This is a matching station that I made today. The inside of the box has different circuits that when the child matches the correct upper and lower case letter, the circuit completes and the LED lights up. The cards can be customized according to needs, such as upper and lower case letters, states vs. capitols, or a number digit vs. a card with drawings of that many of an item. The You Tube link below shows the game in action.
This would be perfect for a center activity. By using this version in particular, student's would be able to match upper and lower case letters with immediate feedback to accuracy.
1 Shoe Box
Paper to Cover Shoe Box
Paper cut to size for the pieces
1 3V Button Battery
1 Thumb Tack
Step 1: Prep the Box
To prepare the box you would cover the box with the wrapping paper. Then measure where you want the wands and LEDs to be and punch holes for these parts.
Step 2: Setup the Circuit
Each circuit contains
1 3V Button Battery
1 Thumb Tack
The tweaser acts like a switch, where when touching the correct tack, it closes the circuit and lights up the LED. If an incorrect tack is touched, the light does not turn on.
To setup the circuit you would do:
1. Split the tweaser in half. Attach a wire to the tweaser using electrical tape to both hold the wire down and cover the sharp point. This makes the wand.
2. Attach the Red Wire of the LED to the Wand by twisting the wires together and using electrical tape., or solder.
3. Attach wire to the thumb tack using solder.
4. Attach the Black wire from the LED to the Negative of the battery, attach the wire from the thumb tack to the positive of the battery. **
**To attach the wires I used electrical tape rather then solder so that when the battery dies it is easily replaced.
Step 3: Repeat
Recreate this simple circuit for each set of matching pieces you want to add.
Step 4: Create the Frames
To create the frame I used Popsicle Sticks and Hot Glue. The sticks where overlapped to make a picture frame and then the extra edges were cut off. On one side we left the edge to secure the LED and Thumb tack. These can be cut to fit the shoe box you have.
Step 5: Make the Pieces
To make the pieces, I cut a paper longer then my photo frame so that it sticks out partially and hot glued a button to this in order to make it easier to go in and out of the frame. An alternate approach is to use an alligator clip and clip the pieces to the box. Yhen add your letters, numbers, or whatever you are using for the station.
Step 6: Add the Pieces to the Box
Push through the LEDs, wands, and add the pieces to the frames to finish the box.
Step 7: Add to the Station and Let the Kids Have Fun While Learning.
To play, the students would touch the wand from one side to the other. If a match is made, the LED will light up, if not it would stay dark. Ideally I would suggest 4 frames / matches per box as this gives 24 combinations to mix up the boxes. If you have one box per student with different matches, they can trade within their group when they are done with the first one. The best part is that the wands and pieces can be stored inside the shoe box so they don't get lost.
Here is the video of the game in action: