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15 Fun and Free Printable Matching Games to Keep Toddlers Busy

Matching activities and games are a fun first activity for your 2 or 3 year old.  Toddlers will especially love having a game and/or activity all their own.  Foster this early learning skill with your toddler using these printable matching games.  Free, low-prep printables for you... endless fun for them! 

printable matching games for toddlers

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I'm not sure exactly when the fascination started, but my 2 year old has been all about pointing out things that match lately-- in books, clothing, outside in nature... everywhere!

Recognizing things that are the same is an important early learning skill as it develops visual discrimination which will come in handy when learning letters, numbers, etc.  Parents and adults around a little one can foster matching skills through a variety of ways.

One is helping your child make the connection by pointing and voicing that two objects are the same color, shape, size... whatever.

Another way is through play!

Printable Matching Games Free

I love providing hands-on activities and games to help my kiddos learn a certain topic, but heading to the store might not be feasible at the moment (ya know, life happens!) and so I am going to share some matching games that you can print right at home. 

The printable matching games to share and play alongside your toddler are plentiful; from superheroes to letters of the alphabet to matching animals-- enjoy this collection of free matching games to print and play geared towards toddlers.

Superhero Matching Puzzles | School Time Snippets
Calling all superhero fans!  This unique 3 piece matching printable allows your kiddo to create their favorite superhero OR mix and match to create his/her own!

Camp Matching Game Printable | The Crazy Outdoor Mama
Use this adorable camping printable set as a matching activity or sensory activity!

Dinosaur Theme Matching Game | Simple Everyday Mom
This colorful dinosaur matching set also teaches your child dinosaur names.

ABC Letter Find | 123Homeschool4Me
This matching game is a great way to introduce your toddler to letters of the alphabet without overwhelming him/her.

Fruit Matching Games | Life Over C's
Three different matching games- classic memory, clip cards, and cover-up with a colorful fruit theme.

Ice Cream Shape Matching | Totschooling
Your toddler will love matching these friendly faced shapes to complete an ice cream cone-- a great way to introduce colors, too!

Monster Match Printable | Artsy Fartsy Mama
Play a classic game of memory with these not-so-scary, but oh so cute monster printables!

Fossil Sensory Bin | ABC's of Literacy
This unique matching activity develops visual discrimination while adding a fun sensory component!

Fish Count & Match Printable | Preschool Play & Learn
Not yo' mamas classic matching activity!  This fun matching game works on 1:1 number recognition with delicious goldfish crackers.

Simple Matching Worksheets | Planes and Balloons
These cute workbook-like pages would be a great dinner time distraction!

Alphabet Matching Puzzles | Childhood 101
An older toddler or preschool sibling can work on letter and sound recognition with these simple alphabet puzzles.

Vehicle Shadow Matching | Free Printable Worksheets for Kids
Match colorful construction vehicles to its shadow-- a simple matching printable for little ones.

Pineapple Emotions Matching Game | Simple Fun for Kids
Oh these pineapple emotions cards are too cute!  Here is a great way to develop social emotional skills with toddlers.

Dinosaur Matching Game Printable | Homeschool Preschool
Dinosaur lovers will enjoy these playful visual discrimination printables.

Mickey Colors Memory Game | Momorails & Magic
Introduce color matching with this simple memory game.

free matching game printables for toddlers

These matching game printables can be used one-on-one with a family member, or used solo.  They may also make a great portable game to take on a picnic or while waiting somewhere.

However you choose to use any of these printable matching games, have fun and recognize your child is developing an important skill.

Looking for some hands-on matching activities?!!  Check these out:

  • Teach little ones to recognize the letters in his/her name with this clothespin name activity.  Your toddler will match a letter on a clothespin to one on a popsicle stick.  Great for fine motor skills, too! 

Jellyfish Handprint Craft for Kids

This jellyfish handprint craft may just be the cutest jellyfish I ever did see!  This low-mess jellyfish craft will become your newest favorite keepsake to make this summer and/or as part of an under the sea theme in your homeschool or classroom.

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Mom-led crafts like this one didn't happen to often during the school year.  Now that we have finished our book work, it was time to do a fun summer craft.  But alas, I do love a good book to go along with our activities.  I like to think I am sneaky-- adding in a skill or concept while creating, but I am sure my kiddos see right through me!

Here's a few jellyfish books to check out:
Peanut Butter and Jellyfish
Jeremiah Jellyfish Flies High
Narwhal and Jelly (My 6 year old LOVES this series)
Commotion in the Ocean

In all seriousness, this would be a PERFECT craft to introduce the Letter J!  Tell your child what sound the letter J makes if he/she doesn't already know and then say, "J is for...." and see if your child can list (although it'll probably be more like a shouting match) things that begin with the letter J!

Jellyfish Craft 

Gather some simple supplies around the house for this adorable jellyfish craft using your little one's handprint!


To begin making your own jellyfish craft, create the background with paint and bubble wrap.  Doing this first gives it a little more drying time before you glue everything down.  

Brush paint on your sheet of bubble wrap and then press the bubble wrap (paint side down!!) onto the piece of card stock.  

Our piece of bubble wrap was actually a bag, so my son was able to put his hand in the bag and blot the bubble wrap up and down in various places.

Once done, set aside to dry.

Jellyfish Handprint Craft

Now it is time to create the cutest jellyfish craft with your child's hand!  

On another sheet of paper, trace your child's hand.  Depending on ability, have your child try to cut it out.  But for ease, feel free to cut it out yourself!

Next have your child decide what colors he/she wants the tentacles of their jellyfish to be.  Cut several pieces of ribbon and attach to the back of the jellyfish with tape. 

** if the ribbon is too curly, have an adult slide the shiny slide of the ribbon along a pair of scissors; this should straighten it out a bit! ** 

Flip the jellyfish around the the front, and glue two googly eyes.

Don't forget to add a little smile! 

Using our kwik stick -- MY favorite no mess paint for kiddos!! -- add some colorful seaweed to the bottom of the picture.  

Glue your jellyfish onto the bubble wrap painted cardstock, and see!!!  Isn't it the cutest?!!!  

Enjoy making this cute jellyfish craft with your little one! 

More Under the Sea Crafts You Might Like:

Rainbow Maths Place Value Activity

Try this FUN, hands-on rainbow maths place value activity teaching tens and ones to Kindergartners and/or 1st graders.   This colorful and tasty place value activity is sure to be a hit! 

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rainbow maths place value activity

Teaching place value can be a tricky concept; thus why hands-on manipulatives are key to helping young learners visualize what each numeral represents.  Touching and manipulating objects is especially helpful for visual and tactile learners.  Not to mention the addition of a tasty treat for Base 10 blocks will be much appreciated for those that love to eat while learning...  or those who just love to eat! 

Rainbow Maths Place Value Activity

  • Rainbow Place Value Printable
  • Pipecleaners (cut in half)
  • bowl full of cereal **
  • scissors
  • page protector **
  • laminating sheet **

To keep in tune to our rainbow theme, we used the ALDI brand fruit loop cereal.  You could use name brand or even cherrios, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE the ALDI cereal!  Seriously though, it taste wayyyyyy better than another well-known brand out there and doesn't have crazy ingredients like red dye.  

OR!  if you'd rather forgo the food route, you can use beads!

Teaching tens and ones rainbow maths activity

Teaching place value begins with understanding that numbers are orderly; each number has its own place. 

Begin counting numbers 0-9, placing a new piece of cereal in the "ones" column as you count.  Reinforce that only *1* numeral can be in that spot!   

Now, when you get to 10 there are now two numerals.... so what do we do?!  We make a new column: the "tens" place! 

Show your child how to string the nine cereal pieces onto a pipecleaner and add one more to make 10.  You now have a ten "block."  Place your new ten block in the "tens" column.  

Then continue counting, adding a new cereal piece to the ones column, until you get to 20.   The numeral 20 has 2 tens, so now another pipecleaner of 10 needs to be added to the tens column.

If your child is still new to place value, it may be helpful to write out the numbers as you count.

Continue making bars of 10 with cereal until your child shows understanding of the concept.

teaching place value tens and ones

To use this rainbow maths activity more than once or with multiple children, it may be helpful to laminate and/or place the place value board in a sheet protector, as well as laminate the number cards included in this printable.  Totally optional though!  

Included in the printable are 12 number cards to help reinforce teaching tens and ones. 

rainbow maths place value activity

Once your child has gotten the hang of how to count using the cereal, have him/her pick a number card and build the number with their cereal base 10 blocks!  

Learn and snack at the same time!!  Can math get any better than this?!  

Enjoy this fun, hands-on rainbow maths activity!! 

rainbow maths place value

  • Rainbow and Cloud Clipart Licensed to Whimsy Clips
  • Do Not Alter, copy, upload, host, or sell printable
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This activity was inspired by The Measured Mom's Free Place Value Activity.

More Rainbow Maths Activities:

Peacock Paper Cup Art and Craft

Learning about birds?  Have a kiddo obsessed with peacocks?!  Then you might enjoy this stunningly simple Peacock Paper Cup Art and Craft! Kiddos of all ages will be able to help create this fun paper cup craft using many materials you may already have around the house!

paper cup art and craft - peacock
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Truth be told, I love love love checking out the peacocks during a trip to the zoo.  Their feathers are absolutely beautiful!

I think my daughter is a fan, too.  For the past several years the first thing she claims she wants to dress up as for Halloween is.... a peacock-- although, that still has yet to happen.  Something else always comes to mind!  Nevertheless, if you can't dress up as one (or won't!), at least make this peacock paper cup art and craft!

Peacock Paper Cup Art and Craft

I love setting up crafts to go along with books we find at the library.  To set up this peacock art and craft, read a few of these books:

After reading make your own paper cup peacock! 

Peacock Art and Craft Supplies:

peacock art and craft supplies

How to Make Peacock Art and Craft Using a Paper Cup

For ease, we used a blue paper cup.  However, if you happen to have white paper cups on hand by all means, use those-- just paint them blue first!

Using a paper trimmer, cut strips of paper- blues, purple, greens- about no more than an inch wide.  

For the beak, cut a small triangle from orange construction paper.

To start assembling your peacock craft, take the strips of paper and loop them in half.  Staple the ends together.

peacock paper craft

Once you have made several feathers from the colored construction paper, start adhering them to the back of the cup with tape.

Tape a few starting at the middle of the cup.  Then create another row by taping another set of looped paper "feathers" above the first row.  

If desired, add a few more paper "feathers" to fill in any gaps.

peacock feathers paper craft

Next add two googly eyes and orange beak to the front of the paper cup.

To add some sparkly, glue small sequins onto the paper feathers.  

Allow the sequins to dry

If making this craft with little ones, tiny sequins such as the ones we used may be a bit frustrating.  Other ideas would be to use larger sequins, stickers, or have q-tip dipped in sparkly paint!

Finally, tape a feather to the top of the paper cup. 

paper cup craft - peacock

So stunning and simple was this peacock art and craft!  We hope you enjoy it during your next Storytime and craft session!! 

Or just because... 

because who wouldn't want to create one's very own Peacock Paper Cup Craft?!

peacock paper cup craft

Valentine's Day Alphabet Matching Game

With Valentine's Day upon us, here is a fun and colorful way to practice letter recognition with your little one(s).  Use this hands-on Valentine Theme Alphabet Matching Game Printable to work on abc recognition with your toddler, preschooler, and/or Kindergartner! 

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Valentine Theme Alphabet Matching Game Printable

Enjoy this low-prep alphabet matching game printable to use with your other preschool Valentines activities.  However, it would be a great one-on-one activity to teach letter recognition with your toddler, too.

Or, adjust this alphabet matching game to work on letter sounds and it can be used with Kindergarten kiddos!

Alphabet Matching Game Printable

This versatile alphabet matching game printable is great for hands-on learning!   I'm all about setting up easy and quick learning games, so whether you are using this during a Valentine themed week, shapes theme, and/or just because you need a quick abc recognition activity, this is a great way to learn and play today!


  • Heart Match & Cover Printable

Valentine Printables for Preschool

This print and play alphabet matching game makes it a quick and easy Valentine's Day activity for preschoolers (or toddlers & Kindergartners!)

First, choose and print, the uppercase matching printable or lowercase ABC matching printable.

Place it in a page protector to save it for later/ to keep it clean.  (Because it's always when I DON'T think a mess will happen, it does.  Go figure!)

Provide your child with letter manipulatives.

Encourage your child to pick up a letter, identify the name and/or sound of the letter, and then find its match on the Heart Match and Cover Printable.  

abc recognition Valentine printable for preschool

As much as this alphabet matching game printable is low-prep, it's quick to play, too!  The ease in setting up this valentine's day activity for your preschooler won't take away from the other fun valentine theme activities you may have planned for the day!  

This preschool valentines activity is a great way to learn and play today!  

Valentine Theme ABC Recognition

To extend learning, once your child has matched all the letter manipulatives on the printable, call out letters to your child and have him/her find the letter and take it off.  

This is a great way to "clean up" and get extra use out of the printable before putting it away!

Preschool Valentine Activity

For an extra sensory experience, hide the letter manipulatives in a simple sensory bin or add fine motor skills practice by having your child unwrap each letter first like we did in this activity. 

Or, hide the letter manipulatives around the room and have your child go on a little scavenger hunt to find the letters prior to completing the matching game.

As you can see there are plenty of ways to take a simple activity such as this Valentine theme alphabet matching game printable and tailor it to meet the needs of your kiddos!

  • Doodle Hearts Clipart Licensed to Whimsy Clips
  • personal/ small educational use only.
  • do not alter, copy, sell, host, or upload printable file to be shared with others.

More Preschool Valentine Activities: