Babies Walkers 2 2s to 3s 3s to 4s

Overview and benefit

Matching objects to pictures is an important skill for lots of reasons. By matching an object to its print representation children learn that objects have a symbolic representation which is an important for learning about letters and numbers. It also shows them the difference between 2D and 3D objects and when the pictures and objects don’t match exactly children use their knowledge of the distinctive features and function of an object to obtain a correct match which is an important cognitive skill.

The children have to match items from your ‘magic’ bag with a given picture. This activity helps children to develop this visual representation skill as well as aiding:

  • language development by using verbal and visual stimuli to promote recognition of simple every day objects.
  • reasoning skills
  • concentration

Equipment required

  • 17 household objects (see list below) 17 objects so there is a turn around
  • 17 pictures (of those household objects) ideally laminated for protection.
  • A bag big enough to hold all the objects – ideally brightly coloured or ‘magical’ looking!
  • A smaller bag to hold the pictures
  • A suitable CD from your own collection to use as background music (preferably instrumental, so no words to distract)

Link to resources

Training video

How it works

Each week the same 16 items can be used OR you can swap a couple of items over for variety. Remember that repetition is important for language development.

What to do in the class

There are two options:

Option one

Hand out one item each out of the ‘magic’ bag in turn. As you do this, encourage the adult to repeat the object name and discuss with the child – what it is/what it is used for. The children walk/run to the other end of the room, where a table cloth or similar item is lying on the floor. They place their object on the cloth and run back to collect a picture, which can also be in a small bag. The child then returns to the cloth and tries to find the object that matches the picture. The child then returns with both object and picture to the instructor. When you hand over the next picture to the child, hand the old object back to the adult and they can then place it back on the cloth whilst they are assisting the children with the 2nd picture. This game can be repeated a couple of times.

Alternatively place the cards onto the cloth and hand out real objects from your bag.

Option two

As above but ask an adult to place all the objects on the mat at the beginning, instead of the children, as sometimes this can take too long.

Encourage adults to keep repeating the name of the object – some children will be able to try and say the word, others will be comprehending, but unable to say it. This is fine.

Select 16 objects each week from the list below.

Apple Grapes Watch
Bag Necklace Hairbrush (doll one
Ball Letter Jumper
Banana Hat T-shirt
Book Keys Leaf
Boot Shirt Trousers
Car Pear Bib
Carrot Pencils Sock
Chair phone Bucket
Coat Shoe Spade
Comb Sunglasses Flower
Duck Sponge Boat
Hairband Train
Fork Scissors
Glove Teddy



You could use a different set of objects each week