Memory games help build children’s concentration and social, visual, and cognitive skills. Memory games are fun and challenging, yet easy enough to help nurture a child’s confidence, persistence, and critical thinking skills.
A child’s short term memory is the key to playing memory games. Playing them often will improve brain functions in this area of the brain. Also, good short term memory is linked to better long term memory. Check out these memory games that are sure to be fun and challenging and have your preschooler wanting to play educational games more often.
- memorization skills
- social skills
- cognitive skills
- visual discrimination
- problem-solving skills
- observation skills
Exciting Memory Games for Preschoolers
Kids seem to remember everything, little parts of their day, something you said to them 3 months ago, and even their teacher’s sister’s favorite color. But really, that type of memory doesn’t last forever. We know the feeling of forgetting things. Let’s help keep your little one’s memory strong with these memory games for preschoolers.
The Magic Cup Game
A very simple memory game to play with your preschooler that may seem silly and have little educational value but the cognitive skill enhancement it will have on their brain is enormous. A huge plus for this memory game is its simplicity of it. Using plastic or paper cups and a single ball or small object to fit under them, it can be played anywhere. This memory game is a great way to help hone younger children’s focus and processing abilities as well.
Source: Bee Parenting
Listening Matching Game
This great game is a listening matching game. It’s a great way to deviate from traditional visual memory games and has your learner use their auditory senses and recall memory vs. visual memory. This is a simple game that can be played with plastic eggs and small objects that will fit inside the eggs and make different sounds. Uncooked noodles, pennies, paper clips, and marbles are great items to start with.
Source: Activity Mom
What’s Missing? Recall Game
This is a good game to work on your preschooler’s short term memory and is super easy to create. All you need are a few household items that go together, for example, kitchen items.
Start with a smaller number of objects like a fork, spoon, cup, and plate, and place them on a tray or table. The more different objects you have, the more challenging the game. So for younger children, start with just 3 or 4 items and increase from there.
Tell your child to have a close look at the items on the tray. Then name them together. The more you discuss the items, the more likely your child is to remember them. Cover the items with a towel or cloth. Ask your child to close their eyes and as they do, remove one item from under the towel. Ask them to open their eyes. Remove the cloth and have them tell you what’s missing.
Another version of this game is Copy Me. It uses two sets of materials and strengthens visual discrimination and spacial awareness skills.
Source: Family Education
Floating Memory is a great memory game for any age group. It’s a challenge of your visual memory skills because the pieces float and move around. Collect bottle caps. Draw different numbers, pictures, letters, or words underneath pairs of caps. Flip the caps over two at a time to find matches.
Word Chain Memory Game
This fun little game is great for social skills and memorization skills. It’s very easy to set up too. Simply gather up a small group of kids, with the little ones 3-4 per group is enough. The first person says a word. Then, the second player has to repeat the first player’s word and say their word. Then the same with 3rd, 4th, and so on.
They categories can range from vocabulary words, sight words, names of people, current unit words, farm animals, etc. It can also be done with sounds like claps and mouth noises too. This takes a lot of memory power.
Source: Funny Game Ideas
Paper Plate Memory Game
Another great way to work on memory and recall is to play the paper plate memory game, using cheap paper plates to draw or print out letters of the alphabet. They can be both uppercase and lowercase. You can match uppercase to lowercase letters too.
Lay the plates out on the floor in a grid and have each player turn over two plates at a time. If they match, the player keeps them. If not, they turn them back over. The next player takes a turn turning over two plates. Don’t feel limited by just letters. You can also do shapes, colors, numbers in a fun way.
Source: Frugal Fun
Traditional Memory Games
Make Your Own Memory Games
This game can be played with a pack of matching cards or with picture cards that your child might like. If you don’t have a favorite set of Memory cards, make your own with your child’s favorite character stickers.
The objective is to collect the most pairs of cards. The number of cards played in the game should be dependent on how many children are playing and also the child’s age. Less for the younger and more for the older kids.
To play, shuffle the cards and lay them on the table, face down, in rows. On each turn, a player turns over any two cards (one at a time) and keeps them if the cards match. If they successfully match a pair, they get to keep the cards. When a player turns over two cards that do not match, those cards are turned face down again (in the same position), and it becomes the next player’s turn.
Printable Memory Games
Here are our favorite free printable memory games! Choose the printable memory game you want, print onto card stock, cut out the cards and your memory game is ready. Just remember to print the pages twice in order to obtain matching pairs of identical cards.
The games require the child’s concentration and the ability to stop, focus, think, plan and remember. These card games are fantastic for working those recall skills that we all use every single day. There are games and activities that can be used with preschoolers to older kids in the later years of elementary school!
Online Sight Word Memory Game
Online memory games are a quick way to play and practice different skills. This engaging free online resource has students match sight words, which is fantastic for new readers and children learning the letters of the alphabet.
Many books for preschool and kindergarten age students are made up completely of sight words. The more practice with sight words a student can get, the better.
The younger students may need someone to sit with them to help with letter recognition and sounding words out. However, because this is an online game, you can pair students up and have them take turns which is also a great way for kids to work on social skills.
Source: Star Fall
Printable Sight Word Memory Game
Similar to other printables, this is a print, cut, and play game using sight words. If your child needs help improving their memory, this sight word matching worksheet is perfect.
On the worksheet, you will find sight words that match by color, which is an awesome way for students to use visual discrimination as well as recall. Recognizing sight words is a crucial reading skill that older children should have to help them become faster and more fluent readers.
Fun memory games for kids seem to become harder and harder as we become older, but kids still love playing them. Plus, they can help you build your memory connections too.
Have fun with your kids and work on your memory. Talk about killing two birds with one stone! So which one of these different games are you going to try first?
Check out these critical thinking activities for preschoolers too!
Try these printable matching activities for preschoolers!