Simple Matching Sticker Game

The human brain is an incredible pattern-matching machine. 

– Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com

Matching objects or shapes is a skill that can help children in so many areas of their lives. The process of matching images and symbols is a precursor to matching combinations of letters to words, and this, of course, is a pre-reading skill. Matching is also useful for developing math skills, as understanding one-to-one correspondence teaches spatial reasoning and pattern recognition. 

Fun for travel

If you have any big trips planned, make a stack of these ahead of time and bring them along for a surprise game that might keep your child entertained through a flight’s take-off or during a long road trip.

Matching Sticker Game from Tinkerlab


  • Stickers: at least two of each kind
  • Plain paper
  • Maker, crayon, or pencil

Matching Sticker Game from Tinkerlab


Place the stickers in columns on two sides of the paper. Mix them up. Offer your child a pen or crayon and invite him to make lines that connect the matching images.

Matching Sticker Game Trader Joes

We always pick up stickers at Trader Joe’s — they’re perfect for this project!

Matching Sticker Game Hand Drawn

If you don’t have any stickers, not to worry! This project can be done with some simple sketches. I’ve done this with simple shapes (circle, square, triangle, etc.) and a variety of expressions (happy, sad, surprised).

More Ideas

  • For emergent readers: Make one column of stickers and then in the other column, write words that match the stickers.
  • Rather than use columns, draw pairs of shapes or attach stickers in random spots around the piece of paper.

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  1. Can’t wait to try this with my little one! You have the best ideas ! Thank you for always inspiring creativity ! We had so much fun with the apple prints !!

    • Thanks so much for the lovely comment, Janelle! I’m so glad that you’re part of this community.

  2. Are there furniture safe pens that a grandma can keep on hand?
    2 year old twins that like to draw. aka scribble.
    Need all the grandma ideas I can get.

    • Hi Lynn,
      Our favorite pens are Crayola washable markers. I haven’t tried washing these out of furniture, but they do wash right out of clothes. If you’re really worried about furniture, you could stick with crayons until your grandkids are a bit older. I hope this helps!

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