Maths - matching



Back to





Matching and patterns

Washing Line

You will need

A selection of pairs of socks, preferably different lengths, colours and patterns
A washing line

A simple game to play using a selection of pairs of socks a washing line set up between two uprights and some pegs.

Ask the children to peg out the socks matching them into pairs as they do so. Alternatively the children could be asked to find for example, a pair of red socks or a pair of stripey socks. Once these have been found continue until all the socks have been sorted and pegged onto the washing line.

The activity could be extended by discussing which of the pairs of socks are the longest and which are the shortest and asking the children to peg them in ascending or descending size.

This can be extended again into a table top activity where the children colour in outline pictures of pairs of socks and then cut them out and glue them onto a drawn washing line in their pairs.

washing line


You will need

A variety of pairs of snakes of different length, colour and pattern.

If the children are going to make their own:

Outlined pictures of snakes
Pens or crayons
Card or paper

Simply lay out the snakes on the table and ask the children to match the snakes into pairs. This can be made easy by using different colours for each pair of snakes or harder by using the same colours but different patterns. When the children have sorted the snakes ask them to find the longest pair of snakes, or the shortest and then sort the snakes into a line in either ascending or descending size.



You will need

A number of Lego or Duplo bricks in two
or more colours, or you could use beads
and threading cords.

This is a simple activity to encourage children to copy a pattern, and practice simple counting skills. It can start simply using two colours, such as yellow and green as shown, joining one green, one yellow then another green. The child is then given yellow and green bricks and asked to make the same pattern.

Some children find this really easy whilst others may need a little help.

The activity can then be extended in many ways.

Using the same colours you could make a pattern of two green, two yellow etc or two green, one yellow and again ask the child to copy the pattern. Alternatively you could give the child blue and red bricks and ask them to copy your pattern but using the other colours.

Once the child becomes confident you can ask them to make their own pattern maybe for you to copy, the child can then check that you have done it correctly.

This could be done as a cutting and gluing activity, with the children gluing the pattern on a sheet, again copying ones to begin with before making up their own.