Bottle Cap Matching Game + Freebie

From my previous posts, you probably can tell that I am not a fan of worksheets. I believe that young children learn best by doing and not by holding a pencil and filling out busy work. That said, there are skills that you will want to reinforce or begin working on with your children. Today, I wanted to share a quick, easy and CHEAP little learning game with you that is alternative to those dreaded worksheets. This game is great because it can be adapted for kids of all ages - from 2 years old and up - and can even be used for some homework, like addition facts, spelling words, ec.

I’m also providing you with 2 options - one is super simple, so if you aren’t interested in constructing anything, scroll on down to the second option.



Here’s what you need:

2 9”x12” pieces of corrugated cardboard (mine is from an old mailing box), 2 strips of cardboard 1/2” wide (I cut a piece in half), water bottle tops, scissors, marker, pencil and glue & tape (which are not pictured)

OPTIONAL: Free Pattern Download (click here)

1. After deciding what kind of picture you are going to use, arrange the bottle caps on the shape and trace around them onto one piece of the cardboard. (I decided on a snake for this one) If you would prefer, print out the free printables and glue one on the cardboard instead of creating your own drawing.

2. Outline your shape in marker and trace around the bottle caps in pencil.


3. Cut out the circles where the bottle caps will fit. (This is the hardest part of the whole thing. Mine were pretty jagged, etc., but still work just fine.)


4. Be sure the caps fit inside the holes.


5. I also outlined each hole since it seemed to help my cutouts look less jagged.

6. Glue the 2 strips to each side of the other sheet of cardboard. (This will form a slot that will allow you to easily slide the paper pieces in and out to change games.)


7. Stack the 2 pieces of cardboard on top of each other and secure with tape. If you want to be able to open the top, you can just secure it at the top, creating a hinge.


8. Slide a piece of blank paper into the slot. In each hole, write a letter or numeral, etc.


9. Use your marker to write the corresponding letters, numbers, shapes, etc on the bottle caps.


You can create new games simply by programming new sheets of paper with a different activity. Suggestions:

  • capital letters to capital letters

  • capital letters to lower-case letters

  • numerals to numerals

  • numerals to dots

  • matching shapes

  • matching colors

  • numerals to addition or subtraction problems

  • matching the letters of names

  • blank paper with letters on the bottle caps to practice spelling words


You will need: bottle caps, marker, patterns

1. Print out the provided patterns.

2. Program them by writing the letters, numerals, shapes, etc. that you want to use.

3. Instead of cutting holes, just let your child place the bottle cap on top of the matching circle.

Here is a variation of this same game made with smaller holes and used to match colored pom-poms. (You can see that someone even helped me color it!)


Road Trip Survival Tips

Road Trip Survival Tips

Summer is here and that means many of you will be hitting the road for vacations with your family. Of course, you want the trip to go as smoothly as possible, but bickering in the car can be a real problem sometimes, not to mention the endless choruses of "How much farther is it?". Rather than resorting to movies and tablets/iPads in the car for the entire trip, I'd like to offer another option to help your survive the miles with a smile on your face.

Read More

Cutting Up - Part 3: Staying On The Line

Cutting Up - Part 3: Staying On The Line

You’ve bought the scissors, they’ve snipped the paper and now you actually have a “cutting fanatic “ on your hands. How can you encourage them to cut and improve their accuracy, without worrying about all the things in your house having snips in them? Give them something to cut . . . and make it fun!

Read More

Cutting Up - Part 2: Positioning and Snipping

Cutting Up - Part 2: Positioning and Snipping

In our last post, we explored the different types of scissors available for young children and talked about setting up some safety guidelines so that you can be more comfortable with your child using scissors at home. Now, let's delve into the how-to's.

Read More

Cutting Up: A Guide To Teaching Scissor Skills

Cutting Up: A Guide To Teaching Scissor Skills

Teaching a child to use scissors can be tricky, but it doesn’t have to be scary. And, it can be lots of fun for both of you. After years of working with young children, I have come up with a few tips to make the process easier—and safer— for both of you.

Read More

Why Learn About Birds?

Why Learn About Birds?

Children are naturally curious about birds, and other animals, and are usually excited to be able to learn about them close-up. Because there are so many different types of birds, seeing them in their natural habitats is quite easy.

Read More

Favorite Alphabet Toys and Books

Favorite Alphabet Toys and Books

Over the past couple of weeks, we have covered a lot of information regarding teaching children the alphabet. Along the way, I have shared some activities to help you work with your child and hope that you have found a few things that both of you enjoy. In this last post of the series, I wanted to share a few of my favorite alphabet books, as well as some commercially available games/toys, as well.

Read More