Help children develop and improve recall, concentration, memory, and visual/spatial skills by playing fun, interactive memory games!
As kids play matching and memory games, help them with their short-term memory, an important everyday skill. We all have to hold information in our heads, whether it’s not forgetting to bring a lunchbox to school or remembering what you were going to answer when the teacher asks a question.
The longer we can stretch a child’s working memory, the better. These games help them to practice stretching those memory banks!
Note: I don’t recommend online memory games for kids unless they’re older. The more you can do physically, in person, aka. offline, the better. The free video games online give kids more screen time and don’t have the tactile, visual, and auditory sensory components that are important for learning. You’re more likely to remember something if you engage more senses.
Don’t forget that counting and the alphabet are some of the earliest ways to practice memory. With enough repetition and the music component of the alphabet, kids remember the order of their letters. With enough repetition and practice, kids will learn the numbers in order from one to 100!
Memory Games for Kids
1. I’m Going on a Trip Memory Game
This cumulative memory game is great for car trips or when you’re waiting for food at a restaurant or waiting for an appointment. The first player says, “I’m going on a trip and I’m going to bring _______________(insert item here such as an apple).” The second player says, “I’m going on a trip and I’m going to bring ____________(first item from first player) and ______________(insert their item here.) Older kids can make this harder by going in alphabetical order. Keep playing until someone messes up!
Make it even harder by having the first player say three things they’re bringing and the rest of the group have to think of what the things have in common. For example, bananas, kiwis, and pears would be fruit things. Or noddle, puddle, and bottle would be things with double consonants in them.
2. What’s Missing?
Get out ten items from a backpack or purse. Let your kids look at everything for about 10 seconds, trying to remember what is there. Then, ask children to close their eyes while you remove 3 things. Now, ask the kids what is missing!
3. Zoo Crew
Flip two cards over and try to make a pair. If you don’t make a pair, remember where each animal is so you can find it later. Incidentally, any Concentration-type game like this one is a GREAT memory game that kids always love!
4. Ladybug Memory Game
Lift the chunky ladybugs two at a time to find a match! Not only is this adorable but it’s also great for fine motor skills, memory, and visual discrimination.
5. Kitty Bitty
A sweet, cat-centric twist on the traditional memory game for preschoolers and elementary schoolers that helps preschoolers practice memory skills and color matching. The game pieces are all wooden and colorful which my kids and I love.
Play up to five different games, have fun, and practice cognitive flexibility, speed, working memory, and more. Created by the game Tenzi, Pairzi is a fast-paced card and dice game with cute critters.
Develop memory, learn about colors, have fun, and build social skills with penguins and colored eggs. Roll the two die then lift up two penguins to search for colored eggs that match the die. Ultimately, this one is both memory and matching!
8. Twin It!
Think fast and spot identical pairs then grab the match. But don’t get tricked by similar patterns– because they can get stolen if a third match appears.
Match the colored blocks to the lights using memory and speed! Not only is this good for the brain, but I like that it’s great for individual play or can be multiple players as well.
10. BrainBolt Memory Game
How fun is this light-up memory game from Educational Insights? It challenges you to remember the light sequence and see how long you can remember it correctly! (For one or two players.)