Matching and sorting games are a fantastic way for kids to learn through play.
We’ve compiled a list of easy homemade games that will not only keep your little ones engaged but will also help to improve their problem solving, letter and number recognition, fine motor skills and much more.
Homemade Matching Game
A really simple matching game you can put together in a few minutes using items from around your home. This is a great activity for toddlers and preschoolers to help improve their problem-solving skills.
You'll need: a large piece of paper, a pen, a bowl and some random items from your house
How to make your home made matching game: go on a hunt around your house and through your kids toys for items you can trace around and that are easily recognisable. Lay all of your items onto the large piece of paper and trace around them with a pen. Take the items off the paper and place them in a bowl. See if your child can match up the correct items and place them onto the paper to complete the puzzle. You can adapt this game to your child's age and ability by simply choosing easier or harder to decipher items.
DIY Matching Sticks
Take a look a this tutorial for a super simple DIY matching craft made using only craft sticks and foam shapes! Great for shape recognition and problem solving.
Number Matching Pizza Game
Get some number practice in with this fun pizza matching game that the kids will love.
You'll need: 2 paper plates, some red dot stickers or a red marker pen, black marker pen and some scissors
How to make your number matching pizza game: on one of the paper plates use a black marker pen to section it into 8 equal parts. In each section write the numbers 1-8. Now simply cut your second paper plate into 8 equal sections to represent the pizza slices. On each slice add some red dot stickers, 1-8 to match the corresponding numbers on the plate. You can adjust this came to your child's abilities, for example, if you want to make this easier you can just section it into 4 parts practising number 1-4. Pass the plates to your child and ask them to count the dots and match them to the corresponding number on the plate until their pizza is full.
Pom Pom Colour Sorting Game
This colour sorting activity is great for helping to develop colour recognition and fine motor skills.
You'll need: an assortment of colourful Pom-poms, egg cartons, paints, paintbrush and a large bowl
How to make your Pom Pom sorting game: upcycle empty egg cartons and paint them in different colours to match the colours of your pom poms. Once your egg cartons have dried lay them line then pour all of your pom poms into a large plastic bowl. See if your little one can sort the pom poms into the corresponding coloured egg cartons. You can adjust the difficulty of the game by introducing tongs or scoopers which will help to improve their fine motor grasp.
DIY Shapes Bingo
Who doesn’t love a game of bingo?! This is a super fun way for little ones to learn their shapes whilst having fun at the same time.
You'll need: white card, ruler, coloured felt tipped pens, coloured foam sheets and scissors
How to make your home made shapes bingo game: make enough bingo cards for the number of players you have. To make your bingo card use a ruler and a pen to draw a grid on each card. In each section draw a shape; star, rectangle, square, triangle, circle, diamond, oval. You can use duplicate shapes to fill up your board. On a separate piece of card cut out one of each of the shapes and pop these into a bowl. Using the foam sheets cut out enough shapes to fill each of the cards. To play shapes bingo choose a player to be the 'bingo caller', they will choose a shape from the bowl then each player needs to see if they have that shape on their board and cover it with the corresponding foam shape. Each time a shape is pulled return it back to the bowl. The winner is the player who can fill their bingo card first.
Bottle Lid Letter Matching Game
Upcycle bottle lids for this fun learning game. Fantastic for teaching preschoolers the alphabet, learning phonics and for letter recognition.
You’ll need: bottle lids, black marker pen and a large piece of card
How to make your home made letter matching game: Use the bottle lids to trace circles onto your piece of card. Inside each circle write a letter, you could start by practising a couple of letters and then add more until they’ve got the whole alphabet sussed. Write the corresponding letters onto the bottle top lids and your ready to play. Place the bottle tops lids to the side of the card and let the kids choose one and place it into the corresponding circle. Each time say the letter out loud and practice the phonic sounds.
Want some more matching fun?
- Have a go at this diy matching pairs game using cardboard and felt.
- This is a great game for colour matching and number practice
- If your little one is mad about cars then this is a great game using toys cars to practice number recognition.
- Enhance your kids learning through some sensory play with these play dough mat printables.