One of our favourite activities is matching! Dinosaurs and animals seem to be the overall favourites, although pom poms and buttons are pretty close in the line-up. Typically when we do matching activities, we will have two similar objects near each other so they can find them and then match them. I'll show them how to do the first one, and then I let them take over from there. I almost never have to give Bean more direction than just saying to match them up. Munchkin doesn't always participate in these activities. He will be interested for a few minutes but as soon as he figures out what Bean is doing, he loses interest and finds something else to do. Today was one of those days and he preferred playing with the bigger animals (a moose and polar bear) and stacking some colourful storage bins and trays that we use for sensory activities.
To start it off, we used two sets of animal flash cards (we also have two sets of dinosaur flash cards that we use for the same activity), and some animals from our Safari Ltd. Toobs (and a few others that came from the party store). Our animal and dinosaur flash cards were bought at Target in the dollar section and we love them!
These cards are great because on one side is a wonderfully realistic painting of the animal and on the back side is some facts about them (we used two different cards). Bean really doesn't like when pictures are cartoonish, so I try to avoid buying those types. She especially loves these cards because she can tell right away what they are. Sometimes with the cartoon ones it's hard for her to match up the animals to the card.
We used 21 different cards (the deck has 36 cards but we only had 21 matching animal figures), so we used those ones. I put them in a bowl for them to pick through.
As you can see, they match up pretty well.
Bean enjoyed talking to the animals in growls and roars. She named each of the animals and didn't need any help at all matching them up.
Here she is using her fingers to count how many tentacles the octopus has.
Meanwhile Munchkin and Kaede watched the squirrels climb trees outside the window. (If you look real close, he's holding the big polar bear and moose.)
Bean tried to match up the animals exactly as they were painted on the card. Some animals, like this orca, matched up almost perfectly. Others she left alone if she couldn't get them to match up perfectly.
At one point she started to line up all the cards and eventually they went all along the edge of the table. This made it easier for her to spot a particular animal that she was looking for.
Then she dumped out the animals and spread them out as well. She did this activity many times over, simply because she enjoys it.
At one point I brought out a little magnifying glass for her to use. She enjoyed looking at the animals up close.
And using them for memory games. We pick out two sets of matching cards, flip them over and shuffle them up. Then we flip one over and then flip over a second, if it doesn't match, we flip them back down again. Munchkin loves memory games and it wasn't until this point that I was able to draw his attention back to the cards. Bean on the other hand does not like this game.
So while Bean and I were working on matching up the cards and animals, Munchkin was building a tower in the corner of the spare bedroom that we are now turning into an arts and crafts/learning room. He had so much fun and loved showing me what he created.