Inside: A free, printable garden matching game perfect for your Earth Day, Spring, growth or gardening learning themes.
This printable garden matching game is great for developing concentration, memory, vocabulary and social skills associated with game play – such as turn taking and being a gracious winner or loser! It can be played a number of different ways, with children of all ages, and you’ll find suggestions for playing with toddlers through to early elementary/primary grade students below.
RELATED: Pair your matching game play with an Earth Day Picture Book – perfect for inspiring kids to take care of our world.
Memory Matching Game for Toddlers and Preschoolers
The printable card set includes a total of 24 cards- twelve picture and twelve word cards, with each pair featuring a gardening related picture and word. The set also includes a pretty backing paper. You’ll find download and printing instructions at the end of this post.
Memory Match or Concentration is such a great first game for older toddlers and preschoolers. Children in this age group are typically pre-readers so I suggest printing two sets of the picture cards (leave the word cards for now) to play a classic memory matching game.
Memory can be played solo or with a friend. Before starting play lay all of the cards facedown on the table.
Take it in turns to turn over just two cards. If the two cards chosen match, you keep the pair and take another turn. If they don’t match, the cards are both turned back over again (remaining in the same place). You’ll need to watch carefully to see if you can remember where the matching pairs are hiding!
The game ends when all of the pairs have been found. The player with the most pairs is the winner.
Memory Game Tip: For very young children, start with a smaller number of card pairs and work your way up to using the full set as their concentration and understanding of the game increases.
Memory Matching Games for Kindergarten, First & Second Graders
Add the word cards for early readers to play a memory matching game that matches each picture to the corresponding word. Play as outlined above.
Three More Games to Play With the Matching Cards
1. Alphabetical Order
Invite your child to use the cards (either the picture or the word cards) to alphabetize the words.
2. Play Snap
Prepare three to four sets of the cards (the more cards you have, the longer the game will go, and more cards are best for more players).
Before play, shuffle the cards and divide the deck equally between the number of players. Each player places their stack of cards facedown in front of them.
Players take turns (moving clockwise) to take a card off the top of their pile, placing it face up onto a stack in the middle. If the last two cards played match, slap your hand on them and yell “SNAP!” The first person to slap and snap ‘wins’ the pile of cards. They add the cards won to the bottom of their own collection of playing cards. Play begins again when the winner of the round puts a card face up in the middle. The faster the cards are placed onto the centre stack, the more fun the game is! Players must not look at the card they are adding before placing it onto the centre stack.
The game ends when one player accumulates all of the playing cards.
3. Story Cards
Shuffle the picture cards and place them face down on the table. Invite your child to tell a garden story, choosing one card at a time as a prompt for the next part of the story.
If your child enjoys playing memory match or concentration be sure to check out our other free, printable matching games – emotions matching cards, colour matching game and alphabet matching puzzles.
Printing Your Garden Matching Game
Click here to download: Garden Matching Game Printable. Save the PDF to your computer. Open the PDF and print the pages you require. When printing, select “Fit to printable area” (or similar) to ensure the page fits with your printer type and local paper size (these have been created at A4 size). I suggest printing onto card stock or matte photo paper.
The printable includes a printed backing paper. To use the backing page, turn the printed alphabet puzzles pages. Turn over and place them back into the printer to print the background onto the other side – note, this is optional, if your cardstock is thick enough, you may choose not to print the background.
Laminate the printed cards for durability.
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Please note: All Childhood 101 printables are for personal use only, you may not use any part of this content for commercial purposes-that includes selling the document, giving it away to promote your business or website, or printing the file to sell. You may not share, loan or redistribute these documents. Teachers may use multiple copies for students in their own classroom.