Here’s a cute party animal matching game for toddlers and preschoolers that your little ones are bound to enjoy.
It’s a simple game where your children will need to match a party animal tile to the correct one on the board. But your children will need to have an eye for detail as some of the party animal’s colors are pretty similar.
Other Free Toddler Matching Games
What Skills Can Your Little Ones Learn?
For a simple game, there’s actually quite a lot of skills that can be learnt and developed:
- This animal matching game will give your children some matching practice and force them to look closely at color, shape and pattern – which will help them to develop important early math skills.
- They can also practice counting if you encourage them to count all the party animals, or just the animals which are gray, or only the ones with two legs. How many have two legs and are gray? If you play the memory game I mention below, there’s even more chances to get some counting practice in!
- It can also help with fine motor skills, as they’ll need to be able to grasp the pieces, and hand-eye coordination and hand control as they ensure they are placing them in the correct spot.
- If they find it tricky at first, it may also help them learn patience and persistence – great life skills.
Who’d have thought such a simple game can help your children develop so many skills – that’s the power of play!
(DISCLAIMER It can also be a fun way to keep them busy when you need to get the dinner prepared or do any of the hundreds of jobs that just seem to constantly need doing.)
How To Prepare The Game
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Firstly, download it by clicking on the image below.
Then, print it out on to paper or card.
Next, cut the pieces out carefully. I’d advise laminating them after as I’m sure you’ll want to use them again.
Here’s an affordable and reliable laminator if you don’t have one (a laminator is one of the best investments I’ve made!)
Now you’re all set and ready to play!
Other Things You Could Do with this Party Animal Matching game
If your little ones have mastered the original game you can take it to the next level by printing the second page with the animal tokens again so you’ll now have two sets.
That way, you’ll also be able to play a party animal 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 they 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.
If you’d like to make the game even more challenging you could combine it with another of these free toddler matching game so there’s even more tiles:
Talking about what they can see while you’re playing is also always great.
Ask them to think about the colors. What colors can you see? What else in the room is that color?
Ask them about the shapes. What shapes are the animals made up of? What else do you know that is that shape?
Ask them which is their favourite party animal and why.
This kind of questioning will keep them engaged and make them think more about what they are doing. It’s also brilliant for language development as you ask them to describe the animals.
I hope you and your little ones enjoy this party animal matching game!
If you do, feel free to let me know in the comments below. Or if there’s any other printables you’d like me to have a go at creating let me know!
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Until next time,
Let’s nurtured those neurons!