E and V love to match, anything and everything. They really enjoy the printables from this Etsy shop and this TPT shop, which I love as they are created for use with Toob figurines.

For the longest time, I would put one of these matching activities out and they would be sought after and repeated for weeks on end. Now they are enjoyed for a short time. They enjoy learning the names of items, like the flowers and birds, but they still long to match and have been searching out books to match the items too. This is great, as they’ve been finding a way to fill that need, but I also wanted to create something to challenge them a little more.

Shadow matching. Tracing certain figurines they match them based on certain traits. This causes them to look at certain aspects differently. For instance, we did shadow tracing of insects. While the fly, dragonfly, bumblebee, and butterfly all have wings they are designed differently. Yes, sidenote, as we did with birds and beaks, this will be a great homeschool topic to cover, but I’m going to hold off until they mention it.

While these shadow images aren’t new, do you know why activities like these are important? It’s part of strengthening observation and cognitive processing–similar to those games that ask you to spot the differences between, seemingly, identical images. They are working on memory, reasoning, problem-solving, and decision-making.

Those reasons are why I like to ensure I’m providing materials that are just the right amount of challenge. So they don’t get overly frustrated but are strengthening attention and perception.

Using cardstock and figurine, I traced the figures with a pen and then coloured them in with a permanent marker. For durability, I then laminated them (it’s a dream to have a Montessori-inspired playgroup so I save all these materials).

Have you tried this type of matching activity with your child?

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