Matching Games are fun and simple to make. Remember don’t overwhelm her by putting out all 26 letters to match at once. Begin with 1 or 2 that she doesn’t know along with 2 or 3 that she does.
old business cards, 3×5 cards cut in half or card stock
markers, letters cut from magazines or printed alphabet PDF
2 sets upper case
2 sets lower case
pictures of your child
Make the Cards
- Take a picture of your child.
- Print and cut them to size.
- Tape them to the back of an old business card, 3″x5″ card cut in half or card stock.
You want to use the heavier paper so they last longer and the letters doesn’t show through.
- You want the deck of cards to consists of 2 sets of upper case letters and 2 sets of lower case letters. So on the other side of the card, you can either:
- have your child write a letter per card,
- make a game of cutting letters out of magazines and tape those to the cards or
- print a set of letters (PDF) and tape those to the cards.
How to Play
- Match a lower case letter to an upper case letter, lower to lower or upper to upper.
- The cards can be used for: Go Fish, a concentration game and later to make their own words and other alphabetizing games.
Go Fish Game Rules:
- Shuffle the cards.
- Deal out 5 cards to each player and the rest are spread out between the players in a “pond” to go fishing in.
- The idea is to collect a pair of cards that are the same and place them on the table. Once all the pairs are collected the game is over.
- Usually the youngest player goes first and asks a particular player if they have a certain card. For instance, “Lucas, do you have an A“.
- If the player, who did the asking, received a card from the other player, then she gets another turn.
- If the player does not have the card he responds, “Go Fish”.
- Now the player, who did the asking, goes to the “pond” and pulls out one card and her turn is over.
- The turn then goes to the next person to the left (go clockwise – it will help when your daughter is learning how to tell time!).
Variations of the game: You can also make it more of a challenge by having up to 4 cards for each letter that need to be collected.
Concentration Game Rules:
- You’ll need 2 cards for each letter.
- Shuffle the cards.
- Lay the cards in rows with the letter side down.
- The idea is to collect a pair of cards that have the same letter. Once all the pairs are collected the game is over.
- Each player gets to turn over two cards, if the cards match they are removed from the table and the player gets another turn.
- If the two cards do not match, the cards are turned back over leaving them in the same place.
As children become more comfortable with this game they learn that if they watch carefully, they can see matches to use on their next turn. Children get really excited when they know of a match with the card that the other player just turned over.
Variations of the game: You can also make it more of a challenge by having up to 4 cards for each letter that needs to be collected.