Portable Matching Fun
- What: Spot It games
- When: Ages 3 and up
- Why: Affordable, portable, no reading required
- Where: Amazon
If you haven’t spotted Spot It, go check it out now for a great game for kids and adults alike. The Spot It Junior version requires zero literacy skills, so you can start them young. All three of my kids can play this game with me and I have zero advantage over them.
Spot It Junior shows six pictures on a round card. You lay two cards side by side and find the images that match. The images may be different sizes, but each pair of cards is guaranteed to have only one match. I still haven’t figured out how that works, since I haven’t spotted two identical cards yet either.
But it’s pure genius and fun for kids, too. Even better, all the cards fit into a round tin about the size of a mint container. As long as you don’t lose the lid on an airplane like we did, the tin can travel in your bag with ease. I’ve used it to entertain my kids during lessons and practices while we wait for their sibling to finish. You don’t even need a flat surface, (though it does help). I can lay two cards on my leg to play in a pinch. The floor works really well, too, as do the tray tables on airplanes.
The person who spots the match first gets both cards. The player with the most cards at the end of the game wins. It is simple, yet brilliant, and addictively fun. My kids will play round after round. The game rules say two to six players, but I’ve played by myself no problem, and the only limit on the number of players is how many people can see both cards. It can be played competitively or cooperatively, and you can switch to more advanced versions, like spotting the match between three cards, once you and your kids master the basic game. You won’t even need to buy any additional parts or pieces.
Matching pictures helps kids with letter recognition, so they practice and learn without ever catching on to the skills they learn. The game comes in lots of different varieties, like numbers and shapes and alphabet versions featuring familiar characters like Elsa and Dory as well as holiday, sports, and princess editions, to appeal to many interests.