This fun and cute Firefighter themed matching activity for kids will delight and entertain the most vehicle-crazed child. All you need is a cardboard box and some basic craft supplies to create this simple and easy activity!
If you have ever lived with a vehicle-crazy 3 year old, your floor is probably littered with toys cars that threaten to poke any careless foot that dare to come near. On top of that, you hear non-stop imitation siren and car noises flowing out of your toddler’s mouth ALL DAY LONG. It’s as if that’s the only language he speaks.
Yes, I have one of those, so I wanted to create a kid’s activity that is focused on vehicles.
FIREfighter MATCHING ACTIVITY FOR KIDS
Lately my little man has been really into pretending there’s a fire and zooming his firetruck into the scene to “hose down the fire” to save Huckle. If you don’t know Huckle, he is a little cat from the children’s book “What Do People Do All Day?” by Richard Scarry . In the story, Huckle’s house catches on fire and he eventually gets rescued by firefighters.
My son absolutely adores this book, as well as many others by Richard Scarry. I also enjoy the books a lot too! The pictures are cute, detailed, and very fun to look at. If you have never read any of Richard Scarry’s picture books, I highly recommend them!
So, I decided to create this Firetruck Matching Activity for my son since he really enjoys matching puzzle type games!
What Do Toddlers Learn From Matching?
Matching activities are great for toddlers and preschool kids to practice the skill of finding something that is the same. To successfully complete the different challenges, kids need to differentiate between what is “same” and “different”.
In our fun matching activity, kids will recreate the order of different images on the challenge card. They do this by grabbing image tiles and placing them on empty firetruck squares in the correct order as the challenge card. This activates a child’s problem solving skills while using fine motor skills to place the tiles in the correct slot.
What Do I need to Create this Fun FireFighter aCtivity?
You will need the following materials:
- FIRETRUCK MATCHING ACTIVITY Free Printable (Available in the Free MindyMakes Library) – I recommend printing on sticker paper as you can just cut and stick. However, regular paper works just fine too, just need to apply glue.
- Cardboard – use a thick cardboard box (not a cereal box) as this is better for creating the square slots and image tiles. Alternatively, you can also use a thick foam board (available at craft stores and Amazon).
- Glue Stick – you can also use a glue gun, but I find that I can’t apply glue fast enough before it hardens.
- Utility Knife
- Craft Scissors
How do You Create Matching Activity?
This firefighter matching activity game is extremely simple and easy to make! Follow along to create your very own fun and educational matching activity.
First, you will need to head to the FREE MindyMakes Resource library to grab the free printable. Printable is listed under section “F” as “Firefighter Matching Activity”.
Next, cut out the outline of the firetruck. The firetruck is created from two sheets of letter sized paper (8.5″ x 11″). The front of the firetruck is printed on one sheet of paper, and the back of the firetruck on another sheet of paper. The Firetruck is joined together at the white bar in between the wheels.
Stick the firetruck printable onto your cardboard, joining at the bottom white bar in between the wheels. Then, with another piece of cardboard underneath, cut out all the dotted white space using a utility knife.
Now cut a second piece of cardboard the same size as the one with the printable. I do this by tracing the first cardboard onto the second cardboard to get them to be the same size.
Next, apply glue stick generously over the entire back of the first cardboard and stick it onto the second one.
Lay some heavy books on top of the cardboard pieces and wait for the glue to dry (~20-30 minutes)
While you wait for the glue to dry, work on the image tiles. First glue/stick the printable on cardboard. Next, carefully cut out each of the images, making sure to cut inside the dotted lines.
Once finished, you will have a set of 12 square tiles, two wheels, a ladder, and a siren piece.
Print out the challenge cards (on right), cut them out and invite your little one to start matching! You can also print the challenge cards on card stock, laminate them, or stick them on cardboard for more durability.
Other Ways to Make This DIY Kids Activity
Rather not cut on cardboard? Use sticky Velcro instead. After all, cutting out each of the cardboard slots is the most time-consuming step! First, cut out the firetruck printable and stick it on a cardboard of foam board. Next, print and cut out all the images, ladder, and wheels and laminate then. Then, place sticky velcro on the firetruck and the back of the images and you are done!
This is a much simpler way to create this activity. However, I have to say that my toddler really enjoys putting the tiles into the cut out slots and then taking them out afterwards. But it really is up to you! Both ways are fun and still helps toddlers to practice matching skills.
My toddler really enjoyed this activity! He loves to finish each challenge and excitedly bring the entire board over so I can gloat with him over his success.
I hope your firetruck loving toddler will enjoy this activity as much as mine did!
More Kid’s Printable Activities You’ll Love!
Recognize and match colors with this adorable colored shirt and washing machine activity. Printable in Chinese and English
Teach kids their numbers with by counting chocolate chips in cookies.
Learn to recognize the alphabet with this fun trains letter matching activity.