Once they've learned vocabulary, children want (and need) to work with it to solidify their knowledge (See our blog post on spoken language for more details.) Our matching cards let children play with the words they love in lively games. Matching cards train the memory while simultaneously helping children refine their eye-hand coordination. First, match pictures directly, side by side. Then, add distance by placing one set of cards far away from the other set. This challenges the children, adds interest to inspire more repetition, and gives cause for purposeful movement. Next, put two sets of matching cards in the same basket or cloth pouch to raise the challenge; this requires first sorting the cards into categories and then matching cards within categories. Finally, turn the cards over and lay them out in a grid for memory matching games. For more information, download our free lesson plan describing how to use Matching Cards.
It is critical that your matching cards contain no written language whatsoever. This is a visual matching of picture to picture only. If text appears on the cards, it may subtly discourage the children from using them; children will want to read the words and if they are unable to, they may see it as a failure.
|1. Sort Cards into Sets||2. Layout Set 1||3. Match Set 2 to Set 1|
Our matching card packets contain the same photos as in our vocabulary and 3-part card packets. It is great to have all three sets in one classroom so that the 3-year olds (using vocabulary cards), 4-year-olds (using matching cards), and 5+ year-olds (using 3-part reading cards) can all be exploring the same topic—great for classroom community building! Cards are approx. 4.25" wide by 3.75" high.
Click on the picture below to see matching cards in action.