So, I cannot take credit for the invention of this idea, but once I saw it, I ran with it. My students loved matching tasks, and so did I. It allowed me to gather some IEP data as well as allow them to do some work independently. But, printing out those file folder games takes a lot of ink and access to a color printer which I did not always have. So, I started using old calendars.
I would ask people to save me their calendars at the end of the year. You need the ones that have the small pictures of each month on the back. Take the calendar apart and laminate each page. The cut out and laminate the smaller photos. Put Velcro on the back of the small photos and on the large pages. I was lucky enough to be able to have access to a binding machine at school, so I would bind them together, but you could use metal rings as well. I also liked to make a quick holder for the smaller photos using an old piece of cardboard with, yes, more Velcro.
I made HUNDREDS of these over the years. The kids absolutely loved the photos, especially if I could get some cool calendars like Thomas the Train or other favorite character. I also had some calendars that the months were in color and the small photos were in black and white. That just bumped up the difficulty level a notch for my more advanced learners. In addition, some people gave me some really challenging ones like different types of grapes or stained glass patterns. They were not always easy to differentiate what each month was. Every single student I taught did these calendars for morning work or part of their independent working time, and every single student I had loved them.
I hope you will try this quick and easy way to make your own vibrant matching tasks without having to print a single thing!!