To be able to match objects that are the same.
This will also gives them experiences with things that are different (similarities and differences)
Once children have mastered the skill of recognising things that are the same they can go on to practice using different objects as well as matching objects to picture, picture to picture or even object/picture to sound.
It may seem that matching objects isn’t a particularly important skill but sorting and classifying are the skills that help children to make sense of their surroundings. From the early days babies will be sorting sounds they hear, Mummy, Daddy, the vacuum etc. They will be sorting them into the sounds they like and those they don’t. They will also be learning the response they get from different sounds they make.
We spend much of our lives sorting and classifying so it is a good idea to get to grips with it as early as possible.
Let children play with two identical objects eg, blocks, spoons, teddies, shoes, anything that they are familiar with. It is also handy that they are aware of the name of the object eg, spoon!
Play games with objects, starting with one set, eg spoons. Place one spoon in view of your child keeping the other one in your hand and play the ‘getting game’.
Can you get the other spoon?
Where is the other spoon?
Can you put this spoon with the other spoon?
(Each time you have the two items in your hand, use this as an opportunity to count. Put them down and move each one as you say the number. For little children it is sometimes good to accentuate the number as they can hear a pattern. o – n – e… t – w – o…)
The first extension here will be to gradually add more items. eg. two spoons and two blocks (make sure blocks are the same colour).
Play in exactly the same way but have two items in child’s view and two in your hand.
Where is the one like this?
Can you find the one that is the same?
Can you put this one with the other one?
Here is the blue block. Can you find the other blue block?
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.
If your child knows the names for different colours use objects that are all the same but in different colours.
Can you find the green block?
Where is the block that is the same colour as this one?
Matching pictures that are the same is the next step but this is a harder concept to grasp because children can’t ‘touch’ the object, only the card. If you think this may cause problems for you child, why not start off with matching objects to picture. This will give them a ‘mini-step’ up to matching picture to picture.
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.
£7.99 from Amazon £5.99 from Amazon £7.50 from Amazon. I like this one!
Try collecting pairs of similar objects and storing in boxes. For example, a box of buttons containing two of each design or different patterned paper (Use a punch to get the same outline).
Make it very easy to begin with and then start to extend the activities to encourage thinking skills.
Use everyday activities to give your child practice in sorting and matching. E.g. Sorting the laundry or cutlery. My children loved sorting the laundry and I’d find piles of all sorts scattered around the house! It’s a shame they can’t sort their own laundry now they are adults!!