Saturday, April 27, 2013

Matching Pole

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I came across this matching pole idea while browsing Pinterest and thought it was an absolutely brilliant idea. Of course, I wanted to expand on it since I saw the potential for this activity to be more than just a letter matching activity.  Really the possibilities are endless.  It could be used to match letters, numbers, sight words, colors, and shapes.  Or how about expanding it further?  Match uppercase to lowercase letters, numerals to their written form, words that rhyme, simple math problems, etc.  You get my point.  It could be adapted to meet the needs and interests of any kid.  I love inexpensive ideas like this, but even more so when they are versatile.

  • Paper towel rolls
  • Dot stickers
  • Permanent marker
I made three different ones: (1) uppercase letter matching, (2) number matching from 1-25, and (3) sight word matching.

The three variations that we did.
Time to play!

Variation #1: Uppercase Letter Matching

I wrote all 26 uppercase letters on the cardboard tube and made the corresponding letter stickers.  This variation was for K to play with since he's getting really good at identifying his letters.  He knows almost all of them already.

K examining a sticker.

Aha!  Got one!
Concentrating hard.  And yes, he put stickers on himself. :)
Storing stickers on one's shirt is a more efficient way to accomplish this task.
See...he can just peel them off...
and easily stick them onto the tube.
K's partially finished tube.

Variation #2: Number Matching

For the numbers variation, you could choose to stop at whatever number you would like.  J can count really high, as you have probably noticed in previous activities, but I chose to stick with the number 1-25.

Starting with number 1.
Searching for the correct number.
Peeling off another sticker.
A close up of the fine motor skills being used.

Variation #3: Sight Word Matching

This variation was designed for my little reader J, who began reading before he turned two (he's 3 1/2 now). I picked some random sight words from this list and wrote each chosen word on the cardboard tube and on a dot sticker.  The idea is to match the sight words, all while getting in some reading practice.

J matching some sight words.
Reading and matching the words correctly.
After about five minutes, J moved on.  Here's how the tube turned out.

Other Variations

As I mentioned, there are so many ways to modify this activity.  Here are some suggestions:
  • Match numerals (e.g., 2) with the written form (e.g., two)
  • Match uppercase letters with lowercase letters
  • Match math problems with their corresponding answer.  I would put the answer on the sticker and then match it with the corresponding addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division problem on the cardboard tube.
  • Shape matching.  Draw matching shapes on the cardboard tube and on the stickers.
  • Color matching.  Write the color name and match with the corresponding sticker color.  Or use colored markers to draw on the cardboard tube and match with the corresponding sticker color.
  • Match rhyming words (e.g., cat and hat)
  • Match opposite words  (e.g., up and down)
  • Match capital cities with their country or province/state. (e.g., Ottawa and Canada)
  • Match animal names with animal stickers
  • Match numbers to practice counting by twos, fives, tens, etc.

So many possibilities!