Babies Walkers 2 2s to 3s 3s to 4s

Overview and benefit

A child needs to develop phonological awareness in order to learn to read and write. Before they can learn about phonics (the individual units of sound and their symbolic representation) and learn to blend phonemes together to form words, there are some early phonetic skills they need to have. These include alliteration, rhyme and onset and rime.

  • Alliteration – this means that children can hearing the same sound at the start of words, e.g. they begin to recognise that ball, bat, bed and bath start with the same sound
  • Rhyme – this means that children can hear when the end sounds in two word are the same, e.g. king and ring.
  • Onset and rime – this means children are able to hear that a word can be split into its initial sound (onset) and the chunk of sound (comprising a vowel and one or more letter sounds) that come after it e.g. ‘b’ and ‘at’ for bat, or ‘ch’ and ‘air’ for chair.

This activity aims to help children begin to identify rhymes.

Equipment required

  • Shopping cards and bags
  • Small cards for the walls

Link to resources

Training videos

Sort It Out-1 from MAD Academy on Vimeo.

Phonics Rhyming – Shopping For Rhymes-1 from MAD Academy on Vimeo.


  • Two to three weeks

How it works

Children have a card with 4 rhyming pictures show on it (along with the word so parents spot the rhymes too) and the move around the room looking for the cards which show the pictures of the things they have.

What to do in the class

Have 2 sets of rhyming bingo cards (so one with ‘ox’ rhymes on like fox, socks, box, clocks; then another with ‘at’ words like cat, bat, rat, mat). Give each child one of the two cards, so different children are looking for different pictures). Put the small pictures of all the items on both cards around the room (under big versions of each which are on the wall). The children go around to each picture and work out with their parent if it rhymes with the pictures on their card (and appears on it) and if so they can collect it.

In the picture resource file there are pictures for each of these objects in their rhyming family:

car star jar
frog dog log
pen hen ten men
ring swing king spring string wing
fox socks box rocks clocks blocks
tree three sea pea bee key tea
rat cat mat fat hat bat
blow crow sew toe slow go mow bow row grow throw snow
chair hair stair bear pear square
chain train plane rain crane cane drain stain


Adaptation for older/younger children

This activity is suitable for verbal children only

What to do in a nursery setting

Have two containers one of one rhyme and one for another- for example fox and tree – Tell the children that they are going to help you sort out the words that rhyme with fox and tree. Have numerous small cards to show the children, decide collectively which container each card should be placed in. As the children get good at this activity you can increase the number of containers.