Best Matching Games

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Kids will match letter shapes to the outlines on word cards as they learn to recognize letters and spell words. The letters come in a variety of colors, so kids can also learn to recognize and differentiate colors as well. This game is handy in teaching kids basic and popular sight words, which will set them up well for later education. There are 28 double-sided word cards and 52 wooden letter blocks. This game is designed for kids 3-5 years old.

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This memory and matching game features cute little ducks that move around their pond. Each player tries to match their assigned shape and color to the shape on the bottom of each duck. If it doesn’t match, the duck goes back into the pond. Kids will love these little ducks, which are easy for small hands to grasp. This game is designed for two to four players age 3 and older.

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A classic option with a slight twist, the Wonder Forge PJ Masks Matching Game encourages children to turn over pairs of tiles to find a match. The 72 tiles, which are 2 inches by 2 inches in size, are perfect for little hands. Each features an illustration of favorite characters from the popular kids’ TV show. While basic play includes matching two identical tiles, it is easy to customize this game for younger players. The tiles feature different colors for various characters, which makes it great for helping with color recognition as well. This option is recommended for children ages 3 to 4.

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The cards used in the eeBoo Life on Earth Memory Matching Game are beautifully rendered, with lush colors and a great amount of detail. Plus, the benefits of this matching game go beyond boosting kids’ memory skills. With the many different plant and animal designs on the cards, parents have an entry point for teaching little ones new vocabulary words and helping them build an interest in the natural world. This game is recommended for children ages 6 and up.

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Slapzi is a matching game with a twist. Because players match picture cards with “clue” cards, this game provides opportunities for children to work on their critical thinking skills. The descriptions written on the cards, along with the verbal clues, are also a great way to help build early to intermediate reading comprehension. The game includes 120 picture cards along with 65 clue cards and instructions for seven additional games to play with these cards, so even children with shorter attention spans won’t become bored. This option is recommended for children ages 3 and up.

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With Quick Cups, players race against the clock and each other to assemble their colored cups in the correct order as determined by the illustrations on the included picture cards. Whether the card shows a spaceship or a birthday cake, each drawing features different colors that need to be matched up as players stack cups. Having to figure out the right order of colors promotes both critical thinking and pattern recognition skills. This game is recommended for children ages 6 to 8.

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The VATOS magnetic matching game offers a fun new twist on matching. Kids are encouraged to organize magnetic rings in the correct order based on the provided cards. In addition to being great for building matching skills, this game helps promote an early love of the sciences. Kids will be fascinated by the magnetic power of the rings, wondering what makes them stick together or easily come apart. This option is recommended for kids ages 3 and up.

Expert Commentary

“These go-to matching games are straight-forward but fun and easy enough for kids to play in a variety of environments. I like to have a box of these handy with me wherever I go with my children, whether it’s a long car ride or some downtime during the afternoon. These games help children attune their attention to detail and improve their spatial memory skills.”