This is a crazy simple egg cartons fine motor activity for toddlers and preschoolers that can be color or shape matching, number learning or even letter case matching.
My toddler loves any kind of insertion fine motor activity and also loves to match colors.
My preschooler on the other hand mostly wants to do an activity like this if it’s a race to beat his baby sister at.
We do what we can, right Mamas?
Easy Egg Carton Fine Motor Matching Activities
I’m going to lay out 3 Different versions of this activity we did.
However, I’m mostly going to focus on the color matching one I did for my youngest.
Mostly because there aren’t a whole lot of learning activities out there for one year old’s.
For These Egg Carton Fine Motor Matching Activities You’ll Need:
- Empty egg carton (we used cardboard ones)
- Permanent markers (6 colors for the color matching variation)
- 12 craft sticks
Preparing Egg Carton Fine Motor Color Matching Game
First thing I did to prepare this upcycled activity for my daughter was select 6 colors she knows.
I wanted to make it easy enough for her to match so the main focus was on the fine motor aspect.
However, by choosing 6 it made it easy to have a bit of a challenge in having to recognize similar colors.
Like blue vs purple, and yellow vs orange.
If your child isn’t ready for that feel free to just choose the colors your toddler is comfortable and capable of matching.
And you can always add just 1 color to your egg carton activity that your kid doesn’t know to increase the learning without it being overwhelming.
I coloured both ends and both sides of two craft sticks for each color.
Parents Tip: If you are only using the 3 primary colors you can color 4 of each.
Using permanent markers decreased the chance of getting it all over my one year old in case she decided to put the sticks in her mouth.
Next for this activity, I used the same markers to color the bottoms of the egg carton.
Two of each color in random order.
Lastly I took a steak knife and slit a slot in the middle of the bottom of each egg spot in the carton.
I stuck a spare craft stick into each slot and wiggled it just a bit to make sure Maisie could achieve her goal of sliding the sticks in.
How to Play the Color Matching Fine Motor Game for Kids
Now that your egg carton activity is all set up all that is left is to see how your kids will do it!
My toddler was hilarious to watch!
I placed the egg carton upside down on the coffee table.
I placed the colored craft sticks beside it.
Then I called Maisie over to see me do the activity. I took the red sticks and place them slowly into the matching red slots while I described simply what I was doing.
Then I took them out and handed them to her asking if she can do it too.
Maisie was right into this!
Maisie happens to know her colors quite well for a toddler. Charlie would not have been able to decipher between blue and purple at this age.
Maisie went right to work.
Sometimes putting them in the wrong spot in a bit of excitement.
But when she would have the right stick for matching that color she would pull the wrong one out and replace it with the right one.
She took the sticks out and put them in over and over.
Maisie was so proud of her accomplishment when she completed every stick in the carton matched with the right colors.
She even hugged the egg carton and carried it around the house!
Another great thing about this recycled fine motor activity is how easy it is to store and bring out over and over!
Simply put the sticks inside the egg carton and pop it on a shelf or in a closet and bring your activity out another day.
We have pulled this one out dozens of times now.
And months later Maisie is still just as interested.
Number Matching Egg Carton Fine Motor Activity for Preschool Kids
This activity is basically the same as the color matching game only with numbers on the sticks and dots on the egg carton instead.
For this one I cut the slits in the bottom of the egg carton first.
Then I drew on dots to correspond with numbers 1-12.
I did it in order since my preschooler son is still learning these.
If your child is more familiar you could mix them up.
Or to make it simpler you could repeat only a few options. Or even just write the numbers in numerical form on both the egg carton and craft sticks.
Next I wrote the numbers on each side of the craft sticks to match the number of dots on the egg cartons.
Parent Tip: If your kids are like mine then they tend to have some numbers they usually skip or miss when counting. I have found with Charlie that if I am the one pointing to the dots and he is only focused on counting them, then he does a much better job at counting correctly.
As I mentioned before Charlie was only interested in doing this activity as a race with his sister.
Maisie had done the color matching egg carton activity a few times before this so it was easy to be available to help Charlie as I knew this would be somewhat of a challenge for him.
I explained the activity to him and then placed down the sticks for each kid at the same time and said, “Ready, Set, Go!”
I made sure all of Charlie’s craft sticks were facing the right way so it would be easiest for him to find.
He did very well and had a lot of fun! He did struggle with a few of the numbers as always. Like 6 and 9 etc.
But he was very proud of himself when he finished matching all of his numbers!
I love it when his confidence grows through doing simple activities together.
More Number Variations for Matching
I also created two more variations of number matching for both Maisie and Charlie.
The first variation was just numbers 1-6 in order.
But the twist to this egg carton matching game was that if you turned the carton around the numbers were scrambled on the other side.
This way, even when you were done. You were never really done.
All you have to do is spin the carton around and start matching the numbers all over again.
This was mostly for Maisie to start working on number recognition and also to boost Charlie a little in confidence with his.
Letter Matching Game Idea
My son isn’t very confident in letter recognition so we just worked on 4 letters repeated 3 times each.
I picked 2 letters he knows well and two that he is still working on.
I simply put the same letter on the sticks as the egg carton.
Work on as many letters as you feel your child can handle.
Parent Tip: I find it best for my son to have only one or two in the mix he is still learning along with ones he is confident with.
More Egg Carton Fine Motor Matching Activity Variations
- Uppercase and lowercase letters
- Math equations on the sticks and answers on the egg carton
- Sight words using plastic spoons instead of craft sticks for a larger space.
- Names of family members
- Weather images like sunny, cloudy, snowing etc.
- Days of the week
The possibilities are really endless with this fun egg carton matching activity. You can use it to practice just about anything your child is working on.
Using recycled plastic spoons instead of craft sticks is also a great option for working on more complicated subjects.
What can you do with egg cartons?
This matching activity gives you a few ideas for recycling egg cartons into activities. Below I’ve listed a few more eggcellent activities and crafts you can use egg cartons for.
- What Can We Use Egg Cartons For? Make a Train
- Easy DIY Memory Matching Game for Kids to Play
- Absolutely Cute Polar Bear Craft to Make Right Now
- A Valentine’s Day Activity or Two: Patterning & a Heart Hunt
What variation did you try with your kids?
Tell us how they liked it in the comments. We love hearing from our readers!