Rhyming Pairs Basket Literacy Game

Make a simple rhyming activity to help practise rhyming pairs and learn about literacy in a playful, hands-on way! This would be great for both home and the classroom as a go-to resource on the shelf.Rhyming basket literacy activity for kids

We have been practising hearing and identifying rhyming words together recently and focused initially on identifying rhyming strings with word families that all have the same middle and end sounds.  For example, making a collection of rhyming words that all belong in the “-at” family, such as “cat”, “mat”, “bat”, “sat”, “fat” etc.

To make learning more concrete and playful, we always like to make the activity using manipulatives and as playful as possible. We all learn best while touching, moving and doing, rather than looking at a worksheet or set of 2D images!

Matching the rhyming objects literacy game

As a next step activity to making the rhyming strings, we had fun playing with real objects that sounded the same but didn’t necessarily all have the same spelling patterns. For example, “bear and chair” which sound the same but are not spelt the same. This was an entirely auditory activity, placing emphasis on listening, discriminating and matching sounds, rather than writing them down or reading them, so it still comes as an early step in the process in understanding about rhyme.

I put together a very simple and easy activity using a large basket and some small toys from various Playmobil, Sylvanian Families and other small sets. I made simple pairs of rhyming objects and then mixed them all up to be found and matched.

In the basket were the following:

goat and boat

man and fan

chair and bear

snake and cake

cat and hat

duck and truck

fox and box

mouse and house

car and star

dog and frog

Rhyming pairs activity for kids

The game was simply to pick one object, say its name out loud, then to look through the basket for another object which rhymed with it. In some cases we needed to name at the objects first  and say them clearly to emphasise the main sounds.

Then they placed the rhyming objects into pairs and we jumped along the line, saying them together again. “A fox and a box, a man and a fan, a dog and a frog!” etc

After this Cakie wanted to add more objects to rhyme with those already in the box and went around the house looking for some to put in.

Simple rhyming pairs activity for children

They didn’t find it as easy as I had first thought they might, which means we will play this again until they are more familiar with the idea.

Cakie: 5.7

Pop: 4.0

Bean: 2.1

What they are learning as they play:

literacy: identifying rhyming strings, matching words by sound, discriminating sounds

See our many other fun literacy activities in our Playful Literacy archives!



  1. says

    This is a really fantastic idea! How would you adapt this for a very beginner (my son is 2 and 3 months)? Maybe a smaller collection (4-5 objects) of objects all with the same rhyme to emphasise the sounds (no matching at this stage)? I’m off to make him a rhyming basket :) Thank you!

  2. says

    New to your blog but really enjoying your posts. This is so simple and easy to set up I am going to try it with my youngest for a little one to one fun. Thanks for sharing

  3. Veronica says

    Since you have a lot of playmobil, do you store each set separately or all together? I have been trying to keep our sets separate, but it is driving me a little bit nuts… Haha. Do you have any tips?

  4. Punam says

    You are just a BRILLIANT creator!!!
    Thank you for making my life easy as a KG teacher.