Saturday, January 28, 2012

Chinese New Year Themed Preschool Activity: Animal Sort and Match Game (Free Printable)

Matching pairs of characters
This January, we're learning about Chinese New Year. This is one more twist on the Chinese Animal Memory Game. For this activity, I also used the Chinese Zodiac Memory Game from here, which is basically just the pictures of twelve animals that correspond to the Chinese calendar. I also made Chinese character cards and English word cards for this activity. I made free printable cards with English words, Chinese characters and pinyin, and different combinations of the three to make it easier for anyone else who wanted to do this activity. They are available to you in A4 size and traditional Letter size PDFs. Your could just use this for an animal themed activity as well and take out any animals you don't want or need.

I also used some large flashcards that we already had with characters on one side and a picture, character, pinyin, and English on the other for them to sort and match, too. However, you could just as easily use only the small printable cards for matching.

Matching everything to pictures
Instead of playing this like a traditional memory game where you turn the card face down, leave all of the cards face up. Have a straight line at the top or bottom of cards that the child is supposed to find the other match too. You can do this with just the same pairs, like pictures and pictures, or different pairs, like pictures and words. Or you can have one complete set across the top and try to match all other depictions of the same animal, like a picture row across the top with all other forms of words to sort and match to the right picture mixed up below.

You can do this activity so many ways. Just choose which items you want to match (pictures to pictures, pictures to characters, pictures to everything, etc.) and print off the sheets you want. You could print these on regular paper and tape them onto cardboard like I did here, or you could simply print all of the sheets you want on cardstock that is thick and colorful enough that you could see through the backs.

The boys had fun with this activity. This one was a lot better for Andrew (2) than the other versions we tried. I think the actual memory game part of the others is still a little too hard for him at this point, but matching is fairly easy. He could easily match all of the pictures on his own and a couple of English words like cat and dog that he can read without difficulty. Andrew doesn't know any characters yet and couldn't figure out which ones were the same, so Aaron had to help him with those. This was still a good game for Aaron (3 1/2) and together with the other memory games we played, he learned four characters that he didn't know when we started in about 10 minutes. We'll have to do more of this type of game to help him learn more characters. I think with using the English card set only, this would be good practice for a child still learning to read English animal names as well.

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