Phonics Matching Game

This game is also known as "Matching Pairs"  "Pelmanism"   "Shinkei-suijaku"   "Pexeso"  or simply "Pairs"

Playing this game helps to achieve many early learning goals such as:

  • Communication and language development 
  • Phonetic awareness
  • Observation
  • Memory skills
  • Concentration and attention
  • Problem solving skills
  • Fine and gross motor control and co-ordination
  • Social and emotional skills

We have designed this memory game using phonics sounds.

This cognitive game is a favourite in schools and the learning objective can be easily adapted depending on the ability of the players.

We like to play this game with 2 players, but it works well with up to 4 players.

To make the game

This is very simple:

1. Print off and cut out the lolly templates.

2. To assemble the lolly...stick the letter sound to the pink (strawberry) side with the lolly stick in the middle - making sure you have a pair of each sound that you want to play with. We used double sided sticky tabs to make this process quick!

3. The lolly sticks are very cheap to buy on Amazon.

How to play

1. To set up the game lay the ice lollies (ice pops, popsicles) face down on the table or floor. You can vary the difficulty of the game by having more or less pairs to find.

2. Each player takes it in turn to flip 2 ice lollies over to see which 2 phomeme sounds they have found.

3. The aim of the game is to concentrate and remember where all the matching pairs are facing down.


 4. If a player flips two lollies over with the same sound - they either get a point or can take the pair of lollies off the table.

5. The player with the most pairs at the end is the winner.



We have also enjoyed playing this game with digraphs



You can also play this game with by matching patterns (which is MUCH harder than it looks!).

Blank Printables

OR...on these blank patterns you can personalise the learning objective with the sounds or words that you are working..


If you would like any of the printables in this blog - please email and we will send them to you.


Our brand new educational apps have all been featured on the App Store. All 3 learning apps are very popular and are currently being used in many nursery and kindergarten classes. 
abc flashcard songs  uses songs and beautiful pictures to introduce children to phonics - this app has a great phonics matching game. 




abc letter tracing  teaches children the correct letter formation of both print and cursive letters.




abc jigsaw  helps children become familiar with letter shapes and letter sounds through assembling letter character jigsaws.


















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