Matching pairs and understanding why they go together contribute immensely to a preschoolers cognitive abilities. The activity encourages preschool-aged children to match letters and their sounds which in turn prepares them for reading later on.
Match-making is an easy activity that encourages children to put items that go together, for example, lock and key, shoes and socks, table and chair etc. You can keep your child occupied in this fun game using real objects or picture cards.
Let’s see how it is played!
Children in the age group of 2 – 5 years
What do you need?
Decide the 5-7 complimentary pairs that your child is familiar with. For example:
- Lock – Key
- Shoes – Socks
- Chair – Table
- Pencil – Notebook
- Bucket – Mug
- Plate – Bowl
Please use real objects, as much as possible.
Alternatively, you may make picture cards (10 cm x 10 cm) for each of the pairs you choose. You can draw or you can print-out/cut-out pictures from a magazine.
You will also need a bowl to put all the picture cards or objects in it.
How to play?
- Place one picture from each pair in front of the child. (example, chair, lock, shoe, bucket, etc.).
- Place the other picture of each pair in a bowl. Keep the bowl in front of the child.
- To begin, you pick up one picture from the bowl and match it with its pair. For example, if you pick out the picture of a table, place it next to the picture of the chair. Let the child observe you and make sure to tell them why you placed the table next to the chair.
- Next, encourage the child to match all the remaining pictures in the bowl with their pair.
- As the child is engaged in matching pairs, observe and support him with cues wherever he is stuck or needs help. As far as possible, try to give cues and not the answer.
- An important part of this playful preschool activity is to get into a conversation with the child, while you are playing. As your child matches pairs, ask simple questions like, “So why did you match the shoe with the socks?” OR “Where have you seen the bucket & the mug together?”
- When the child has finished matching all the pairs, don’t forget to appreciate and applaud them for doing so well.
Try a variation
When the child has played the game a couple of times and has become well-aware of the pairs, you may play the game verbally without using the picture cards. Just call out the name of an object and encourage the child to use their memory and tell you the name of its pair. For example, you said “Lock” and the child responds by saying “Key”
Similarly, allow the child to say out loud the name of an object and you must tell the name of the pair that goes with it.
This variation can be played anywhere, anytime and with as many people as you may like, such as while going to the market or to the school or while waiting for food on the dinner table. Sounds like fun?
How did you and your child do on this activity? Did your child enjoy it? What did she/he say?
Help us improve and tell us more about activities that parents may find helpful. We look forward to your suggestions!
This article is in a series of preschool activities that have been published by Team BestOfSchools for preschool-aged children that parents can easily perform at home.
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