DIY Memory Games for Kids

girl memorizing

Games are also a great way to boost various aspects of your child's development. Memory games are an enjoyable way to help your child foster skills like categorizing information so it's easy to recall later. At the same time, these games give you the opportunity to spend quality time with your child and could even be a good way to detect a potential problem with your child's memory.

What's Different

This game is easy to play virtually anywhere you happen to be. Not only is it a fun way to build memory skills, but it's also a great way to pass a rainy afternoon or entertain your child while you wait for an event or visitor. It's fun for all ages and you can tailor it to your child's ability and age.

  1. Stand in a room of your choice.
  2. Give your child five minutes to memorize where everything is and what items are present in the room.
  3. Ask your child to leave the room for several minutes.
  4. While she's gone, remove or move an item in the room.
  5. Give your child a set amount of time to figure out what you changed.

Flashcard Memorization

If you need a fun game to play while you sit down, this is the perfect choice. All you need is a set of flashcards with some degree of detail. You can choose a simpler image for a young child and more detailed images for older kids. The idea of the game is to remember what's on the flashcard while it's hidden. This is a fun challenge for kids of all ages, but your little one will probably love seeing what you can recall. Take turns and if you want, you can declare the winner as the person who recalls the most details for each round.

  1. Select a flashcard.
  2. Give your child some time to study it.
  3. Hide the flashcard.
  4. Have your child recall as much about the image as possible.
  5. Play the game with multiple children by having them write down their answers and then see who has the most.

Story Progressions

Most kids have played the game where each player adds a sentence to the story. This is a great twist on that game that gives kids the chance to employ their memorization skills. It's ideal for older kids as younger ones might get frustrated as the game goes on. This is a great game for youth groups or classrooms, but it is also sure to get your family laughing whenever you play.

  1. Have all the players sit in a circle.
  2. Choose one player to start, and have him start a story with one sentence.
  3. The next player must repeat his sentence and add one of her own.
  4. Play continues in this way until a player is unable to remember all of the previous sentences.

Memory Experiment

This is a game and an experiment rolled into one. It's sure to engage the mind of scientific kids, but is also fun, so no one will get bored. Younger kids might not be as able to grasp the game as older ones, but you can always give it a try to see. Get the whole family involved with this one and your kids might be delighted to find that they can remember more than Mom and Dad.

  1. Give the players a piece of paper and several crayons.
  2. Read a list of 10 nouns (people, places or things).
  3. Wait five minutes.
  4. Have the players repeat back as many of the words as they can remember.
  5. Next, list 10 different nouns.
  6. Have the players draw the ones they remember.
  7. Ask them to list the 10 words.
  8. Compare to see if drawing helped with recall.

Map It

No doubt you and your kids visit several places on a regular basis. You, of course, know the way, but chances are your kid is pretty busy reading a book, telling a story or listening to the radio to pay much attention to where you're going or how you're getting there. This game is a fun way to teach your child to remember what she sees and hears in her environment and ensures at least one drive that is fairly quiet.

  1. Take a drive that you do quite frequently, such as to school or the grocery store.
  2. Encourage your child to observe landmarks and surroundings on the way.
  3. When you get home, give her paper and crayons.
  4. Ask her to draw your route, including landmarks and other important surroundings.

More Memory Fun

These are by no means the only fun ways to encourage memorization skills in your child. Many board games and computer games are ideal as well. Try the classic Memory game, which involves laying out cards in a grid and turning them over, two at a time, to make matches. Your child must remember the positioning of the cards to make the most matches to win the game. In addition, the following ideas are also great ways to make memorizing something enjoyable for your child.

  • The University of Washington offers many varieties of memory games, including mazes, picture puzzles, links to online games and more. The games are divided by age category, making it simple to find something that appeals to your child.
  • The experts at Stay at Home Educator suggest the classic tray memory game. To play, place several items on a tray and let the kids memorize what's there. Cover the tray with a towel and challenge them to list all the objects under the towel.
  • For fun and engaging online computer games, check out the KidzPage, and Each site offers a wide range of options in a variety of skill levels.

The Power of Play

Games help increase your child's awareness, cognition and what's more, they learn while not even aware that the activity is learning. Encourage a family board game night, or lace each errand with a quick game of memory and wit. It won't be long before your child's observation skills outpace yours.

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DIY Memory Games for Kids