- SAHAM Team
Activities involving matching are a nice way to have some intentional learning time with your young children at home. Most of these activities use supplies you probably have around your house already and they can be easily modified to be more challenging for older kids as well. Some ways to keep it simple: Match uppercase to uppercase, lowercase to lowercase, shapes to shapes, colors to colors, or number to number such as 5 with 5, 7 with 7, etc. If you want to make it a bit harder, match with uppercase and lowercase letters or match numbers with tally marks or some other type of symbol so your child has to count the symbol and then match it to the number. Click the tittle of any of the pictures below to be linked to the full activity description (and some videos) on Stay at Home Activity Mom's Instagram account.
This is a fun twist on the classic "egg and spoon race". Fill a bowl with alphabet letters on one side of the room and lay a piece of paper with all the letters of the alphabet on the other side of the room. Have your child go back and forth (one letter at a time) and match it to the corresponding letter on the paper. For this example we did plastic uppercase letters and uppercase letters on the paper but you could make it harder by matching uppercase and lowercase letters if you want.
This activity was originally done at Easter time but you can easily swap the bunny out for any shape or animal you want to make out of cardboard. Once you have created your animal/shape, you can decorate it however you want (totally not necessary, just cute). Then, write the letters of the alphabet around the edges of the cardboard. Sometimes Target sells these letter clips in the dollar section but if you don't have those just buy regular clothespins and write one letter on each of them. Give them to your child and have them match up the letters by clipping the clothespins in the correct spots. This activity is also great for fine motor practice.
Take dot makers and make a variety of different colored dots on a piece of paper (or draw dots with regular markers if you don't have dot makers). Then, give your child pom poms in the corresponding colors and have them match them up. It's so simple but your toddler will love it. * Provide direct supervsion when doing this activity with youg toddlers as pom poms can be a choking hazard*
This activity was done at Christmas time, but just like the bunny above you can change out the drawing for any item that will interest your child...a truck, flower, etc. Make a variety of different colored dots inside of the picture.Give your child dot stickers that are the same color you used and have them stick them on the matching colors on the paper.
Get a large piece of paper and draw a giraffe (or whatever animal your child likes). Don't worry about your drawing skills, your kids will not care! Write a bunch of letters all over the animal, then write those same letters on dot stickers. Have your child peel the sticker off, identify the letter, then place it on the animal on top of the same letter. This activity is simple, effective, and fun!
On a piece of paper draw a rainbow. Write different numbers across each band of the rainbow. Depending on the needs of your child you can focus on different numbers such as 1-10 or 50-100. On colored dot stickers, write the same numbers that are in each band (Ex: if the red band has 1, 3, 4, 9 written on the paper, you need 1, 3, 4, 9 written on the red dot stickers). Let your child peel off the dot stickers, and place them on the correct number to complete the rainbow! This is a fun one because its a little bit of math and art mixed together plus most kids love using stickers!
On a piece of paper taped on the wall (at a good height for your child), write the alphabet in order, leaving a space next to each letter. On painter’s tape, rip off small pieces and write letters on them (one letter for each piece of tape). Hide these small tape pieces around the house (on walls, furniture, etc.) When you’re ready to play, show your child the paper, then send them off searching for pieces of tape with letters around the house. When they find a letter, they can peel off the small piece of tape, bring it to the paper, and place it on the correct blank space for that letter. This is a favorite activity because it gets the kids moving and they enjoy searching for the hidden tape.
Take a piece of paper and draw some simple bears on it. Have your child peel off colored dot stickers and match them to the bears to make their "ears". When they are done with that, have them color in each bear with a matching color crayon.
Glue black rectangles on paper and write the letters of the alphabet with white crayon on the buildings. On Post-its (cut smaller and in different sizes) write all the letters of the alphabet again (this example uses uppercase to uppercase but you could do whatever you want.) Hide these Post-its around the house and have your child run around searching for them and placing them on top of the same letter making a “window” on the building. This would be a cool one to leave up as artwork for a bit after the activity is done because it just turns out so neat!
Write all the letters of the alphabet on a piece of paper. Write all the letters of the alphabet again on small pieces of paper. Put each small paper into a balloon (one letter per balloon) and blow it up. Write that letter on the balloon with a sharpie. Hide the balloons around the house. At a table, put the piece of paper with all the letters, a glue stick, and a toothpick. Keeping all the supplies at the table will help ensure that your child doesn't run around with a toothpick. Have your child run and find a balloon, bring it to the table, pop the balloon with the toothpick, and glue the little paper with the letter from inside the balloon onto the paper on the matching letter. Continue until all the letters are glued on! Cleanup tip: have your child throw away the popped balloon before they find a new one.
This fun toddler activity requires hardly any prep! Take a bunch of markers and take the tops off and put them on different marker bottoms so they no longer match. Ask your toddler to help you out with this "marker mix-up" by matching the tops with the correct bottoms. This is a great color recognition activity and helps strengthen their hand muscles. While the markers are out let your child color for a bit to extend the activity.
On a large piece of paper, write your child's name at the top going across. Draw lines down and across to make it easier for them to build their name directly underneath. Row 1: Get some post its and write one letter on each one. Place them in a random order somewhere on or near the paper. Have your child make their name using the post its in the correct order. Row 2: Get some dot stickers and write one letter on each one. Write them in random order and have your child make their name using the dot stickers. Row 3: Get some alphabet stickers and have your child spell their name with the stickers. For younger kids you may want to cut out just the letters they need. For older kids you could challenge them with the whole sheet and have them find the letter they need. You can also have your child build a sight word or some other word they are working on instead of their first name.
The awesome thing with matching activities is the ability you have to make them really simple for young toddlers or more challenging for elementary age kids. Hopefully some of these activities will be helpful and fun for you and your children. Enjoy!