Memory Games for Children

As we homeschool our children, I’m always looking for new activities to break-up the routine of our daily lessons. One area of activity that we often enjoy are memory games.

memory games

Memory games require observation, concentration and help develop and promote a child’s memory. The development of memory skills can help with learning processes and improve a child’s ability to concentrate.

These are a few that we enjoy.

Item Memory

This memory game is particularly good for younger children. Collect together an assortment of small items such as a pencil, rubber, scissors, pen, small toys, hair brush, cutlery etc. Place the items on a tray or table and let your children look at them for a minute. Have your children turn their back to the items while you remove a couple of items from the tray and cover them with a tea towel. Unveil the items and see if your children can tell you what’s missing.

For older children, place more items on the tray and cover them up. Uncover them in front of the children and give them a minute to try and memorise, then cover them up again. Have your children write down as many items as possible.

Pattern Memory

For this memory game, you’ll need each person to have identical size & colour building blocks. In our house we use Duplo® blocks as they are easy to handle for smaller hands. Have one person hide their blocks from view with a folder or large book whilst they lay the blocks out in a particular order or design. The person designing the blocks then reveals their pattern by removing the folder, allowing the others to study the pattern for 1 minute. Cover the blocks again and have the others try to replicate the pattern with their own blocks. Each person can then take a turn in designing a memory pattern.

memory games

I Went On a Picnic …

We play this memory game a lot when travelling in the car. One person starts with ‘I went on a picnic & in my basket I put “……….” ‘ The next person then says ‘I went on a picnic & in my basket I put “…………” ‘ and then says what the first player included plus adding an item of their own. The games continues with each person repeating what the previous players have included to see who has the best memory.


For this memory game you’ll need two or more players. This is a great game for all the family or for children’s parties.

Divide the players into two teams. If just a few play, one person at a time can have a turn.

The first player or team leaves the room. The other team or players mismatch five things around the room – perhaps just some cushions on the floor instead of the couch, turn an ornament upside down, put someone’s shoes on their hands instead of feet, or a t-shirt on inside out. Really the options are endless.

When the player or team returns, they have to spot the five mismatches. For any they do not notice, the other player or team score a point.

Each team or player then has a turn. The player or team with the most points is the winner.

Memory Cards

memory games

Most large department stores carry card memory games for a reasonable price or you can make your own game by printing off cards with matching pictures. We have recently used this Alphabet Memory game where upper & lower case letters had to be matched. As our children are learning German in homeschool, I have also just made a memory game with cards in German.  However you could make your own memory game using any theme you like.

This form of memory game will require two players or more and a collection of matching cards. Spread the collection of cards over the table, face side down. Each player takes a turn at matching cards. When a match is found the matching cards are removed. Each player takes turn at finding a match until all the cards have been matched. The player with the most matching pairs is the winner.

For younger players, consider limiting the number of cards to only 20. Any more and their interest and enthusiasm may wane.

My children love playing memory games and often ask to play them as an alternative way of schooling. They are a simple way of interacting with your children, can generally be played anywhere and can be modified to suit the age of the children involved.


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