108A. Snug as a BUG: Rhyme Ball

Activity Name: Rhyme Ball

In “Snug as a Bug”, Frog and Bug try to find the word that finishes the rhyme “Snug as a bug in a ____.” They find several “ug” words, before they find the word RUG. In this fun activity you and your child can explore different rhyme words.

Related Episode: 108 A. Snug as a BUG.
Age Range:
Literacy and Language Development.


  • Tape.
  • Cutouts of WordFriends™ Bug and Frog (see Appendix).
  • One shoebox without a lid (or other small open box or bucket).
  • Ball (which can fit into the box or bucket).


  1. Tape the BUG WordFriend to the inside of the box.
  2. Place the box on its side so that the opening and the WordFriend face you and your child.
  3. Take the ball and stand a few feet away from the box with your child.
  4. Place the ball on the ground in front of you.
  5. Start the game by saying the word “Bug”. Once you have said the word, push or kick the ball a little in the direction of the open box.
  6. Then take turns saying words that rhyme with Bug.Here are some ideas: hug, dug, mug, jug, tug, rug, slug, snug
    For this game, it is also fine to come up with silly words, such as gug, sug and wug.
  7. Every time someone says a rhyming word, push or kick the ball one more time.
  8. Keep going until you have successfully gotten the ball into the box.Note: If you run out of words, before the ball goes in the box, repeat some of the words until the ball goes in the box.
  9. Try playing the game with the Frog WordFriend. Take the Bug WordFriend away and tape the Frog WordFriend to the box. Repeat steps 2- 8. Here are some ideas for rhyming words:
      • Words that rhyme with Frog: fog, log, dog, hog, jog.

Take it Further:

  • Build a WordThing Build a WordThing™ – Have your child make a WordThing with his or her favorite “ug” word. Write a word with “ug” in it, like “bug,” “rug” or “jug” in big letters on a piece of construction paper or cardboard. Then have your child turn the word into a WordThing by drawing an outline of the object’s shape around it and decorating it by drawing, painting and/or pasting on objects (like pom poms, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, etc.).
  • My very own UG Book In this activity you and your child can create your own book with words that rhyme with Bug. Brainstorm with your child several words that rhyme with Bug (e.g. mug, jug, slug, etc. . .). Write each word on a separate piece of paper. When possible, use images to show what the words mean (using magazine cut-outs, drawings, or photographs). Take a photo of you giving your child a hug, and make it the last page in your book. Create a cover for your “UG” book. Help your child staple all the pages together or punch a hole in the top left hand corner of each page and tie the pages together with yarn. Then read your new book with your child.
  • Build a Word! Create several copies of large letters: “R” “U” and “G.” Recite the lyrics to the Build a Word song with your child:”It’s time to Build a Word. Let’s build it. Let’s build it now!”
    “Yeah, we just built a word. We built it. We built it.” Then practice each letter in the word ‘RUG’ and practice the sounds /r/ /u/ /g/ to make “RUG.” Emphasize the blending of the three sounds to make the word.
    Next, give your child the letter sheets: R, U, G. Work together with your child to build the word RUG by laying the letter cutouts together.
  • Snug as a Bug Storybook After watching the Snug in BUG episode, you can make your own book telling the story as you remember it. You could say, “Do you remember the story we saw? First Bug had trouble falling asleep. Then he tried to sleep in a Mug and then a Jug. With the help of his WordFriends, he finally built a snug Rug where he comfortably fell asleep. In your book, you will tell the story you remember seeing today. I can help you with the words you want to write. You can draw any pictures you like to go with your story.”Have your child draw pictures to tell the story as she remembers it. Suggest that she draw pictures from two or three scenes in the story.
    Perhaps pictures of:

      • Bug in a Mug
      • Bug in a Jug
      • Bug in the Rug

    For children who can write themselves or who are interested in experimenting with text, encourage them to practice “writing” their own words.

  • Other “R” words, “U” words, and “G” words Create visual images of the letters R, U, and G. Create visual images of multiple things that start with R, U, and G, either by using magazine cutouts or drawings. Tell your child, “Did you know that if you listen carefully to the sounds in a word, you can hear the sounds that the letters make? We are going to play a game with those sounds to see if we can make new words.” Hold up a picture of the letter “R” and say: “Did you know that every letter has a shape, a name, and a sound? What is the name of this letter?” This letter “R” has the sound /r/.” Show your child some pictures of things that start with R. Hold up the pictures of things beginning with the letter “R” one at a time and have your child name the objects, pointing out the /r/ sound. Ask them to brainstorm other words that start with R. Repeat using the letters “U” and “G”.