The child matches pictures of bird species, extending vocabulary while identifying the birds’ common characteristics.

The Pairing Cards

The Pairing Cards

Roberta Frosolini


The child develops recognition of members of a group.


  • Develop the skill of matching
  • Develop the power of observation
  • Learn the names of members of a group




  • 5 pairs of identical picture cards of birds (one of each pair on white card, the other on blue)

Control of Error

Visual: colour spots on the back of both pairs of cards


This activity can be carried out in a small group of 2 or 3 children. Ask one of the children to lay the mat on the floor. The purpose of the floor mat is to determine the child’s workplace, so remember to use it when you work on the floor! Lay down the blue cards horizontally, saying the name of each bird as you do so. Invite the child to match the white cards to the colored ones.

Further Challenges

Montessori Complementary Cards can be used for teaching and practicing reading skills. They are similar to the pairing cards, except are not identical, thereby provide a degree of difficulty. The presentation is identical to the pairing cards one.


When setting up your interest table, consider the children’s interests. Give them space and time to explore and discover things by themselves.

Alongside the indoor learning, children should be provided with opportunities for hands-on exploration; watch the birds in your garden, visit a natural reserve, walk a nature trail or even visit your local park.

“Education… is not acquired by listening to words, but in virtue of experiences in which the child acts on his environment.” —Maria Montessori in The Absorbent Mind

Set up an interest table. Build a nest with any natural materials you can find, from sticks to moss, feathers and leaves. Provide a variety of pictures and information books for the children to look at. Discuss what they can see: What do birds look like? Where do they move? How do they move? What do they eat? What is a house for birds called?