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Today’s post will be another great idea for an Animal Matching Activity. This is an easy activity to do with the kiddos using things that you probably have at home. Animals were always a staple in my childcare programs as they are just so universally loved!
Safety disclosure: Always supervise children at play!
Here us what I used for this activity…
Animal Matching Activity (3+)
- anti-slip liner
- a set of animal flash cards (can usually be found at a dollar store if you don’t have any)
- a variety of toy animals (the same animals that match the cards that you are using)
- a large unbreakable bowl to place the animals in
The goal of this activity is to match the toy animal to the corresponding flash card. This activity is a great stepping stone to developing thinking and understanding skills. When a picture and an object don’t exactly match, the child has to rely on their own knowledge and understanding to match them correctly.
Let’s consider the cards that I have demonstrated in the picture below. On the snake flashcard, the picture of the snake is green but I only had a yellow snake. The child has to figure out, in their own mind, if the two match because the flashcard snake is green and the toy snake is yellow. This is a terrific way to get their little brain synapses firing. The child begins to be able to develop visual perception, or the ability to notice differences and similarities between objects. It also becomes a fantastic way to work on animal identification and other early literacy skills such as identifying and sounding out the letters of the animal names. For example, snake begins with the letter “S” which makes a “sssssss” sound.
A wonderful variation to this activity is to take the shadows of the animals to replace the visual flashcards. These can easily be found and printed off on-line through Pinterest, a great example you can find here. This offers another degree of difficulty a school aged child (4+). Separating the animals by habitat is a fun way to extend the learning possibilities as well!
Hope you have fun with this one!