Matching activities are really good for developing minds. Download these free snowman matching cards and try out all five matching activities for preschoolers found in this post.
Preschool Matching Activities Using Free Snowman Cards
Matching activities are really popular in a preschool or toddler classroom setting, and for good reason. Preschool matching activities carry a huge educational punch in the young, developing minds of preschoolers.
But since it’s wintertime, these cute snowman matching cards make preschool memory games and matching activities all the more fun. Grab yourself a cup of coffee or tea and sit down for a few minutes.
Be sure to read all the creative ways to use this snowman printable in your winter preschool lesson plans.
FAQ About Matching Games for Preschoolers
There are so many benefits to memory and matching activities for young children. Offer a variety of matching games and activities so that your preschoolers can reap as many benefits as possible.
Matching activities help improve concentration, attention skills, and visual memory, as well as improve short term memory. They also increase the ability to think critically and with attention to detail by improving the ability to site similarities and differences among objects. This is called visual discrimination and it is an important pre-reading skill.
When playing matching games with preschoolers, start by only offering six to eight pairs. Show all the pairs to your preschooler and spend a few minutes talking about them. Which snowman does your preschooler like the best? Which one is the smallest snowman? Which snowman is wearing a black hat? You can do this routine with any set of matching cards. It’s particularly helpful before playing a memory game.
Many toddlers go through a similar progression of skills when learning how to make matches. Start by offering two matching cards and asking if they are the same or different. Shape matching and color matching activities are a good place to start. You want the differences to be very obvious at first.
Once this skills is mastered, you can then offer your toddler simple matching activities of two or three pairs. Lay the matching cards face up and invite your toddler to the make matches. Next, your toddler will be ready for memory matching. Playing a variety of memory matching games will help your toddler learn visual discrimination and concentration skills all the more quickly.
Preschool Matching Activities for Winter Preschool Theme
It’s hard to pass up these cute little snowmen. When I saw them, I knew they would be perfect for my winter preschool themed activities.
The printable you will receive at the end of this post is a simple set of matching cards; however, keep reading to see several matching activities and games you can play with these cards. They are full of preschool learning potential!
- free snowman matching cards
- festive scrapbook paper (optional)
- pocket chart (optional)
- tray (optional)
How to Prepare and Set Up
Print two copies of the snowman matching cards on heavy card stock and laminate for added durability.
If you’re using these cards for a memory game, then you can also print them on the backside of scrapbook paper, which makes them even more fun. I did that with my tropical island matching cards.
Cut out the snowman cards and you’re ready to play some matching games with your preschooler. Or, if you have a toddler, then you’re ready to teach your toddler how to make matches.
Remember, this is an important pre-reading skill.
About These Preschool Matching Games
These matching activities can be done in a small group and one-on-one. Once your preschoolers have mastered the play, you can offer them as preschool centers, too.
All of these matching activities can be done with toddlers or preschoolers. I’ll give you details in each activity to explain how they can also be toddler activities, as well as how to make them more advanced for preschoolers.
Do These Match?
If you have a toddler or a young preschooler, then you might want to start here.
Hold up two of the snowman matching cards and ask your toddler if the two cards match. If you are met with a quizzical brow from your toddler, then change your wording slightly by asking, “are these snowmen the same?”
If the answer is no, then remove one card from those in your hand and draw another. Ask your toddler again, “do these snowman match?” Repeat this process until you come upon a matching snowman.
Now, toddlers don’t have an extremely long attention span, so arrange the cards in sets of three before the game begins. That way you don’t have to go through all twelve snowmen before the match is drawn.
Which One Matches?
This is a variation of the game above; it’s a great matching game for toddlers, but preschoolers will enjoy it too. Divide the snowman cards into two piles where the match to each card is in the opposite pile. Draw three cards from one of the piles and lay them out on the table. Ask your toddler to tell you what they notice about the snowmen. Meanwhile, find a match to one of the snowmen in the second pile.
Give the matching snowman to your toddler or preschooler and invite them to lay the snowman card under its match. Repeat and reshuffle cards as needed.
Make Matches with Cards Face-Up
This is an important step in teaching your preschooler or toddler how to match. Select a handful of snowman card sets and arrange them on the table face up. If you’re working with a toddler, choose only three or four snowman sets. If you’re working with a preschooler, you can add more sets. A four-year-old can usually do this activity with all twelve snowman sets.
You can arrange the snowman cards in any fashion on the table. It’s traditional to do a grid, but you can create different challenges by arranging the cards in long lines or in a circle around the table.
Then have your little one select a card from the table and search for its corresponding match. Set that match aside and keep playing until all the cards have been matched.
* You may have noticed that we didn’t have a complete set of matches in the photo above. Oops! And yeah…my little guy talked to me about that.
Which One is Missing? Tray Game
This tray game is super fun and I love using games like these during circle time. Arrange the snowman cards into sets and stack them in a single pile. Grab the first three sets in the pile and lay three different snowman cards on a tray. Lay the matching snowman cards on the table.
Ask your preschooler if they can see the matching snowmen. (There are some really great conversations to be had here). Then cover the tray with a hand towel to hide the snowman cards.
Secretly remove one of the cards from the tray while the cards are still covered by the hand towel. Remove the hand towel and then ask your preschooler to identify which snowman is missing.
At first, they might point to the missing spot on the tray. Refer your preschooler to the matching snowman cards that were left on the table and ask them to point to which snowman is missing from the tray. Bonus points if you encourage your preschooler to also describe the snowman.
Snowman I Spy
This is another fun matching activity for kids and it’s perfect for circle time or morning meeting. Arrange one set of snowman cards in the pocket chart, and keep the second set in a pile you can easily access. Draw a card from the pile, but do not show it to your preschoolers. Instead, describe it through a series of clues.
“I spy a snowman who is wearing a hat…He has two buttons…His hat is purple…He is short…He is wearing two purple mittens…He is on the second row…”
Have your preschoolers give you a silent signal when they have figured out the match, like putting their hand on their head or putting a mitten on their hand.
Alternatively, you can invite one of your preschoolers to draw from the pile and find the match on the pocket chart. OR have the other preschoolers in class describe where to find the match.
The final matching activity for preschoolers–which is probably coming as no surprise–is a good old-fashioned game of memory. This game is nothing new and creative, but it is always fun and effective. Remember all those benefits of matching activities I listed in the FAQ section? Well, memory games have the same benefits.
Mix up both sets of cards and arrange them face down on the table, preferably in a grid. If you want to be extra festive, then print out the snowman matching cards on the backside of some wintery scrapbook paper.
Invite your preschooler to draw two cards and see if they match. If they do, then keep the set. If they don’t, then the turn goes to the next player. The game continues until all the cards have been matched.
If you have a toddler or younger preschoolers, start playing memory games with only three or four sets of cards and gradually increase the sets until all twelve sets can be played at once.
Get Your Free Snowman Matching Cards Here
Think these snowman cards would make a valuable addition to your matching and sorting activities? How about your hands-on activities in your winter preschool theme?
Grab your free download by clicking the image below and the PDF will be sent to your inbox.
I am Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home mama of five! I am the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught range of levels, including preschool and college, and a little bit of just about everything in between. Right now, my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction