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Much More than a Matching Game

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One of our favorite wooden toys that we make is our matching game. Obviously you can flip them over and match each of the pairs, but there is so much more your kiddos can learn with a matching set.

Here are a few of our favorite games to play with our matching sets with their corresponding benefits.

COVER

Child development: Interactive play helps children develop concentration, reasoning, social interaction, fine motor skills and visual discrimination.

Instruction: Separate tiles into two identical piles and place one pile in the bag or upside down on the playing surface. Divide remaining tiles between players and place them picture side up in front of each player. Pick one tile from the unseen pile and hold it up so all players can see it. The player with the matching tile in front of him/her claims the tile and covers the original tile with its match. Play continues until one, or all, player(s) have covered their tiles.

GUESS

Child development:  Interactive play helps children develop interpersonal communication skills, group working skills, turn taking, and improves their attention and focus.

Instruction:  Place all tiles picture side up on the playing surface. One player silently picks a single tile to be “it.” The other players take turns picking up tiles one at a time. When the “it” tile is chosen, the player who picked it exclaims, “You found IT!”

MATCH

Child development: Interactive play helps children develop pre-reading skills, concentration, turn taking, short term memory, problem solving and teaches and reinforces early vocabulary.

Instruction:  Place all tiles face down on the playing surface in random order. Players take turns turning over two tiles at a time. When a match is found, the player keeps the matching tiles and continues play. The game continues until all the tiles have been matched.

Variation:  Place the tiles with pictures facing up. Caregiver points out a picture and asks child to find the matching image. Talk about the image, what is happening, what the image is doing, etc.

FIND

Child development: Interactive play helps children develop spatial reasoning, gross motor skills, visual discrimination and self-confidence.

Instruction: Separate tiles into two identical piles and put one pile in the bag or upside down on the playing surface. Spread the remaining tiles picture side up around the room or the playing surface. Pick one tile from the unseen pile and hold it up so all players can see it. The players then hunt for the matching tile and when it is found, the match goes into a pile for the player who found it. Play continues until all tiles are found.

PRETEND

Child development: Interactive play helps children develop their internal language, imagination, self-direction, reasoning and classifying skills.

Instruction: Separate tiles into two identical piles and put one pile in the bag or upside down on the playing surface. Spread the remaining tiles picture side up on the playing surface. The first turn, a player picks one tile from the unseen pile without showing it to the other players. S/he then acts it out for the other players. To guess, the players can choose the tile from the playing surface that matches the action. Play continues for all players to pretend until the tiles have all been matched.

Variation:  Change the rules to include or exclude sounds and/or talking.

Note to caregivers:  Remember to choose activities that are appropriate for your child’s level of understanding, repeat them frequently and break them down into small, approachable steps. Avoid letting your child become frustrated and tired with an activity and encourage him or her create a game and rules of their own. Have fun together!

matching game - toy - wooden toy

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