Here’s another Halloween themed printable for you and your little ones. This one is a fun Halloween matching game with 12 spooky Halloween monsters to match!
Although it may seem like just a fun Halloween 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.
I’ve made 12 Halloween monsters so far and they’re all included in this game – from the wicked witch to the messy mummy.
Some other Halloween printables that you may want to check out:
What Skills Can Your Little Ones Learn and Develop?
For a simple Halloween matching game, there’s actually quite a lot of skills that can be learnt and practiced!
With this 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 – as they’ll need to be able to pick up the cards, and hand-eye coordination and hand control as they ensure they are placing them with the right monster.
- 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 This Halloween Matching Game
Firstly, download the Halloween shadow cards by clicking download box at the bottom of the page.
Then, print them out on to paper or card.
Next, cut the cards out carefully.
There’s 12 colorful monster cards and 12 monster shadow cards.
Now you’re all set and ready to play!
How To Use This Halloween Shadow Matching Game
Halloween Monster Matching
To play the game I’d lay a selection of shadow cards face up on the floor or table. The more you lay out the harder the game will be so you may want to start with a few and add more as they get better at matching.
Then give your child a colorful monster card and see if they can pick out the correct match. Get them to look closely at the shapes and outline and focus on any distinguishing features.
Once they’ve matched it to the correct card, put that pairing to one side and give them another card to try again.
If they seem really confident, you could just place them all on the floor and let them go for it.
It might be fun to time them and see if they can beat their previous record!
Halloween Memory Game
You could also use these cards to play a Halloween memory game.
I’m sure you know how to play this game (sometimes called pairs), but in case you don’t it’s pretty easy:
- First, shuffle all the cards together
- Then lay them all face down in neat rows
- Starting with the youngest player, take turns turning two cards over
- If the monster and the shadow match, you can keep them and have another go. If they don’t your turn is over and play moves to the the next player.
- Play continues in this fashion until the last pair is collected
- Count up all cards (a good chance to get a bit of counting practice in) and whoever has the most wins!
This game is great for developing memory and concentration skills.
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 monsters 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 monster do you think is the scariest? Which one do you think has the best powers? What powers would you like to have? – 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 monsters.
Don’t let them get away with ‘fast’ or ‘scary’; teach them some words they might not know like ‘agile’, ‘stealthy’ and ‘terrifying’.
Later, you could ask them to describe pictures of Halloween monsters in a book. You’ll be surprised how often they use these new words!
I hope you and your little ones enjoy this Halloween matching game!