This free Valentine’s Day matching game printable is fun for kids of all ages. This cute printable matching game is an easy educational low-prep activity. Download your copy today!
Playing matching games and memory games are great for your child’s development. Of course, matching games help your child develop his or her working memory and powers of concentration.
Matching games can benefit young children, even if they can’t play a face down memory game yet.
The US Department of Education recommends playing memory games and counting puzzle and game pieces with young children. Preschoolers and toddlers can work on finding the matching card and counting to two. If your children are like mine, they’ll be so excited to match cards and show off their counting to two abilities!
Playing with physical game pieces, like these Valentine’s Day matching game printables, is more beneficial than playing an electronic matching game. Picking up the cards requires manual dexterity and placing them back in the grid, if you’re playing memory, also requires coordination and dexterity.
This is important – children are increasingly starting school with poor fine motor skills because of using so many screens instead of physical toys.
Plus, of course, a matching game is a great way to keep your kids busy for a while. (Without driving to three stores for a gallon of glue, box of borax, and a club size bottle of contact solution…I’m looking at you, slime.)
Free Printable Valentine’s Day Matching Game
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You don’t need much to get these Valentine’s Day matching cards printed and in use. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Your free printables! (See below for download links)
- Paper or cardstock. I use presentation paper or 32 lb bright white paper. For a side-by-side comparison of several papers, see this post on the best paper for printables.
- Laminator and laminating pouch (optional, but highly recommended)
- Paper cutter or scissors
Simply print the printable, laminate, and cut the cards out along the dotted lines!
To use, you can place all the cards face up, half the cards down for a modified memory game, or all the cards face down for a more difficult game of memory matching. You can also remove some of the pairs to make the memory version of the game easier for younger children.
My daughter (26 months at the original time of writing) loves pairing off the cards when they’re face up and can play memory with up to four pairs of cards.
I always print colorful printables on presentation paper. If I’m going to use my colored ink, I want it to be worth it!
Presentation paper is a special heavyweight paper with a coating that makes images brighter, more vibrant, and crisper.
2021 update: I now print many of my printables on 32 lb HP paper. The images aren’t quite as beautiful and the paper isn’t quite as thick, but it’s brighter and much more affordable. Please see this post on paper for printables for a side-by-side comparison with a video.
- Made in USA: HP Papers is sourced from renewable forest resources and has achieved production with 0% deforestation in North America.
- Optimized for HP technology: All HP Papers provide premium performance on HP equipment, as well as on all other printer and copier equipment. 100%...
- Heavyweight premium printing: HP Premium32 is a heavyweight (32 pounds), brighter (100 bright) and whiter (163 whiteness) paper with a super-smooth...
After printing on presentation paper, I always laminate matching card games. My inexpensive home laminating machine is a lifesaver!
I know from my experience working at a copy shop that you ultimately save money with your own laminator after about 20 uses.
Printable Valentine’s Day memory game
Alright, let’s get to the free printables!
These matching game cards are free for personal and classroom use. You are also welcome to use them with scout troops, homeschool co-ops, etc. Basically, as long as you are personally organizing the activity, it’s fine to use these.
I ask that you please not give other people copies of the cards or the digital files. Just send your friends or coworkers to this post so they can download their own copies!
Use the download link below the image to get the high resolution PDF – no email opt-in required!
If you want even more low-prep Valentine’s Day activities, you can grab the Valentine’s Day activity pack bundle for just $3.99!
You can also get many of the Valentine’s Day activities for free if you put in some time and clicking around to various pages on The Artisan Life. Look below for links to more free printables for Valentine’s Day!