Make a game of Memory

Memory game 03

We have been playing many games of Memory around here recently. It’s a good game to spread out and play quickly while waiting for the pasta to cook and it’s quite entertaining for most ages. For those who are unfamiliar with the game, you need a pack of cards (a deck of 52 playing cards is fine if you don’t have a deck of cards specially designed for memory) which you spread out face down in a grid. Each player takes it in turn to flip two over, with the object of finding two that match. When a match is found, the player takes those cards and puts them aside. When all the cards have been claimed, the player with the most pairs is the winner.

We are using a pack which comes with a Charlie and Lola book but it occurred to me that it would be such an easy thing to make.

Some ideas we have had:

1) Buy a box of blank visiting cards, index cards or a cut out twenty cards from a sheet of cardboard all exactly the same size. Let the kids decorate the cards with pictures of objects – making sure they make a match for each card.

Memory game 04

2) Alternatively, take Charlie and Lola’s cue and make a game of “Flip Flop”. Instead of making exact duplicates for the cards (which might get a little tedious especially for smaller kids), think up an associated object and draw that instead. That way if you turn up a tube of toothpaste you need to find the tooth brush, the monkey matches with the banana and so on.

3) If drawing doesn’t appeal, cut images out of magazines and then cut them in half. Stick each half on to a separate card to make pairs.

Memory game 01

4) For a more high-tech, money spending option, use Moo MiniCards! We recently had a couple of sets of these cute little cards made up with photos from Flickr and we love them. You need to order 100 cards so upload 50 images which they will print twice so that you have matching pairs and you instantly have an enormous game of memory. This way your game will be made up of photos of the kids, pets and holiday snaps. To make the game of Memory more manageable and more memorable, I would suggest splitting up the stack of cards into smaller amounts (maybe sets of 10 or 25 pairs) and perhaps you could give the other sets away as gifts. These cards would also be a great way to make a game of Snap.

Memory game 02

5) The last idea we have it to use photographs. Get a roll of film printed out with duplicates and you have an instant game of Memory. If you have a polaroid camera sitting around this would be a great way to create a memory game quickly.

5 Responses to “Make a game of Memory”

  1. Michelle

    Can I add one more idea? You can also use felt and fabric, cutting matching rectangles of images from novelty fabrics and either stitching, fusing, or even fabric gluing them onto felt or fabric and batting. Then they’re washable, virtually indestructible, and younger-sibling-friendly.

  2. Eden

    Quick question: to make homemade cards more durable, I can only think of laminating, which could be expensive. Felt is a great idea (previous comment) — are there other materials that might be able to take more wear (paper, cardstock, etc. aren’t going to last long in our house)? I have a three year old who loves her Blue’s Clues Memory game and a 10 month old who loves to chew the cards. The ideas here for making one’s own game are very inspiring.

  3. Candlestring

    At our house we made a nice game of memory using two matching sheets of stickers and the aluminium lids from frozen juice cans. The lids stack nicely in one direction, so it helps if you put the stickers on the same side of each lid. One of our games has Thomas the Tank Engine characters, and one has generic pictures of cars and trucks.

  4. Lady S

    So great! We play Memory games at school in my Literacy Block. We match capital and lower case letters, word pairs with their contractions, opposites, and pictures with words. The kids have a lot of fun.

  5. Ticia

    Another you could use is stickers. This is also a great way to work on skills (sight words, or math facts). I made so many memory games when I was teaching. We’d do two sets of their sight words, or a math problem and the answer. The ideas are endless.

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