Best Matching Activities for Toddlers

Matching is essential to help toddlers and preschool children develop their future reading skills.

When your toddler arranges toys by size or color, stacks similar items, or sorts books, he or she is showing they can match things. Your toddler’s curiosity is helping them learn more about their surroundings. Understanding how one object relates to another helps them develop complex cognitive skills.

boy in white and black striped shirt playing wooden blocks
Photo by Yan Krukau on

How Do You Teach Children to Match?

  • Introduce matching terminology and concepts in early development.
  • Show children objects that are identical and then compare things that are different. Point out what makes the similarities and differences.
  • Start small; from a collection of 3 items, ask them to find the two that match.
  • Practice matching and comparing regularly.

Matching Activities for Kids

Color Matching

For toddlers, start with the primary colors; red, yellow, and blue. For older children, give them the 9 basic colors; red, green, blue, brown, yellow, orange, purple, black, and white.

You similarly sized and shaped objects for children to match. Use blocks, small toys, or pieces of construction paper.

Shape Matching

Shape activities teach kids about geometric concepts.

A simple way to teach shape matching is with shape puzzles and blocks. Children can match the correct shapes together, noting the features that make them similar.

Size Matching

Show children size differences in similarly shaped and colored objects. Ask them to identify which item is larger and which item is smaller.

Picture Matching

Use matching cards to teach children how to identify and match similar objects. Use a wide variety of objects like animals, toys, clothing, people, etc.

Sound Matching

You can use puzzles or books with sounds to help teach animals sounds, vehicle sounds or your child’s favorite characters.

Ask your child to point to the pictures and match them with the correct sounds.

Pattern Matching

Create a simple pattern with blocks or toys. Encourage younger children to recreate the pattern of no more than three items. As they advance gradually, increase the number of items in the pattern and ask them what comes next.


The child has to find what common property forms a group of items. Use blocks or small toys and ask children to sort by color, shape, or size.


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