Matching Cards are a great activity that can be enjoyed by a toddler as young as one year old, to a child who can read and match the labels, in addition to matching the images. As a parent, I try to anticipate my child's next stage of interest or challenge, prepare the material timely and present it patiently. Sometimes, I am too early, which is perfectly fine by me, but sometimes I am too late. Since each child is developing at his/her own pace, with individualized inclinations and aptitudes, there is just no way of knowing what is "the right time" until you try. My goal is to offer a challenge, try to be one step ahead; always thinking of a new material, new extension, new twist to an activity already on a shelf. Matching Cards is a great activity that can be used in so many different ways.
Matching Stages for Montessori 3-Part-Cards :
Stage 1: matching identical pictures (can start even before child's first birthday, beginning to introduce three cards at a time, then gradually increasing the number of cards);
Stage 2: matching similar object to a picture (a little more challenging since the images are similar, but not exact to the model; best introduced around 1 year and older.)
Stage 3: when the child is familiar with the images, you can show the picture, then an object and ask the toddler to name the object and then match it to the appropriate card;
Stage 4: a non-reading toddler, in addition, can try to visually match the labels. (At two-and-a-half, Adrian is very interested in letters: when we look at pictures in a book, he would trace his finger under the image and over a word and ask me to "read" - he would then repeat the word. So, with Animal Cards, he is starting to match the labels ... just a few: like a "cow" or a "car");
Read here a post on Adrian matching labels as well as real African animals on a Safari ride.
For more on matching cards, see below:
Animal Tracks Matching Game (read a post here).
Read here a post about Polar Animals Matching cards at 39 months.
Read here "Land, Air, Water 🏷 Matching Activity" post.
Stay tuned for more matching activities.