Summer Learning Activities for Nannies and Au Pairs

Playing Matching Activities to Help Children Read

Matching games help children develop good memory skills needed to read. Below are some fun matching games to encourage memory skills in young children.

A, B, See it!
Write a letter of the alphabet on the top of a piece of paper in a notebook. Give the notebook to the child and have him name the letter and say the sound for the letter. Next take the child on a letter walk, inside and outside, if possible. Instruct the child to look for words that begin with the letter on the paper. then have the child copy the words into the notebook.

Bag It!
This game helps children learn vowel sounds. You will need five paper bags with handles and small household items. Write one vowel — a, e, i, o, and u — on one bag. Find a small household item with a vowel sound in it’s name and place it inside a corresponding bag. Then place the bag on the back of a child’s chair. Invite the child to find another item with the same vowel sound and place it in the corresponding bag. Now it’s your turn to find an item with a different vowel sound and place it inside the corresponding bag. Continue take turns placing items int he bags until all the vowels sounds have been used.

Shoe Sole Sight Words
Gather several pairs of shoes, marker and heavy paper. Trace shoes onto the paper and cut out the paper into shapes of the soles of the shoes. On pairs of pre-cut paper soles, write sight words, such as do, my, and like — the same word on each half of the pair. Place one “sole” of each word inside one shoe from each pair so the card is standing on end and the sight word is clearly visible. Set out the remaining soles and invite the child to place them in the empty shoe that matches the one with the same sight word.

The Match Game
Write at least ten different words on separate index cards that the child should know. You might want to pull out their spelling words from school last year. Write the same words on other index cards. Turn the cards over so you cannot read the words. Give the child five cards and yourself five cards. Pick up the first card in your pile, leaving the rest in a pile. Turn the card over to see if you have two words that are the same. If so, say the word and put them down as a pair. If neither of you has a pair, draw a card from the pile. Take turns until one player has gotten rid of all their cards.

These fun reading activities come from 365 Reading Activities

Do you have any other matching games to share with other nannies and au pairs to play with children?


  1. The Sole Match Game is the game I remember my awesome nanny do with my children the first day she worked with us. She brought a page of the newsletter form 2005 and it had tons of learning activities. THANKS again!

  2. Does anyone else have the kids put index cards with nouns on them on household objects? I have the child write nouns on an index card like "hat". Then they run around the house putting the index cards on the items they wrote on the cards. Fun for preschoolers up to about Kindergarten or first grade, depending on their level of reading and writing skills.

  3. Fun, perfect timing we will play these today!

  4. AuPair Debbie,I love that idea, I'm temping with a little kindergartner this week and we are working on reading skills. Very creative.A matching game I have, that doesn't involve reading is letting them match socks. Make it seem like fun instead of the chore of folding laundry.

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