Leaf Matching Game

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This Leaf Matching Game is a fun way for kids to exercise their memories during fall! This free printable lets kids flip over cards and find the matching leaves. Once they match all the cards, they win!

Leaf matching game cards cut out

Free Printable Leaf Matching Game

Fall is almost here, and we couldn’t be more excited! I love incorporating fall activities into our days at home. After I created this printable Leaf Matching Game, we had so much fun with it. The adorable pictures are perfect for the season. Best of all, it is so simple to prepare and play with your kids. Even your older children can get in on the fun!


process images for leaf printable

How to prepare your free printable game

  1. First, print out your free Leaf Matching Game printable. I definitely recommend using colored ink to get the best effect!
  2. Next, cut out each leaf square. This is a fun step for the kids to help you out with. If you want them to be neat and as perfect as possible, I would probably do the job yourself!
  3. Optionally, you can laminate each individual square. I chose to laminate mine because it allows me to reuse this game over and over and protect the cards from wear and tear. You can buy a laminating machine for a fairly cheap price these days! Otherwise, most office supply stores offer laminating services. If you choose not to laminate your matching game but want a durable set, you could print the cards on a sturdy paper like cardstock instead!
leaf matching game laminated

How to play the Leaf Matching Game

  1. Once you have your leaf cards ready to go, it’s time to play! Mix up the cards and lay them out, face-down, in a grid formation.
  2. Next, pick up a card and flip it over. Pick up a second card and flip it over. The goal is to pick up two of the same cards to match the leaves up! If the two cards you picked up have the same leaves on them, keep them facing up.
  3. Continue flipping over two cards at a time until you find all of the matching pairs. You could even count how many tries it takes for each player to get all of the pairs right. This would also be a good way to track a child’s progress!
how to play leaf matching game

How do kids benefit from matching games?

Matching games are a great way for kids to practice their memory skills. To complete this game, they need to be able to remember where they last saw each card. The more they flip the cards over, the easier it is for them to locate the matching leaves!

Matching games also help kids develop great visual discrimination skills. Visual discrimination is the ability to tell whether something looks the same or different. It’s one of the building blocks of reading skills, helping kids recognize letters and words down the road. Matching games also benefit overall cognitive function and concentration skills in young learners!

What age group would enjoy this matching game?

From around the age of 3, kids benefit from playing memory games. They are a popular choice in preschool classrooms since they help young learners with their pre-reading skills before they start elementary school. Overall, the leaf matching game is best suited for kids around the ages of 3-6, but older children can enjoy them too!

More ways to use the Leaf Matching Game

The fun doesn’t stop there! This leaf matching game is actually quite versatile. Here are a few other ways to use this game with your kids at home:

  • Real-life Leaf Matching — Take this game outside! Go on a nature walk with the kids and have them try and identify leaves that match the pictures on the cards. This is such a fun fall activity that gets the kids outdoors. My kids love nature walks, especially when the leaves start to change colors in the fall. There’s nothing like the satisfying crunch of stepping on dry leaves! Bringing this leaf matching game along lets you add another layer of fun to your outing.
  • Fall Leaf Lesson — Whether you homeschool your children or simply want to share some fun facts, you can accompany this activity with a quick lesson about why leaves change color in the fall. When trees get less sun in the fall, they stop producing chlorophyll (the stuff that makes leaves green). When the chlorophyll fades away, the leaves reveal all the beautiful hues underneath! Different leaves turn different colors, depending on the species of tree. If you’ve got some science-loving kiddos at home, they will have a blast learning about this topic!
  • Fall Party Activity — Hosting a harvest-themed party for the kids? This game is an awesome way to let them have fun while exercising their brains. It’s perfect for an event around Thanksgiving or Halloween. 

More free printable activities for kids

The fun doesn’t stop here! Check out these other free printable activities to have fun with the kids this fall:

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