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Personalized Matching Game with Family Pictures

My granddaughter, CiCi (3) loves to play matching games. She is getting better and better at it each time. When she was 1-1/2 , I would keep them right side up and she would just pick the ones that were a match.  At two, she could do maybe 3 sets and now she can do about 6 to 7 sets. Young children love to look at photos of themselves and family members. I want to give Cici a game that would remind her of those of us that are not around all of the time and keep us close to her heart.  Here is a tutorial combining the two, a personalized photo matching for ages 1-1/2 to 5.  Using pictures of my granddaughter and her closest family members made each one different enough that she could match them without difficulty. 

The benefits of matching games are:

  • Develop the child’s brain;
  • Improve thinking skill;
  • Logical and Visual Skills;
  • Responsiveness;


  • Heavy poster board, (this is what I had on hand.) You can use any type of durable material, such as cardboard, or a deck of cards. Anything that is easily cut and no rough edges. It must be large enough to apply enough decorative paper and the required photos;
  • Liquitex Gloss Super Heavy Gel ( which is what I chose for this project) but you can use Mod Podge and a top coat;
  • paint brush or sponge;
  • Squeegee or rolling-pin;
  • Colorful scrapbook or decorative paper;
  • Matching set of photos for each set of matching cards ( this is most effective if done on card stock, printer paper can be too thin and you save ink if you don’t do it on photo paper);
  • Scissors to cut edges as precisely as possible;
  • Contact or velum paper (optional)

Step 1:   Apply Gel thinly to poster board and attach scrapbook paper on the poster board and let dry thoroughly. Squeegee well to remove any excess gel ;




Step 2:   In Word, Picasa or other formatting program set up a format to create a template of pictures.  Print out 2 exact sets in the shape and size you want.


Step 3:  Turn over poster board and apply thin coat of gel and apply pictures on the reverse side of scrapbook paper. Squeegee well. Let dry.


Step 4:  Optional: apply a thin coat of gel on top of scrapbook paper and pictures to make sure the paper stays adhered. Squeegee well to remove any excess gel.  Let dry completely.

Step 5:  Cut pictures out carefully so that they are exactly the same with scissors;


Optional: Apply contact paper or velum on both side to make cards more durable and water-resistant. Trim carefully.  Squeegee those as well to remove bubbles.


Now we have a personalized game for Cici who did enjoy these a great deal! When I visited her, we played with these for a good long while. I only wish I had made more sets or used the playing card option so we had more to choose from. Let the learning and play begin!

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