Colour Matching Sliding Game
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The Colour Matching Sliding Game combines fine motor control with the skills of recognising and creating patterns. It also promotes forward thinking and problem-solving.
The child must clutch the sliding wooden pegs and maneuver them along the pathways to create the suggested colour patterns (or create their own).
The top of the board shows four pattern suggestions.
The bottom of the board encourages the child to sort the colours back into groups.
The game can be deceptively tricky. It might seem easy in theory to recreate the coloured patterns at the top but in reality it requires some forward-thinking and problem solving. The child must think about which colour to move first, and how to avoid traffic jams along the way. If a colour is placed in the correct column but out of sequence then it takes a bit of thinking to figure out how to slide it out of place, into a safekeeping zone, so that the correct colour can be inserted before replacing that original peg.
The Colour Matching game possesses an inbuilt 'control of error' which can encourage the child to self-correct. The board only contains the quantity and colours of pegs required to complete the patterns. If a child ends up with a leftover peg at the bottom, or with an incorrect colour to complete the final pattern, then it is a trigger to look back over the prior patterns to correct the work.
In my own classroom this Sliding Game is enjoyed primarily by our two to three year olds.
For slightly younger children (18 months plus) it is enjoyed as simply a sliding game, with no emphasis on the patterns. These younger children don't necessarily complete the pattern matching element but, instead, experiment with moving the pegs along the tracks.
For older children, of 3 years of age, this is an enjoyable remedial or relaxation activity. It is a low-pressure experience that a child can revisit when they are in need of some cognitive rest.
An adult can provide scaffolding to use the board to introduce the concepts, and language, of 'left, 'right', 'up' and 'down' - or even 'north', 'south', 'east' and 'west'! For instance, if a child is moving an orange peg to the colour pattern on the top right corner of the board then the adult could explain "you will move it up, right, then up".
The wooden board measures approximately 28cm x 28cm.