To see connections between different objects.
Matching objects that go together can be played as a very simple game but also has the potential to be appropriate for children who need a challenge. For example, Flags and countries (use the name of the country or, for a real challenge, the outline of the country!), adult and baby animals, match animals to their habitat, etc.
Let children play with all the objects eg, blocks such as Lego, spoon and fork, toy dog and dog basket, hat and coat, bat and ball etc, anything that they are familiar with. It is also handy that they are aware of the name of the object eg, spoon! You may find that they are able to match the objects on their own especially if they are household objects or familiar to the child.
Once children have played with the objects, play the matching game, starting off with one set and increasing the number.
Can you find something that goes with the spoon?
Where is the hat to go with this coat?
Can you find something that would match with this ball?
Matching the coloured object to the tray/bowl/cloth of the same colour.
Progress to using a tray of objects for the child to find the one that matches the one in your hand/in the box/in between the pencils/under the table. This is a good base for learning positional language as well.
The shape sorting box is useful for matching the 3D shapes to the corresponding hole in the box. Discuss the shapes. Children love hearing unusual and difficult words so don’t worry about using shapes that aren’t your usual square, triangle, circle, cube, pyramid etc. Triangular prism is a great shape word!
Matching pictures of objects that go together is a hard concept to grasp. Picture Bingo would be a good game to encourage this. Rather than being competitive in the early stages, ask your child to find the matching pictures for the boards. Discuss the pictures and then look for the corresponding one on the bingo board.
An extension activity would be to find the object that doesn’t belong. Maybe a blue block amongst all the yellow. Lots of spoons and forks with a rogue banana! etc.
Matching silhouettes to objects is hard for children but one that crosses into different topics, eg geography and art.
Start off with simple matches and progress until you find the challenge spot.
Use object with which the children are familiar. A dog and basket will be rather vague to a child who doesn’t have a dog!