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Shape Matching Game Printable

Our fun shape matching game printable is designed to engage young minds and foster cognitive development. Like many of our printable games for kids, there is more than one way to play, making it a versatile activity for various age groups.

The game includes over ten shapes that children can match in different ways. This flexibility allows it to be easily modified for various skill levels, making it great for toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergartners. It offers multiple opportunities for learning and fun!

Black and white text on green and reddish orange background at the top says Free Printable Shape Matching Game. Preview of game cards is below that.

What makes this shape matching game truly unique is its multifaceted approach to learning.

With several ways to match—identical match, shadow match, word match, and two halves match—it caters to different learning styles and keeps children engaged.

This variety ensures the game is educational and entertaining for toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergartners.

Its adaptability makes it ideal for use at home and in the classroom, providing an excellent resource for parents and educators to support early childhood development.

Whether seeking to enhance cognitive skills or simply looking for a fun activity, this game is a perfect choice.

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Printable Matching Games for Kids

Our collection of printable matching games for kids features a variety of themes to spark children’s interest and keep them entertained. From adorable animals to colorful seasonal objects, we have something for everyone.

Perfect for home and classroom use, our themed matching games provide a delightful way for children to develop their memory and cognitive skills through play.

Is Matching an Early Math Skill?

Matching is crucial in early math skills, helping young children develop foundational classification and one-to-one correspondence concepts.

By recognizing similarities and differences between shapes, colors, and patterns, children learn to categorize objects, which is essential for understanding sets, sorting, and organizing data.

This skill enhances their ability to observe and compare details and builds a solid basis for more complex mathematical concepts such as counting, addition, and subtraction.

Developmental Benefits of Playing Matching Games

Playing matching games offers substantial developmental benefits for young children.

These games enhance memory retention and improve concentration as kids focus on identifying matching pairs. Additionally, they refine fine motor skills by physically handling cards or pieces.

Matching games also encourage critical thinking and problem-solving abilities by challenging children to recognize patterns, make predictions, and strategize their moves.

This engaging activity supports cognitive development and lays the groundwork for future learning in mathematics and literacy.

Mockup of game cards featuring 2d geometric shapes such as circles, stars, diamonds, pentagons.

What Shapes Should Preschoolers Know?

Before entering kindergarten, preschoolers should ideally be able to recognize and name a variety of basic shapes. These foundational shapes include circles, squares, triangles, rectangles, and ovals.

Additionally, it is beneficial for them to be familiar with more complex shapes such as diamonds, hearts, stars, and hexagons.

Recognizing these shapes helps children develop visual discrimination skills and strengthens their understanding of spatial relationships. This knowledge prepares them for more advanced geometric concepts.

It supports their ability to navigate and interpret the world, from identifying objects in their environment to understanding early math concepts.

ABCaptain Counting Animal Matching Game with Sorting CupsABCaptain Counting Animal Matching Game with Sorting CupsOcean Adventure Memory Games for KidsOcean Adventure Memory Games for KidsSPARK INNOVATIONS Animal Matching CardsSPARK INNOVATIONS Animal Matching CardsDisney Classic Characters Matching Game by Wonder ForgeDisney Classic Characters Matching Game by Wonder ForgeHasbro Gaming Trucks Matching GameHasbro Gaming Trucks Matching GameChuckle & Roar - Matching Game Alphabet - Board Game for KidsChuckle & Roar – Matching Game Alphabet – Board Game for Kids


Does This Printable Game Help Teach Shape Recognition?

This printable game is a fantastic tool for teaching shape recognition. Through its various modes of play, it encourages children to identify and differentiate between multiple shapes.

Kids reinforce their ability to recognize distinct geometric forms by repeatedly matching shapes, a fundamental skill in early childhood education.

This repetitive and engaging process helps solidify their understanding of basic shapes. It enhances their visual perception and classification abilities, setting a solid foundation for future learning in geometry and other math-related areas.

Printable matching game cards with assorted geometric objects in different colors.

What’s Included in the Shape Matching Game Printable

The shape matching game includes over 60 printable game cards that can be used in various ways to support learning and play.

The set features 15 different colorful flat 2D shapes, providing a visually engaging experience for young learners.

To cater to varying skill levels, the game includes a set of shapes labeled with text and another without text, allowing for early reading practice and simple shape recognition. Here are the included shapes:

  • circle
  • triangle
  • square
  • rectangle
  • star
  • heart
  • oval
  • parallelogram
  • rhombus
  • pentagon
  • octagon
  • hexagon
  • nonagon
  • heptagon
  • decagon

Additionally, there are shape silhouettes and cards with shapes split in half, offering diverse matching challenges that enhance cognitive and fine motor skills.

This comprehensive set ensures that children remain engaged and can explore multiple facets of shape recognition and matching.

Scotch Thermal Laminator and Pouch Bundle, 2 Roller System, Laminate up to 9Scotch Thermal Laminator and Pouch Bundle, 2 Roller System, Laminate up to 9Reusable Dry Erase Pocket SleevesReusable Dry Erase Pocket SleevesEXPO Low Odor Dry Erase Markers, Ultra-Fine Tip, Assorted Colors, 4 CountEXPO Low Odor Dry Erase Markers, Ultra-Fine Tip, Assorted Colors, 4 CountAvery Clear Laminating Sheets, 9Avery Clear Laminating Sheets, 9


How to Play Shape Matching Game

To play the shape matching game, begin by laying all the cards face up on a flat surface. Encourage younger learners to focus on locating and identifying matching pairs by visually scanning and comparing the cards.

This approach helps them familiarize themselves with different shapes and enhances recognition skills. As children become more comfortable with identifying matches, you can increase the challenge by turning the cards face down.

In this version of the game, players take turns flipping over two cards at a time, trying to remember the location of each shape to find matches, effectively transitioning the activity into a memory game.

This progression not only adds excitement but also aids in developing memory retention and concentration skills.

The different card sets can also be mixed and matched to create varied matching challenges and sorting activities.

I strongly recommend laminating the game cards to ensure they withstand multiple uses and frequent handling in a classroom setting. Printing on cardstock paper is an excellent alternative if a laminator is unavailable.

Identical Shapes

Encourage children to examine each shape image closely and search for its identical match. This method helps reinforce shape recognition and matching skills.

You can also use these cards for a color-sorting activity. Group the cards based on their colors and challenge the child to sort them accordingly.

This enhances their ability to distinguish between colors while developing organizational skills.

Shape Shadows

The shape shadows set includes 15 cards featuring a gray shadow shape, designed to challenge children to match them with the corresponding colorful shape.

This activity encourages visual discrimination as kids learn to associate the outline of a shape with its full-color counterpart.

Children reinforce their shape recognition skills by engaging in this matching task and enhancing their ability to compare and contrast visual attributes.

This activity further supports cognitive development by prompting children to make connections and recognize patterns.

Digital mockup of printable game for young children. Colorful shapes, shadow versions, shape names and symmetry cards.

Shape Words

The printable includes 15 cards featuring only text, naming each shape. These cards are excellent tools for working on word recognition as children learn to associate the written word with the two-dimensional figure it represents.

Kids can practice matching the shape name to its corresponding image by using these text-only cards alongside the shape image cards.

This activity enhances their reading skills and reinforces their understanding of shape vocabulary, making it a valuable educational exercise for early learners.


Understanding symmetry is crucial in early childhood development, as it helps children grasp the concepts of balance and proportion.

Recognizing and completing the other half of a shape to create a whole sharpens visual perception and cognitive skills.

The shape matching game includes cards featuring all 15 shapes cut in half, providing a fun and educational way for children to explore symmetry.

By matching the two halves to form a complete shape, children enhance their spatial awareness and fine motor skills, laying the groundwork for more complex geometric and mathematical concepts in the future.

Preschool matching shapes game cards overlapping on a light orange background. Text across bottom says Free Printable.

What Ages Can Play Memory Match Games

Memory match games are suitable for a wide range of ages, from toddlers to older children. The versatility of this game allows it to be easily modified and adjusted based on age and skill level.

For younger children, using fewer cards helps them focus and achieve success without feeling overwhelmed.

As they grow more confident in their abilities, the number of cards can gradually increase to provide a more significant challenge.

For older children, incorporating more complex matches can keep the game engaging.

For instance, they might enjoy activities like identifying the corresponding name for a given half shape or finding three matching cards: one with a colored shape, one with its shadow, and one with the word.

This adaptability makes memory match games an excellent tool for cognitive development across various stages of childhood.

Fun Preschool Math Activities

Introducing a variety of fun preschool math activities can significantly enhance foundational skills such as counting, sorting, pattern recognition, and basic arithmetic.

These engaging activities are designed to make learning enjoyable while promoting cognitive development and problem-solving abilities.

Below is a list of exciting and educational activities that will help young learners build essential math skills in a playful and interactive way.

Easter Count and GraphEaster Count and GraphEaster Count and GraphSpring Number Bond 1-10 WorksheetsSpring Number Bond 1-10 WorksheetsSpring Number Bond 1-10 WorksheetsSt Patrick's Day Count and GraphSt Patrick’s Day Count and GraphSt Patrick's Day Count and Graph


Books About Shapes for Preschoolers

Reading together is an excellent way to expose preschoolers to shapes in diverse contexts, fostering both literacy and geometric understanding.

Children can see how these primary forms are integrated into various settings and everyday objects by encountering shapes in stories, enhancing their recognition and comprehension. Here are a few recommended books about shapes:

Mouse Shapes” by Ellen Stoll Walsh: This delightful book uses playful mice to introduce basic shapes, incorporating them into creative illustrations and engaging storylines to help children understand how shapes are used in art and design.

Shapes, Shapes, Shapes” by Tana Hoban: This book captures everyday objects and scenes through stunning photography, encouraging children to identify and name the shapes they see in the world around them.

Round is a Tortilla: A Book of Shapes” by Roseanne Thong: This vibrant, multicultural book uses rhyming text and colorful illustrations to explore shapes within a Latin American cultural context, making it a fun and educational read for young learners.

Shapes Are Everywhere” by Charles Ghigna: In this visually appealing book, children are guided to discover shapes in various environments, enhancing their ability to recognize geometric forms in natural and manufactured spaces.

Mouse ShapesMouse ShapesShapes, Shapes, ShapesShapes, Shapes, ShapesRound Is a Tortilla: A Book of Shapes (A Latino Book of Concepts)Round Is a Tortilla: A Book of Shapes (A Latino Book of Concepts)Shapes Are Everywhere! (My Little School House)Shapes Are Everywhere! (My Little School House)


Shape Crafts for Kids

Engaging children in shape crafts is an excellent way to combine creativity with learning, providing hands-on experience with geometric concepts.

Incorporating shapes into various craft projects can enhance their fine motor skills, boost their spatial awareness, and solidify their understanding of different shapes.

Matching games offer a delightful blend of fun and education, making them valuable to early childhood learning.

Children can enjoy learning while engaging in activities that enhance cognitive skills, visual perception, and shape recognition.

We hope you find these games as beneficial and entertaining as we do. To get started, you can fill out the form below to receive your free printables, which will be sent directly to your inbox.

Tammy Vasic

Friday 19th of July 2024

Please send shape matching game

Darcy Zalewski

Friday 19th of July 2024

Hi Tammy, just fill in your first name and email address in the form a little above the comments section where it says "get our free shape matching game" and it will be sent to your inbox.