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PICTURE MATCHING SKILLS IN TODDLERS

Parents are usually impressed to see the matching skills in their 2-year-old child. However, not many understand what all the brouhaha is about! Well, these skills are an extremely important milestone for your toddler.
You’ve been pointing out different objects to your toddler in pictures as well as real life. You’re also exhilarated when she follows suit and points out a few. But do you know the multiple benefits of these skills?
Advantages of Picture Matching Lesson Plans for Toddlers
• Improved Cognitive Skills:
What your toddler sees in a picture is just a one-dimensional image of that object. However, when she learns to match a real life object to it, she can actually make out the basic differences between the two. This, in itself, is a sure shot indicator of her cognitive skills. Sometimes, the picture of the object may be a bit different from the real deal. For instance, the cube in a photo may be red whereas the real cube may be multicoloured. But, when your toddler matches the object to the picture, she’s actually learning about categorising objects based on their various physical aspects.
• Enhanced Language Skills:
While your toddler is matching objects to pictures, you could challenge her to a matching game by showing photos that look different in colour and dimensions from the objects at hand. If he’s able to match them correctly, applaud her and then ask her why she felt that the two were a match. As she tries to explain the logic behind this, she will have to use different words to express herself. This aids in improving her vocabulary and thereby, her language skills.
• Pre-mathematical Skills:
As the matching skills in your 2-year-old child improve, she’ll start matching different looking objects of the same category to one picture. This is known as sorting, and is an important part of mathematics. The activity also helps her understand that the same category objects can have some variation. Though this might seem inconsequential to an adult, it forms the foundation for mathematical skills that will develop in her later years.
• Acts as Pre-cursor to Reading:
The game of matching pictures for toddlers helps them get acquainted to the fact that objects differ from each other in a number of ways. It also helps them identify alphabets and numbers in the later stage. Moreover, studying one-dimensional pictures works as a precursor to developing the ability to decipher printed words.

How to introduce Objects to Picture-matching Activities
Start off by choosing photos and objects that are identical. As your toddler gets used to the game, introduce a different set with slight variations in the picture from that of the real objects. During the later stage, you can introduce her to pictures and objects that belong to the same category but are otherwise completely different. The image could be of a big, red bowl with fruits whereas the object could be a plastic bowl with a few bits of cereal

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