Center Activities Made Simple

Center Activities Made Simple

Today I want to share some center activities made simple that are tried and true, but work!  Who remembers playing the Matching Game” with either the real cards or just a regular deck of cards?  I sure do!  And believe it or not – those games are still around and still pretty popular!  So… why not create our own sets that correlate to our standards that we need to master in elementary classrooms?  Right?

So in this blog post, I’m going to share some of our matching games that will help your students with all kinds of different standards. 🙂

Short vowel and long vowel practice

The first few games I created were the short and long vowel games.  I honestly wasn’t sure if my students would like these, since I had SO MANY GAMES to pick from, but they loved it!  

We actually played a few different ways – but I think their favorite was to lay out the pics on the floor, then match up the words.  They usually played with another student, but this can be a stand-alone center as well.  I let them choose.  

My sets are color-coded for easy storage and they have the set that they belong to in the corner as well.  

I found that the plastic bins you can buy at Michaels or on Amazon work the BEST for these cards.  I’ve also included a cover if you use these bins.

My students showed interest in matching games during the holidays. I wanted to continue to provide them with something they enjoy so I bought this and they love it! I’m very pleased with the look and how many pairs there are.

Jessica J. TPT Buyer

Helpful for my students struggling with their vowel sounds to use in class and at home. Clear and easy to follow.

Alicia A. TPT Buyer

Great resource! My students love using these in phonics centers.

Allie's Awesome Activities

Rhyming words Matching Center

Here’s another fun one that the students loved!  This one covered rhyming words, and comes with four sets (fall, spring, summer and winter sets).

The picture is on the card as well as the word.  Students will need to read the words and then find the rhyming word to match.

You can either have all of these as one center, or break them up.  They are color-coded for the four different sets. These also come with covers for each bin.


Ahh – telling time… this is always a favorite thing to teach, because students SOOOO want to learn how to tell time.

But you know what I heard a few weeks ago… that a school got rid of all of their analog clocks – every clock in the school is now digital.  I was sort of shocked – but I wonder if this will be the way of the future.  Analog clocks will disappear a lot like pay phones and home phones – thoughts?

Well – since they aren’t gone yet – here’s a fun math matching game.  These have the clock faces, clock times, and word times so that you can use in different ways.  This was created with telling time to the hour and half hour, but I also added 5-minute increments for matching the face clock with digital.  Just in case some of your students were ready for the challenge. 🙂

Want to read about 5 easy ways to practice telling time?  Here’s a fun blog post with all kinds of ideas!  ENJOY!


Funny back story… I remember when QR codes BECAME a thing!  Like… many many moons ago!  We actually had to get our technology department to unblock certain things so that our QR codes would work in our classrooms.  They were SO WORRIED that something would happen, and a breach would occur.  Little did they know – in a few short years, every child would have a device in their hands – and QR codes would be the LEAST of their worries! True story – I should know – I moved to the Technology Department. 🙂 

So I guess that dates me… 😉 but I just have to say – I still love QR code activities.  I really do – and this one is no exception!

How fun for students to have to listen to the word, and then find the match!  It’s like having another teacher at their center without having another teacher at their center. 

So here’s how it works:

  • Students take out all of the words and spread them on the floor or in a pocket chart
  • Then they scan a qr code
  • They listen to the word
  • Then match the card and picture
  • It comes with an answer doc.

Want to read more about building sight word fluency?  CHECK OUT THIS BLOG POST!

Are you a coding Guru?

Ok- all honestly – you don’t need to be a coding guru for these sets!  I just wanted to get your attention.  Bee Bots are a great way to introduce your elementary students to a world of coding.  If you haven’t tried out Bee Bots yet, here’s a blog post on everything you need to know about how they work, where to buy, and the best mat to use. 🙂 READ IT HERE! (and grab a freebie mat)

So – once I started using Bee Bots, I decided that it would be great to do some type of simple center with matching and seasonal activities.

Here’s how it works:

  • You set up the mat (24 cards) – this is explained in the blog post above
  • Students grab a task card that has a picture on it, along with an amount of an object
  • Then they have to find the matching picture on their mat
  • Next they code their Bee Bot to move to that card
  • Fun, simple, but effective for counting, observation, and coding!

I hope this blog post helped in some small way!  I’d love to hear from you – what’s working in your centers?

Talk soon!

Shanon Juneau

We Are Better Together

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