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Make Your Own Memory Games to Teach Just About Anything!

Updated on September 19, 2014

How to Teach Using the Memory Game

My kids have always loved playing the original Memory game manufactured by Hasbro. It is also easy to make homemade versions to help teach just about anything. The idea of drawing matching cards is so versatile that it can be used to teach sight words, the alphabet, addition facts, and so much more. Kids will have so much fun, they won't notice that they are learning!

Memory Makes Learning Fun

Making Homemade Memory Games

I began homeschooling my youngest two children a year ago and I've been getting a crash course in making learning fun! Homemade memory games are one of the best ideas I've come across to facilitate learning. What kids doesn't remember playing and enjoying memory?

The game cards are so easy to make! You can write words on plain white paper or colored construction paper. If you don't feel confident that your printed handwriting will be easy enough to read, you can print the words from a computer. Pictures can also be drawn or copied onto paper for making game cards. Cardstock, or index cards can be used to make them more durable and the game pieces can also be laminated with clear contact paper at home. Just make sure you create 2 of each card, so they can be matched!

Learning Games You Can Make Like Memory - Teaching with the Game Memory

Make pairs of game pieces by writing matching words, pictures, or numbers on the paper. Then cut the pieces into squares. Square pieces can easily to taped to index card squares cut to the same size for added durability. Packing tape, or clear contact paper is a quick and easy way to laminate the cards if they will be used for a long time.

Here are a few ideas for making "Memory" games:

  1. Sight words - Choose a list of 5 - 20 sight words for your child to learn.
  2. Time - On one card place an analog clock face. On the matching card place the time written in digital fashion.
  3. Numbers - Match numbers to identical numbers to facilitate numeral recognition, or match the numbers to sets of objects and dots.
  4. The alphabet - Help your child learn their ABCs by matching them.
  5. Addition facts - Match additional sums to their equations.
  6. Vocabulary - Match vocabulary words to pictures or identical words. Talk about the meaning of the words with your child as you play.
  7. Spelling words - Children become more familiar with their spelling words by reading them and matching them.
  8. Multiplication - Match the product (answer) with the equation.
  9. Opposites - Match pictures that are opposites.
  10. Ordinal Words - Match pictures of people or animals standing in line with an arrow identifying their position to the ordinal word. For example, a picture of boy who is first in line at the diving board with the word "first."
  11. Spotting - Match dots placed in domino patterns to the numeral. This encourages the child to spot count quickly.
  12. Tally Marks - Match the tally marks with the number they identify.
  13. Roman Numerals - Match the roman numeral with the equivalent number.
  14. Seasons - Match seasonal words with pictures of the season.
  15. CVC Words - Match consonant-vowel-consonant words with a picture.
  16. Shapes - Match shapes to identical shapes or words.
  17. Colors - Match colors to identical colors or words.
  18. Number Words - Match numerals to their corresponding words.
  19. Letter Sounds - Match letters with pictures of objects that start with that letter.

What Is Your Favorite Educational Idea for a Homemade Memory Game? - Learning is Fun with Homemade Memory Games

Number Memory Game from TipNut
Number Memory Game from TipNut

What is Your Favorite Idea for Learning with Homemade Memory Games?

See results

Free Printable Memory Games Online

Free Printable Memory Games Online
Free Printable Memory Games Online

Free Printable Memory Games for Kids - Click a Thumbnail to Enlarge It

There are many free resources for printable memory games. Here are some of my favorite.

  • Education.com

    Education.com has free printable memory games to teach sight words!

  • DLTK.com

    At the DLTK website, you can make custom memory game cards and print them for free. The first option allows you to choose 6 or 12 cards. Option 2 offers over 20 different themes, including holidays, cartoons, seasons and other miscellaneous items. We chose the bible theme from the miscellaneous category. The 3rd option is to print black and white, or in color.

Toy Story Memory - Commercial Memory Game Variations

If you have Toy Story fans in your home, this is sure to be a hit.

Numbers Memory - Matching Numerals to Sets of Objects

SpongeBob Memory - Spongebob version of the commercial Memory game.

Who doesn't love Spongebob Squarepants? Is it a surprise that Spongebob has a Memory game?

Round Homemade Memory Chips - from the Dandee Blog

How to Make a Memory Game

Danyelle puts a new twist on an old game with round homemade memory chips. She uses them to teach shapes and colors, but these wooden discs can be used to create any homemade memory game. The discs are inexpensive and hold up to a lot of wear and tear if you plan to play the game often.

Homemade Memory Game from Wooden Discs

Add Your 2 Cents! Do You Have More Ideas for Learning Games? - Leave your ideas for homemade memory games here!

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    • profile image

      candy47 5 years ago

      As a volunteer reading tutor for 4th & 5th graders, I use the classic concentration game cards. I also let them use Scrabble tiles for spelling.

    • eclecticeducati1 profile image

      eclecticeducati1 5 years ago

      Lots of great ideas here! I was just thinking about this earlier today and then I saw you lens. That is too funny! :) I have made up "art appreciation" memory cards for my kids to help them learn the Masters. I got 2 sets of those cool artwork stickers from Dover and stuck them on half sized index cards. They work great. I got double sets for Van Gogh, Dega, Rembrandt, and Monet. I was just thinking today about maybe I could use the memory game to help my little guy learn multiplication and possibly figure a way to use it for geography. Thanks for the ideas. :)

    • KarenTBTEN profile image

      KarenTBTEN 5 years ago

      I have made a lot of different memory games: sight words, ESL, math concepts.gagtwit

    • profile image

      Rachellewms 5 years ago

      This is a great idea for homeschoolers or anyone who wants to aid in the education of a young child. Great Lens!

    • leonlow profile image

      leonlow 5 years ago

      I prefer the one that is made of fabric, at least when it's more durable and not easily torn. I would suggest adding an interface to make it stronger.

    • lasertek lm profile image

      lasertek lm 5 years ago

      Memory game is really a good idea to teach children.

    • iijuan12 profile image

      iijuan12 5 years ago from Florida

      Great ideas! Blessed and liked.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thanks for this lens...it is a terrific resource. I've bookmarked it so I can return. I'm a substitute teacher and I see a number of things here that I can use in class. Thank, again!

    • profile image

      rumahshaleh 16 months ago

      terima kasih untuk penjelasannya. Semoga ilmu yang saya dapatkan dari tulisanya ini bisa menjadi pelajaran berharga bagi saya. Tabik - http://rumahshaleh.com

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