J is really into matching his toys. He is constantly finding ways to organize trains, tracks, blocks, beads,… We have these Melissa and Doug wooden lacing beads and I noticed J was constantly turning the wooden tray over so that he could match the colorful beads to the pictures on the tray. Unfortunately there were only a few pictures to match. So I decided to create a matching board that included all the beads. This was something I did quickly while J was playing nearby, so the final product certainly has mistakes! I just traced each bead and then added color to match each one. You could probably create a board like this using powerpoint that looks much more professional. J didn’t notice the mistakes at all. He loved the board and went straight to work.
Age attempted: 22 months
Teachable Moments: label the shapes and colors, recognize color patterns, number recognition
Try Again? Yes, I pull this matching board out maybe once a week
You obviously could create a matching board for lots of different toys your little one already owns. Letter blocks, stacking toys, flashcards, cars, trains, letter/number magnets, … I’m sure you can come up with lots of ideas. Please share your ideas!!
Posted in Age Range, Colors, Counting, Early Toddler (18-24 months), Games, Homemade Games, Math, Patterns, Shapes, Toddler (2-3 years)
Tagged Colors, Counting, Homemade Games, matching, Patterns, Shapes
This is one of the matching activities I made for J. He loves fish right now, so this particular board quickly attracts his attention.
These pictures were left over from an activity J did at church, but you could make your own with clip art. I used adhesive magnets on the back of the board as well as on each individual card so that the pieces stay in place. I also laminated (using contact paper) each card for durability.
I did originally make another board that had double the squares to match but it proved too difficult for him. He lost interest very quickly because there were simply too many fish to search through. It wasn’t magnetic either so he kept accidentally moving the cards around the board. This second board worked out much better. I really think it’s the perfect level for him right now. He has to be mindful of the color, number and type of fish to match each card correctly. There are just enough squares to keep him busy but not frustrate him. I will have to save my original board for when he’s a bit older.
Age attempted: 22 months
Teachable moments: count the fish together in search for the perfect match, talk about the different colors, point out the size of the fish (small, medium, large)
Try Again? Yes; as he gets older I can increase the number of squares to match; I can also add extra cards that won’t actually match the board so that he will learn to filter the unnecessary data and focus only on what is needed to complete the task.
** stay tuned for other activities I’ve created with these adorable fish!
This is the other board I made that will have to wait until he's a little older.
Posted in Age Range, Colors, Counting, Early Toddler (18-24 months), Homemade Games, Math, Size, Toddler (2-3 years)
Tagged Colors, Counting, Homemade Games, matching, Size
I printed some pictures (from clip art) of items we have around the house. I set out one at a time and asked J to first identify the picture. Then I asked him to search the room to find an object like the one in the picture. The first time (around 19 months) we did this activity I had already placed the items in the pictures within sight around the room. I also helped him find the first picture to help him understand the goal of the activity. He completed the remaining pictures on his own.
J recently repeated this activity without any extra help from me. I set out all four pictures at the same time and he searched the room for the matching items. This was a great way to practice his knowledge of where items are kept (socks are in the top drawer, boots are in the closet, etc.). There were a few items he had to be reminded their general location (in the living room) and then he could take it from there. He found each match and then we did four more (this time using flashcard pictures). This last set of cards, I did have to encourage him to finish. He got distracted as he went looking for a few of the matching items. I was so proud that he did finish the task. This turned out to be great practice with finishing what we started (an important life skill to learn!).
Age attempted: 19 months, again at 22 months
Teachable Moments: Matching (really you’re matching categories instead of exact item, since the boot in the picture may not look exactly like the boot you have at home; they are in the same category so they’re still a match), knowledge of house (rooms, storage locations; it would be a good activity after rearranging things to help them learn where things go), completing tasks
Try Again? Yes, as he gets older I’ll make the items harder to locate; It’s a good way to emphasize where items are supposed to go (helpful in cleanup)
I cut out different color cards, wrote the color on each card and then covered them with clear contact paper for durability. I made two of each color.
So far, I have used thesecards for two different activities.
Matching cards: I started with three matching pairs, mixed them up and layed them out in front of J. I called out a color and he stacked the matching set.
Color Hunt: I layed out all the color cards and a stack of color blocks. He matched the blocks with the correct color card.
Age? 21 months (but they can be used much earlier)
Try Again? Yes (too increase the difficulty, I can increase the number of colors available at once; I can ask him to search the entire house to find items that match the color cards)
Using the foam sheets you buy at craft stores (for durability), I cut out circles in two different colors (blue and red). Our shape of the week was the circle this week, so I am reinforcing the circle in all activities possible.I mixed the circles together and placed them at one end of the room. At the other end of the room I placed a piece of blue foam and a piece of red foam next to each other. I told J that he had to pick just one circle, run to the other side of the room as fast as possible and match it to the correct color foam. He repeated this until he had no more circles left. He loved it. Of course I was cheering him on the whole time.
The activity was too easy for him. Honestly this was the first time I tested him with color matching so I made the activity simple, not wanting him frustrated. I underestimated J and could’ve added another color easily, probably more. Keeping him engaged is a constant learning process… since he is always learning!
Age attempted: 20 months.
Try Again? Yes, but increase the difficulty by matching more colors or matching colors and shapes.