Educational games for kids: Make a matching game for toddlers
Making a matching game for your toddler is easy and educational.
Playing games with your children is a great way to build skills and fond memories. However, finding appropriate games for your toddler might be difficult, or expensive. Thankfully, one of the best types of games for your little one is easily made at home.
Matching games help develop skills necessary for school, like visual discrimination, memory, logic, and vocabulary.
The items you need to make your own matching game are readily found at home. First, to make the card you need heavy paper, cardboard cut from an old cereal or pasta box will do just fine. You’ll want some clear contact paper to cover your cards for longevity. The pictures for the cards can come from a variety of places. You can search the internet for clip art. You can use old magazines, and scan to make a matching picture. You can use a paint program on your computer to create your own art. Or you could wing it with a set of markers and a bit of artistic flair.
Choosing a theme for the game will determine what pictures or images the child will match. You could copy photos of family members. Want to teach colors? Simply color with marker a solid color on each game piece. Your child will learn the colors as you identify them as you play. Animals of different kinds are a popular subject for little ones. You could do a game of matching zoo animals, farm animals or pets. Want to challenge your child a little more? Then have the child match the baby animal to the mama animal. You can draw these yourself, or for the non-artistic, find images on clip-art to print out. You can make them cute and cartoonish, or have photos for realism
You can make your cards matching in a different way. You could cut each match a specific shape. For instance, cut out an apple- shaped card in a fruit matching game. Let the shape be one more clue for your child. For fun, you could scent the cards and let your child match by using the sense of smell. You could use perfumes, essential oils, or use your imagination.
You could put a completely different spin on the game by having the child match textures instead of pictures. Glue pieces of felt, burlap, sandpaper, plastic wrap, fake fur, suede, and so forth, onto your cardboard squares and let your child use tactile senses.
If your child seems ready and interested you could make letter or number cards to match. Try to make the images big, bright and clear. If your child prefers pictures to symbols right now, put away the letters and numbers for the time being. You want the game to be fun and enjoyable; not homework!
You can make several versions of your matching game, so your child and you don’t get bored. The categories are limitless; food, seasons, clothing, vehicles, shapes, insects, household items, places, and on and on.
Store your games separately in clear ziplock bags. Enjoy spending time with your toddler while doing something educational.