Here’s another dinosaur themed printable for you and your little ones. This one is a pack of dinosaur shadow matching clip cards.
Although it may seem like just a fun matching game to pass some time, shadow matching is actually a great way for children to improve their visual discrimination skills. This is the ability to be able to tell the difference between different shapes, objects or symbols.
And this skill is an extremely important one when it comes to being able to read. When you think about it, the basis of letter recognition is being able to tell different letters apart from each other and remembering what their shapes look like.
A brilliant thing about shadow matching is that it takes away any color or pattern clues so children have to focus on the outline of the shape – just like they have to when reading letters.
There’s 12 dinosaur clip cards – from the mighty Tyrannosaurus Rex to the heavily armored Ankylosaurus.
What Skills Can Your Little Ones Learn?
With this dinosaur shadow matching game your little ones can develop:
- Visual Discrimination skills– the ability to notice differences between objects and symbols. Your kids will have to look closely at the shapes to make the correct pairings!
- Fine motor skills – they will have to be able to pick up and squeeze the pegs and align it it with the correct shadow whilst holding the card
- Hand Strength – squeezing those pegs is great for developing hand and finger strength
- Speech and language skills – If you make sure you are getting them to talk about what they can see when they are matching. It’s a good chance to get them to describe what they can see. What shapes can you see? Do you know anything else that’s that shape?
- Shape and pattern – shape and pattern recognition are important early math skills.
- Patience and persistence – They’ll have to carry on even if they find it tricky at first.
Who’d have thought such a simple game can help your children develop so many skills – that’s the power of play!
How To Prepare These Dinosaur Shadow Matching Clip Cards
Firstly, you’ll need to download the cards by clicking on the download box at the bottom of the page.
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Then, print them out on to paper or card.
Next, cut them out.
Once they’re all cut out, I’d strongly advise laminating them to keep them looking nice and so your little learners can use them again and so they are strong enough for the pegs to clip to without ripping them.
After that you’re all done!
Just grab some clothespins, spread the cards out on a table and see if your children can match the dinos to the correct shadow!
Some Tips to get Some Extra Language Development In
I mentioned above that these kinds of matching games can be great for language development as well as improving visual discrimination skills.
Talking about what they can see while they’re playing is always great.
Ask them to think about the colors. What colors can you see? What else in the room is that color? Do you know any animals that have that color on them somewhere?
Ask them about the shapes. What shapes are the dinosaurs made up of? What shapes can you see in the shadows? What else do you know that is that shape?
Talking about shapes can be great to enhance their early math skills as well!
Which dinosaur is the tallest? Which one do you think would be the strongest? – There’s loads you can ask them…
This kind of questioning will keep them engaged and make them think more about what they are doing. It’s also awesome for language development as you ask them to describe the dinosaurs.
Don’t let them get away with ‘big’ or ‘happy’; teach them some words they might not know like ‘massive’, ‘gigantic’ and ‘armored’.
Later, you could ask them to describe pictures of dinosaurs in a book. You’ll be surprised how often they use these new words!
I hope you and your little ones enjoy this dinosaur shadow matching game!