Memory games for kids: why they’re good
Memory games for kids are fun and challenging. They:
- build children’s thinking skills, concentration and attention span
- build children’s persistence
- give children the chance to try new things without fear of failure.
In this memory game, your child tries to remember objects you’ve hidden under a cloth. When you reveal the objects at the end of the round, your child gets instant feedback on how they’re remembering. It’s rewarding and can be a little bit frustrating, which encourages your child to try again.
What you need for this memory game
You can play this game with things you already have at home. You need:
- a tray, like a baking tray or serving tray
- a collection of small objects that will fit on the tray
- a cloth to cover the tray, like a small towel
- something to time with, like a watch or your phone.
It’s better if you choose plenty of different things for the tray – for example, a teaspoon, a small toy, a leaf, a packet of tissues, a ring, a coin, a plastic animal, a pair of glasses and so on.
How to play this memory game with your child
- Spread the objects out on the tray and cover them with the cloth.
- Set the timer for one minute. You can adjust the time to be longer or shorter – just do what works best for you and your child.
- When your child is ready, remove the cloth and give your child one minute to look at the tray and memorise the items.
- When the time is up, cover the items with a cloth.
- Ask your child to name the items or write them down if they can.
- Uncover the items again and let your child see which ones they remembered and which ones they forgot.
- Count how many items your child remembered.
- Repeat the game. This time your child can time you, and see how many items you can remember.
You can play as many times as you like. You could use the same items, or replace them with new items. You and your child can also take turns to be the ‘rememberer’.
Adapting memory games for children of different ages or children with diverse abilities
Adjust the number of objects on the tray for older and younger children.
Your young child will cope better with fewer objects, because this gives your child a better chance of success.
You could try showing your older child the items for a minute. Then remove 1-2 items and ask your child to pick which ones are missing.
All children learn and develop through play. Our articles on play and autistic children and play and children with disability are great starting points for adapting this activity guide for children with diverse abilities. You might also like to explore our activity guides for children with diverse abilities.