This one printable offers multiple opportunities to practice early reading, auditory, and visual memory skills.
What you need:
- Two or more copies of this page (to play multiple games!)
- Masking tape (optional, not all games require)
Tips From Our Experts:
Sometimes, little ones have trouble picking up paper pieces when they’re on a flat surface like a table. If this happens, consider printing onto cardstock or laminating the pieces to make them easier to grasp for little fingers.
Cut out these animals together.
Match the Animal Sounds
- Make an animal noise and have your child point to or bring you the animal that it matches.
- Make it active by standing across the room and having your child race to give you the match (this is a great way to get siblings involved, too!)
- Place the pictures face down on a flat surface.
- Turn one picture over—and then a second—to find a match.
- Not a match? Turn both pictures back over and try again!
- When you find a match, leave the pictures facing up.
- The goal is to have all the pictures facing up to end the game.
Matching Mini (perfect for 18-24 month-olds!)
- Place one set of cards face up on a flat surface.
- Take one card from the second set and place it in front of the child.
- Then, they can either place the card on top of its match or collect the pair.
- Do this for all of the cards in the deck to complete the game.
Learning tip: When playing a new game with toddlers, try the “I do, we do, you do” model!
“I do”: You model the first round.
“We do”: Place your hand over your child’s hand to help them through the next round. You can reinforce vocabulary by saying the names of the pictures as you pick them up together.
“You do:” Have your child complete the third round on their own!
Hunt for a Match
- Hide two sets of pictures around the house.
- Challenge your child to try to find all of the pictures and match them together!
- For younger kids, you can start by hiding the pictures in plain sight.
Master Matching (for kids aged 5+)
- Write out the first letter of each animal on a small piece of masking tape.
- Ask your child to match each letter to the animal card that goes with it.
- Help them sound out the letters to find the match.
Visual Memory Skills, Listening Skills, Vocabulary, Fine Motor Skills