Rebus rhymes and stories are great for young children who are just beginning to learn to read. There are pictures instead of words throughout the story and rhyme. These can really make reading fun, entertaining, and hopefully, help children develop a love of reading.
Rebus Stories and Rhymes
Some rebus stories have the picture and the word to help kids learn to read. Some have only the picture and child fills in the word.
There are many sources for rebuses on the Internet including:
- Enchanted Learning.com has Mother Goose rebus rhymes and others. They have both the picture and the word.
- At ABC Teach, there are rebus stories with the picture only.
Another type of rebus is a puzzle using words and numbers, sometimes called a pictogram puzzle. Rebus puzzles use pictures, symbols, and letters to represent a word or words.
These are really great for kids or adults because you have to use both sides of your brain. They are like mental exercises for a healthy mind.
The key to unlocking a rebus word puzzle, or a word picture puzzle, is the location of the letters or words. That has a bearing on the answer.
Here are a few examples:
HEELS which means “head over heels.”
- 1 2 BLAME which means “one to blame.”
- 1,2,3,4,5,6,,,,38,39,40 LIFE which means "life begins at 40."
- FAREDCE which means "red in the face."
- WINEEEE which means "win with ease."
- PumPkinPie which means "piece (Ps) of pumpkin pie."
- JOBINJOB which means "in between jobs."
- SYMPHON... which means "unfinished symphony."
- another 1 which means "one right after another."
- T_RN which means "no U turn."
- counCLOSEters which means "close encounters."
- WORL which means "world without end."
A famous use of a rebus puzzle was the television game show "Concentration." It was a matching game, but each match uncovered a part of a rebus puzzle. The rebus puzzle was sometimes like an equation, where you had to add letters and pictures together to come up with the words they were representing.
Some examples of rebuses are:
- 2 = to or too, 4 = for, 8 = ate, R = are
- F + (picture of an ear) = fear
- D + (picture of a light) = delight
- GR + 8 = great
- L + 8 = late
- 2 + L = tool
- 4 + T = fort
Pictures and symbols commonly used in rebus puzzles:
- a bee = sound of be
- a sheep = sound of ewe
- a knot = sound of not
- a can of food = sound of can
There are many sites online that have rebus puzzles.
More Word Games
If you enjoy word games and puzzles or are looking for some rebuses for classroom use, here are some Internet resources which are particularly good for teachers:
- Word searches - Addicting Games.com. It is timed and has hard words, so it is not for young children.
- Word puzzles - If you have watched the TV game show Lingo, you can play it online at Big Money Arcade.com. It has 1260 puzzle words and you have five tries to guess the word. If you guess one or more of the letters, the letter(s) will appear on the next line, if they are in the right spot. If not, the correct letter that is in the wrong spot will be highlighted with a gold circle. They also have several hints to help you and some possible next letters at the bottom of the puzzle.
- Word games - East of the Web has 10 games. In Cryptoquote, you have to figure out the code to read a quote. Your powers of deduction are needed for Codeword, and Definetime tests your knowledge of word definitions. There is a new Word Search game every day, and a multiplayer game similar to Scrabble, but you can place letters on top of existing letters, like in the game Upwords.