Create A Matching Game From Old Magazines

Here's a fun matching game and craft activity I cooked up one afternoon with my daughter. Best of all, it's easy to make from stuff that would otherwise just be recycled.

Matching Cards

You'll need:
assorted old playing cards or cardboard squares
old magazines
glue or paste
  1. Flip through the magazines with your toddler and find pictures that appeal to him or her. Some fun things are babies, balls, shoes or cars. They should be small enough to fit on the card. You can also do body parts like eyes or hands.

  2. Find two of each thing. They do not have to strictly match. Part of the fun of the game is talking about how they are different and how they're alike. You might find two pairs of shoes -- one old pair of tennis shoes and one shiny pair of tap shoes. Try to pick items that your child is learning to say or identify.

  3. Cut them out to fit the card. This does not need to be exact, as long as they are smaller than the card it's fine.

  4. Let your toddler help paste the pictures onto the face of the card, so the patterned backs are all the same.

There are many games you can play with these cards. Some ideas are:

Concentration. Turn them all over and see if you can flip two over that match. Take turns until all the cards have been matched.

Can you find? Turn them all right side up and ask your child to point to one object, like a ball.

Can you name? Pick a card and ask your child what the object is called.

Matching. Turn all of the cards right side up and ask your child to find the items that match.

There are many other variations. My daughter really liked carrying her cards around and just playing with them. It's a great way to recycle, and you can add to it any time you like! As kids get older, they can draw the objects for their younger siblings' cards.

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All works on this site Alicia Bayer unless otherwise noted.
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