Thursday, January 14, 2010

Matching Objects

These simple toddler puzzles are a quick and easy activity with very little prep.

Materials Needed:
- markers
- colored cardstock
- scissors or paper cutter
- toys/objects from around the house

1. Cut each piece of cardstock in half. I used 4 pieces, so I ended up with 8 cards.

2. Trace some of your child's favorite objects onto the cardstock using a marker. You can have your child choose the objects and you can trace them. If your child is older, have them choose more challenging objects and let them trace their own "puzzle" pieces.

3. Lay out the completed "puzzles" and have your child try and match the objects with their outline.

4. If your child struggles the first time, model how to complete the puzzles and then have him try again.

5. When finished, store the objects and cards in a basket in your child's room so that he can try out his puzzles again and again when he is playing.

Grade: A

Another easy prep/automatically motivating activity. My little guy loved doing something new with the toys that are already his favorites. He was so proud of himself when he made a correct match! This could also be modified to make it into a memory game. Just trace each object twice and have your child match the cards and clip them together with a clothespin.

Language Development:

This activity can foster a lot of conversation about size, shape, and colors (ex. "the hammer is orange and yellow" or "the green gear is round"). You can also talk about the function of the objects (ex. track= what the train drives on). You can practice receptive language skills by asking your child to listen and follow directions, for example, "find the object that is red and round" or "find the object that you use to hammer a nail." You can make the questions/directions easier or harder depending on your child's age.

Idea inspired by the The Toddler's Busy Book.

Some of our other favorite puzzle and matching activities include Shape Town, Big Movers Matching File Folder, and Truck Shape Pattern Puzzles.

Do you have a baby or toddler? Check out my new e-Book Zero to Two: the Book of Play for more ideas for keeping little ones busy learning and having fun.


  1. Hi, Kristina. I am a friend of Elise's (from Jerusalem) and have even met you a few times (way back in the BYU days) and check out your blog from time to time b/c we have little boys the same age. And I am ALWAYS impressed with the fun things you do with your little guy and what a creative, smart, fun mom you are. So, when I found the link to this blog I was ecstatic. I am currently now making the stop and go signs. So, please keep the ideas coming and I will keep stalking and discovering ways to be a better, more educating mom! P.S. Andrew is a DOLL, by the way!--Jessy Madsen

  2. I teach 3 & 4 yr olds. We took all of our play food from the doll corner and traced the pieces. We printed out the name of the food item under it for sight words. It's a fun game to match those pieces of play food with the outline. Some pieces are not as obvious as you would think.

  3. i need to do activities for children ages 0-5 years as part of my childcare course, i was just wondering what ages do you think would this would most benefit from doing this game???? its a great idea!:)

    1. Hi Laura - probably kids 2-5 will enjoy this the most.


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