Sway and Play


Recognize words that rhyme with play (e.g., "Do sway and play rhyme?") and produce rhyme words (e.g., "Think of a word that rhymes with play.").

Lesson Plan

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Target Words:

  • lei
  • day
  • way
  • sway
  • play
  • stay


  • Containers to use as drums
  • Plastic Hawaiian leis 
  • Paper flower graphics (optional)*
  • Music
  • Chalk 

*item included below

The children will play music and sway as they practice saying words that rhyme with play.

Literacy Activities

Sway and Play

  • Show the children a lei and explain that it is a string of flowers worn around the neck on special occasions in Hawaii.
    • If you do not have plastic leis, cut out flowers (see below) and thread them on a string to make a necklace.
  • Tell the children that today is a lei day, and that they will get to sway and play music.
  • Point out that lei and play rhyme, and ask the children to listen for words that rhyme with play.
  • Have the children help you make several connecting pathways with chalk.
  • Give the children containers to use as drums and let the children play their drums and sway (move their hips side to side) along the pathways.
  • Tell the children to move away from the pathway, then start the music and let the children sway.
  • Include as words that rhyme with play in your comments about the activity (e.g., "I like the way you play and sway!"
  • Ask the children for words they heard in the activity that rhyme with play: lei, day, sway, way.

Play and Stay

  • Explain to the children that in this game they will listen to know when to play or stay still.
  • Choose one child to be "it" and have the children stay still until the child who is "it" yells, "play!"
  • Tell all other children to yell "play" back to the child who is "it" then have the children run around.
  • Tell the child who is "it" to yell "stay!" and have the other children stop in place.
  • Repeat the game allowing the children to take turns calling out the rhyming words play or stay.

More Practice

Produce words that rhyme with play

  • Remind the children of the words they played with (day, play, sway, way, lay). 
  • Ask each child to think of another word that rhymes with play (support as needed).

March and say words that rhyme with play 

  • Have the children march and say the beginning and ending sounds of the word play as follows:
    • segment sounds: say /pl/ (march right), say /ay/ (march left)
    • blend sounds: jump with both feet and say play to blend the sounds into the whole word
  • Repeat with other words that rhyme with play (e.g., hay, day, lay, say, way, may, ray).



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CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.2.A: Recognize and produce rhyming words.