Clear the recycle bin. Match the caps wins first prize!
You’re right. Match the Caps is as simple as it sounds in setup. – But don’t let that fool you. This preschool activity packs a mean punch in complexity as your preschooler analyzes, problem-solves, and strengthens fine motor.
As your child tests lids and matches with the correct container, they deepen their understanding of size, strength, coordination, and force.
All of this magical thinking just from cleaning out the salsa jar you finished off at lunch. Pretty cool, right?
Preschool activities should be kept simple.
I know this. You know this. We all know this. And yet we get trapped in a Pinterest loop thinking activities for kids need to take on an adult crafting level.
Remember, children learn when they are all in.
We want our preschoolers to:
- ask questions
- share conversations
- build vocabulary
- have small wins after thinking
- make connections to what they play and see in their environement
- strengthen hands as they play
We can do all of this when we put the breaks on Pinterest and focus more on what our children can touch, explore, and move to deepen their understanding of the objects around them.
Activities like this help preschoolers with life skills
You may have a young child at home, but imagine they ask for milk one day, and you send them on their way to fill their glass. Gasp!
Yep! You heard me right when we include items we use every day into play; we are preparing our children to take on more significant tasks early.
Independence like this builds confidence and self-esteem.
Remember Pour to Lines? This is similar in theory!
Shall we talk supplies?
We typically have supplies like markers and paper rolls that you can find in our supply list.
But this preschool activity is a little different. Here, you will clean out the recycle bin – quite literally.
Like me, you may have been saving jars with lids in your cabinets without understanding why you were keeping them. Are you nodding your head? Great. Match the Caps is why they have been stuffed back there for the last eight months.
RELATED: Did you know that this activity also prepares the hands for pencil grip?
A few recyles that work for this preschool activity
Look for objects that twist, rotate, and turn. Some containers may have a similar size but may not have more than one top. The goal is to find the matching pair.
Mix it up! Try different sizes and different types of twist tops.
- syrup continer
- hot storage container
- orange juice container
- water bottle
- jelly jar
- salsa jar
- milk carton (small cap)
- ketchup bottle
First, I placed the containers in the middle. Next, I put the lids to the left of the activity.
I mixed up the lids, so my preschooler looked at each one before making matches.
As my four-year-old tests each container, he rotates his hands and coordinates his wrists, fingers, and palms to work together.
My preschooler also practices concentration, patience, holding a steady hand, and what to do when frustrated.
What to do when your preschooler grows frustrated
If your child becomes frustrated, there are a few strategies to help.
The first strategy is to take a break. You may say, “hmm, it looks like you have tried a few ways and feel frustrated. Would you like to take a break and come back to this at snack time?”
Another strategy is to become the sportscaster from the background.
You will say, “I notice you tried this small-cap here, and it wouldn’t fit. Let’s move this cap to the side since we know it isn’t the correct one. Hmm, now I will take a closer look at this jar. It looks large to me. Can you help me find the bigger caps, and we can try them next”?
The second strategy allows your preschooler to listen to YOU think allowed, which also helps them connect the dots.