DIY Preschool Matching Activity

Guest post by Nicole at A Living Sacrifice.


This DIY Preschool Matching Activity is perfect for preschoolers.  Use it in a busy box, Sunday School, or daycare setting to occupy the littles.

I put together this activity to use in our Noah-themed VBS this year. Since the animals came two-by-two, I figured an animal matching game would go well with the theme!

chickens on foam

I downloaded these animal pictures from my favourite place of all time, Microsoft Office Clip Art. {Here is the direct link} Can’t get too fancy on these types of projects, you know. =) But seriously, clip art allows you to get pictures of almost anything you could want, for free! For simple projects like this, it is a life-saver!

I did this next step to help save on ink – so if you want a simpler, quicker project just skip this! If you are looking to save where possible, however, this step worked well for me.

I opened each picture in Microsoft Word. I sized the animals so two fit on a sheet of paper.

In the menu bar I clicked on “picture tools,” then “Recolor” {at the far left of toolbar} and then chose “black and white.” This turned the animal into more of a coloring page, which I then printed off – two on a sheet, remember. Once they are printed, cut each sheet in two. Now you have two of each animal to work with!

Then, it was simple to color these in with a good old-fashioned crayon. It was a fairly quick colouring job, since most of them only required one or two different colours. Ok, I’ll admit it…it was kind of fun! =)

colour picture

Next it was time to attach each one to a foam sheet. I found these foam sheets at the dollar store, there were several fun colours and they were the right size for this project!

I used this glue stick to attach the animals to the foam. This is my go-to glue because it is “no wrinkle,” so unlike a bottle of elmer’s, the finished product is nice and smooth when you are gluing thin paper like this!

glue stick

I just ran the stick over all the edges, making sure to get the corners good.

glue the edges down

Once they were all glued together, I had my matching game!

chickens on foam

I just arranged these on the floor face down like a regular matching game. They were a nice size for little fingers to handle!

matching game

Then the children each took turns looking for a match. They turned over two cards, and if it wasn’t a match, we turned them back over.

not a match

If they found a match, they got to keep the cards. Some of them were better than I was at remembering where the matches were!

a match

Another variation we tried went as follows:

I separated the matching cards into two different piles. One set of animals I laid out on the floor, face up. The other set I held in my hands. I would had a card to each child and they had to run and find the match on the floor, trying to be the first one to find their match. When they brought it back to me, I gave them another card. The one with the most matches wins!

This variation was great for when they got a bit antsy, as it combined the matching with running around. 🙂

There are sooo many ways you could change this up to meet your needs, the interests of your little ones, or to teach a concept. Letters, numbers, shapes, colours…the possibilities are endless! What do you think you would use them for?

I’d love for you to share: what simple games do you use with preschoolers to keep them occupied or teach a concept?

MaryEllen Bream

Hi! I'm MaryEllen. I currently have 3 children that I am homeschooling, from kindergarten through 4th grade. I also wrangle a toddler and will soon have another newborn in the house. Join me as I share real life stories of how I'm getting it all done (or not!)