Last week I made Rosalie a little winter themed picture matching game*. She really enjoys playing with rice, and her winter sensory tray has been a big hit this season, but to change it up a bit this I spy matching game made for a fun variation.
How to play
Download and print the picture matching game.
Laminate the sheet to make it durable and reusable (optional).
Cut along the blue lines to split the game page into pictures and words with pictures.
Line up the word cards beside the tray.
Let your toddler hunt for the pictures then match with the word cards.
Because Rosalie is only three, she was essentially matching just the pictures, but if your child is older you could cut off or blank out the pictures on the word cards so that they are matching the pictures with the words.
Observation – having to hunt for the cards is a fun observation game in itself (Rosalie was always thrilled when she found a picture, shouting out what was on the card), but the matching element requires observation of similarities and differences too.
Literacy – even if your child, like Rosalie, is too small to match the pictures with the words, there are still plenty of opportunities for playful literacy learning. At a basic level, simply seeing the words next to the pictures is a good way for toddlers to begin to recognise letters, sounds and words. We talked about the letter and sound that the word begins with, and I asked Rosalie if she recognised any of the letters in the words.
Understanding the world – having a theme allows you to talk about the pictures in context whilst playing the game, providing your toddler with a better understanding of the relationships between things. For example if Rosalie found the snow picture, I could say “what things are fun to do in the snow?” or “what clothes might we need to wear to go out in the snow?” and that would lead me to suggest she find something such as the sledge or the mittens.
Sensory exploration – different textures provide a wonderful sensory experience for toddlers, from the soft cotton wool balls to the smooth glass nuggets, the fuzzy pipe cleaners and the shiny sequins. Not to mention the wonderful feeling of having rice running through your fingers.
Fine motor – transferring sensory elements requires dexterity, and scooping and tipping rice especially uses those small hand and finger muscles and helps with hand-eye coordination.
Download the free winter word/picture match printable* to play the game with your preschooler! Simply print the resource, laminate the page and cut along the lines. Have fun!
Rosalie – 36 months
I have very recently started a Facebook page for Picnics in the Rain and would love it if you’d stop by and give me a like! I’ll be sharing lots of interesting content and play ideas from a variety of bloggers, to help you nurture imagination and curiosity in your toddlers too.