This would have been a fantastically simple exercise…had I not decided to make my own flashcards! The printer and I battled it out for nearly two and a half hours of nap time. Dinner and housework were totally abandoned in my quest to produce these printed vegetable cards.
As you probably know by now I love to make things myself. Ok, I didn’t turn those super cute wooden vegetables by hand on a lathe, but what I wanted, right at that moment, was a handful of flashcards to try out a really simple matching activity.
I made seven different cards, (the radish, card number eight, sadly met a sticky end at the sharp point of my scissors) and left them on his little table to see if he showed any interest…
It wasn’t until the following morning that the little guy had a peek at the vegetables sitting in the basket on the table, as he climbed onto his chair I lay just one card in front of him, and picked out the matching vegetable. I then lay down a second card to see if he would reach for anything.
…He grabbed at everything!!!
…It was like a test to see if mummy could retrieve the matching cards fast enough!
I think it will be one activity that we will see a progression with. It may be the most complex task that has been presented to him so far, and I hope we enjoy learning and growing this activity.
Sorting objects or toys, be it according to size, colour or category, helps children develop their intellect. Matching and sorting goes one step further to help with problem solving and categorising.
What I find interesting is that the ability to see patterns of any form, is helpful when learning the patterns of language in speaking and writing. Sorting, matching and sequencing are a way for a child to recognise differences and similarities visually, and while my little guy is not ready for words and numbers, these basic vegetable skills may be setting him up to tackle those advanced numeracy and literacy skills later on.
There are hundreds of free downloadable templates online, I simply copied and pasted into keynote, four to a page, to match the vegetables we had in our selection. I printed them onto glossy paper and then cut them into individual cards.
Sounds simple! I found it more than a little taxing! You could buy a set of cards, or cut the pictures from magazines of catalogues, or even from an old children’s book from a thrift store. but I liked the fact that I could just use the objects we had already, and print out some matching pictures without having to spend out on anything expensive.
I have totally fallen for these beautiful Michael Olaf fruit and vegetable cards cards though (spotted on howwemontessori) which I may invest in as I see the little guy progress with his matching if he enjoys it.