This free Christmas printable matching game is a sweet and simple way to make some playful holiday memories with your child – all while encouraging healthy brain development!
Print & play easily right now, or use this Christmas memory game printable for tucking in to a pouch advent calendar! If you’re like us and have an advent calendar of little drawers, a slip of paper that says “play the Christmas matching game!” makes for a fun Advent activity!
Developmental Benefits of Playing This Free Christmas Printable Matching Game
I wrote some about the brain benefits of playing memory games when I released the Thanksgiving matching game printable, but there are even more ways playing a memory game benefits your developing child!
- Play-based learning is essential for kids! I sometimes call it “sneaky” learning, for kids who are suspicious of structured learning activities (totally normal, by the way), but the reality is, play-based learning is how young children learn best!
- That said, take the pressure off yourself if you’ve got a preschooler, and trust the play time! Give them more opportunities for free play, creative expression, and play simple games together – like this Christmas matching game or Christmas bingo!
- Playing games together promotes healthy attachment between a parent/caregiver and child. Attachment is a concept drilled into us in foster care, but through years of learning about it, I’ve realized it’s all too easy to not be intentional about developing healthy attachment with our biological children. Promote a healthy bond by taking the time to play this game with your child (no phones or other distractions allowed!). While playing, look them in the eyes and speak words of affirmation to them. Have fun!
Free Christmas Printable Matching Game Instructions
In case older kids want to join in, or your preschooler is ready for a bigger challenge, I designed this cute free Christmas printable to include 9 different sets of matches.
Younger children will benefit from starting with just three matches, and working their way up to more matches by adding one or two more matches each time you play after they’ve started to get the hang of it!
Here’s how this Christmas matching game works:
- Print out the free Christmas printables below! If you print on cardstock, that does the best job preventing the image from being visible through the paper, but we played just fine on normal printer paper.
- Cut out all 9 squares. If your child has solid scissor skills, invite them to help! If not, cut the pieces out and then check out these tips for teaching scissor skills.
- Laminate if desired (optional!), I opted not to this time, but my preschooler is really enjoying the game so I may still go ahead and do it.
- Place all squares (or however many squares you are choosing to play with) face down, mix them up, and take turns flipping over two squares per turn. Lay them in a grid to make it easier, spread them out randomly for a bigger challenge.
- If a player finds a match, they get to go again! Play until all of the matches have been found. Whoever has the most matches wins – we almost always play best 2 out of 3!
It was a sweet time playing this free Christmas printable matching game with my four-year-old by the Christmas tree, but it was also a huge help to me that she could play this matching game on her own (more tips on alone play here!) while I was in my room getting some gift wrapping done!
Download Your Free Christmas Printable Matching Game!
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More Easy Christmas Activities:
- Free Christmas Bingo Printable
- Free Christmas Coloring Pages
- 8 Easy Kids’ Christmas Crafts (No Mess!)
Pin These Free Christmas Printables for Later