Aim of the game:

When children start school, the demands on their knowledge and language skills increase. This fun pairs activity helps children learn about the concept of same versus different so they will be able to compare and contrast their world and build on their descriptive skills. It also helps to your child to exercise their visual memory skills.



 What you will need:

 A pairs game – you can buy commercial pairs games from most toy shops, online retailers and charity shops or have a go at making on of your own. We have a range of language pairs games available to download from our Therapy Centre.



 How to play:

  • Introduce the game to your child by telling them you’re going to play a matching game.
  • Present the pictures or cards one at a time labelling the pictures together and pointing out that there are two of each. 
  • Together, turn them over and muddle them up so you don’t know where the pairs are.
  • Explain that now you will take it in turns to turn over two cards or pictures at a time and see if they are the same or different.
  • You have your turn first so you can show your child what to do. Use a narrative alongside what you are doing to help them learn. For example, “I found a car and a bird, ahhh they are different so I turn them back over. Your turn”.
  • When it’s your child’s turn give verbal prompts and model language for them at first to support their understanding and help them start to use the concept words. For example, “You’ve found a…[pause for your child to fill in the gap] and a… [pause]. Are they the same or different? [pause to allow your child to respond]”.
  • You might also need to walk them talk them through the instructions for the first few times until they get the hang of it. Slowly retract the amount of support you offer until they can independently play the game with you.



 How to extend:

  • Once your child has learnt the concepts of ‘same’ and ‘different’ and got the hang of the game you can use it as an opportunity to teach new sets of vocabulary. We’ve created a range of pairs games focusing on concepts and vocabulary sets (including nouns, verbs and colour concepts) available to download from our Therapy Centre.
  • Play this with a more adults or children so your child learns to wait and take turns.
  • See if you and your child can make up some phrases or silly tongue twisters with the words in to practice using the concept words in sentences.



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