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My son is starting kindergarten soon and over the last year, I have been doing a lot of homeschool activities to try and prepare him for this big milestone. From workbooks, to arts and crafts, to educational videos, we’ve done all kinds of things. Just a few weeks ago we focused on outer space and did a different out of this world activity each day.
This week I’ve teamed up with Education.com to bring you a fun and creative activity for your preschooler, Make Your Own Matching Game. I put it to the test the test with my son and he had a great time. To him it was fun, but secretly I knew he was learning.
Make Your Own Matching Game
This make-your-own matching game is a little like dominoes and a little like a memory game. Plus, it’s a great way to help your child practice his geometry abilities. Your child will flex his visual recognition skills as he pairs up matching patterns on craft sticks he designed himself! He’ll also practice his color recognition skills as he differentiates between colors in the patterns, fostering his artistic talent.
- Math: 2D shapes and shape patterns
- Science: colors
What you need:
- 16 craft sticks
- Markers in four or more colors (including black)
- Set the craft sticks side by side on a table, going vertically across.
- Help your child carefully draw a bold, black line across the center of the sticks.
- Have your child draw a different pattern on each half of the sticks. He can use patterns such as dots, stripes, plaid or checks, or try making one side a solid color and the other side a pattern. Even a simple picture like a smiley face will work. Make sure each stick has an identical match – another stick with a matching top and bottom.
- Mix the sticks up together and place them in front of your child. Challenge him to match each stick with the right pair.
When your child is done, talk to him about the different patterns he drew. Help him name them and see if he can find the same patterns anywhere else in your house!
- I used jumbo wood craft sticks for this activity. I find they provide a little more room for a preschooler to work with.
- This activity provides eight matching pairs. If your child has mastered that, add a few more pairs to the mix.
- If you want to make the matching game a little more challenging, try having your child use one of the same designs on more than one pair. For example, I asked my son to do red polka dots on two different pairs and when he was matching them up, I found it made things a little more complicated. It made him look closer at the design on the other half of the sticks to ensure he was matching them properly.
- Another way to make the game more challenging is to do designs on both sides of the craft sticks, meaning front and back. Have your child design the pairs on the front side and then flip them over and do different designs on the back. When you mix up the craft sticks for the game, some of the sticks will turn over and your child will have to work harder to complete pairs. It will require more attention to detail and patience, as he’ll have to flip some of the craft sticks over to find their match. My son just turned five a couple of months ago and while I know this will be more challenging for him, I also know he can do it!