, skipping the square with the block in it. Once the player has hopped through the squares, he or she turns around, and hops back through, picking up the block on the way back.
To get more rhyming words in, you can choose to have the player say a certain number (or the corresponding square’s number) of rhyming words. Or you can simply have the player add in a rhyming word when he or she turns around midway through.
I found it helpful to keep track of what words were being used each round. This prevented the same words from being used over and over again.
So, did it teach rhyming words?
This game ended up being the perfect balance of physical activity and mental stimulation for Ace. He got breaks as he waited for me to complete my turn and we had fun trying to make the block land on squares with sounds we hadn’t tried yet.
Ace helped me create the numbers and lines and Dash was fascinated with the whole process. Later in the day, I even caught Ace using the board to teach Dash about even and odd numbers. BONUS!
All-in-all this was a successful indoor activity for us that I look forward to creating again (and also trying outside once the weather improves!)
Let me know how Rhyming Hopscotch works for your family in the comments below!
Make Your Own Rhyming Hopscotch
Tile Floor (or flat carpet surface)
Paper or Dry Erase Board
Block or other appropriate object to use as the board marker (to replace the traditional rock when played outdoors)
List of Rhyming Word Families (download a quick cheat sheet here)
1. Sweep an area of tile (or flat carpet) in your home. Make sure the area is clear enough that the tape will stick and that little jumping bodies won’t get hurt if they fall over.
2. Using the tile grout lines as a guide (or just eyeball it if that’s not a possibility), lay out your hopscotch board with painters tape. I started by creating a long column connecting the topmost and bottommost squares and then branched out from there. (Remember that the pairs of squares are off-center so you will have to compensate for that.)
3. Fill in all the square outlines to complete your grid.
4. Create the numbers by tearing off bits of tape. Your kids may enjoy helping with this! Though the numbers won’t look perfect, it’s a great chance for them to work on creating numbers without curved lines or writing utensils!
5. Using a sheet of paper or dry erase board, create your word family key. Make sure you leave space to write down the words that are called out during game play.
6. Pick a player to go first and start thinking of those rhyming words!