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Snap!

This all-too-familiar matching game with a twist can be prepared in advance and whipped out when you need something quick. It can be used for small groups of most ages.

Follow our simple step-by-step guide to have a go at this activity today:

What you will need:

  • Blank flash cards (you can cut out your own or buy some here)
  • Photographs of staff members and/or Early Years (multiples of each)
  • Laminator & laminator pouches or sticky-back plastic

Preparing the activity:

  1. Stick photos of staff members or the children in your setting on the flashcards with their names written below. Make sure there are multiples of each so the children can make matching pairs.
  2. Laminate the cards (or cover with sticky-back plastic) to ensure they last for a while!
Photos by Tarzine Jackson, Christina Morillo, Italo Melo, Justin Shaifer, Andrea Piacquadio and mentatdgt from Pexels, konarheim from Photopin, edited by TNL

Doing the activity:

Demonstrate to the children a couple of different ways to play with the cards.

One option is to play snap, dividing the pile of cards between the two or three children playing, keeping them face-down and then taking turns to reveal a card and place it on a middle pile. When two matching cards are placed on top of one another, the fastest to touch them and say ‘Snap!’ wins the pile!

An alternative option is to lay the cards all out, either face up or face down (depending on how difficult you want the game to be) and encourage the children to try and find matching pairs.

To expand the game further, pairs can be based on relationships, e.g. pairs of siblings, pairs of staff who work in the same room, or photos of people in local roles (such as two firefighters, two police officers or two shop workers).

For younger children, a simple game of “who’s that” or “can you find this person” will help them develop their communication and understanding skills.

Tracking the activity:

16-26 months

Communication and Language: Understanding: “Selects familiar objects by name and will go and find objects when asked, or identify objects from a group.”

Mathematics: Numbers: “Beginning to organise and categorise objects, e.g. putting all the teddy bears together or teddies and cars in separate piles.”

22-36 months

Personal, Social and Emotional Development: Making relationships: “Interested in others’ play and starting to join in.; Seeks out others to share experiences.”

Communication and Language: Understanding: “Understands ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘where’ in simple questions (e.g. Who’s that/can? What’s that? Where is.?).”

Mathematics: Shape, space and measure: “Notices simple shapes and patterns in pictures.; Beginning to categorise objects according to properties such as shape or size.”

30-50 months

Personal, Social and Emotional Development: Making relationships: “Can play in a group, extending and elaborating play ideas, e.g. building up a role-play activity with other children.; Initiates play, offering cues to peers to join them.; Keeps play going by responding to what others are saying or doing.”

Communication and Language: Understanding: “Understands use of objects (e.g. “What do we use to cut things?’); Shows understanding of prepositions such as ‘under’, ‘on top’, ‘behind’ by carrying out an action or selecting correct picture.”

40-60+ months

Communication and Language: Understanding: “Responds to instructions involving a two-part sequence. Understands humour, e.g. nonsense rhymes, jokes.”

Understanding the world: The world: “Looks closely at similarities, differences, patterns and change.”