This idea was taken straight out of The Toddler’s Busy Book by Trish Kuffner (pg. 177). Now that I have multiple kids, I don’t need ideas to keep my toddler busy. The bigger kid does that without trying for the most part. However, when it was just me and my first toddler home alone all day, I used a lot of the ideas in her book. This is a really cute way to teach the concept of matching, a skill with can later be used in a more conventional matching game. All kids are probably a little different, but my kids were unable to match the little cards to the pockets without help around 18 months, but were able and excited to show me they could do it all by themselves by their second birthday.
- 2 sheets of card stock (or cardboard/poster board/etc.)
- contact paper
- scraps of 5 or 6 types of fabric or wrapping paper
Supplies & Tools:
- x-acto knife
- ruler or paper trimmer
- Cut out 6 squares (each 3″ x 3″) from the card stock.
- Cut out 5 or 6 squares (each 3″ x 3″) from the fabric or wrapping paper. (I chose to leave one of the squares as plain cardstock and instead write “Pocket Matching” on that pocket.)
- Glue the fabric squares or wrapping paper squares to the card stock squares to make pockets.
- Glue the “pockets” to the remaining whole sheet of card stock by gluing around 3 of the edges excluding the top.
- Laminate the whole sheet of card stock by affixing pieces of contact paper slightly bigger than the cardstock to the front and the back, then trimming around the edges.
- Use the x-acto knife to cut the top of each pocket open. (Note: I used a sharpie to draw a line along the top of the opening to make it more obvious.)
- Cut out 6 rectangles from the card stock to fit inside the pockets. Mine were 3″ x 1.5″.
- Cut out scraps of fabric or wrapping paper of the same size and styles as the pockets and glue them onto the card stock rectangles.
- Laminate the card stock rectangles using contact paper.