Sorting games are great for teaching critical thinking skills. In kindergarten, kiddos are expected to be able to sort objects into groups based on physical characteristics such as color, size, and types.  There are two ways you can have your kiddo sort these animal sort cards.

Open Animal Sort

With an open sort, kids look at the pictures and determine how they will group them.  You will be beside them to help guide and ask questions but the kids are making the groups.  When they finish you can ask them questions like, “Can you tell me how you grouped (or sorted) your animals?” “What made you decide to sort them this way?” Listen carefully as their reasoning might surprise you!

Closed Animal Sort

A closed sort is where you (as the adult and teacher) give you child the categories by which to sort. This type of sort is useful for determining if your child understands certain concepts they have been taught.

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More ways to use this printable pack.

Memory games are a ton of fun for kids.  But did you know they also help grow strong minds?

Playing memory games help:

  • improve concentration
  • in recognizing similarities and differences
  • increase short term memory and attention to detail

I know my daughter cannot get enough of playing matching games and she especially thinks llamas are the cutest things ever. I can’t argue with that.

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There are two ways to use this free printable matching game.

As a Matching Game

  1. Print two copies on cardstock.  Cardstock makes them sturdier for tiny hands. This is my favorite cardstock.
  2. Laminate. This is optional, but I highly recommend if you will be using them over and over or in a classroom.  I bought a home laminator that is perfect for small jobs.  You can also go to a teacher supply store like Lakeshore Learning and laminate your free memory games at a super reasonable cost.
  3. Cut the cards out.  If your kiddo is old enough this might be the perfect time to work on their scissor skills.  There will probably be a few oops, so if that is going to bother you then I would cut them yourself.
  4. Lay all cards face up so your child can see them.  As you look at each card notice things about the card.  Talk about the colors, the shapes, and what the different llamas look like.
  5. Start matching.  Be a matching cheerleader every time your child finds a match. If they choose two cards that don’t match talk about why.  This will help build critical thinking skills and vocabulary.

As a Memory Game

  1. Print two copies on cardstock.  Cardstock makes them sturdier for tiny hands. This is my favorite cardstock. Cardstock will also help disguise the design when turned facedown.
  2. Laminate. This is optional, but I highly recommend if you will be using them over and over or in a classroom.  I bought a home laminator that is perfect for small jobs.  You can also go to a teacher supply store like Lakeshore Learning and laminate your free memory games at a super reasonable cost.
  3. Cut the cards out.  If your kiddo is old enough this might be the perfect time to work on their scissor skills.  There will probably be a few oops, so if that is going to bother you then I would cut them yourself.
  4. Lay all cards facedown in equal columns and rows so your child can’t see them.  Practice choosing two cards looking for a match. This is also a great time to practicing waiting your turn.
  5. Begin playing.  The player with the most matches wins or just play for fun!

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Download the free animal sort here.