We know there is a strong correlation between a child’s phonemic awareness and later literacy abilities. You can develop phonemic awareness by helping your preschoolers learn to rhyme.
We love books that have a regular rhyming pattern like the Llama, Llama books by Anna Dewdney. Read these often to children. After children get the sound of the language in their ears, leave out the second pair of rhymed words and let children fill in the word, as the child does in this clip:
Give clues and praise for the rhymes! This sets the stage for onsets and rimes as children move to the beginning stage of reading. For example:
-ide is the rime. Add the onset r to make the word ride. Add h for hide, s for side, or t for tide. You can see how rhyming sets the stage for reading.