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Make Your Own Memory Games to Teach Just About Anything!

Updated on February 6, 2018
hsschulte profile image

I love to share lesson plans with other teachers and homeschooling parents.

Memory Game

Classic Memory Game
Classic Memory Game

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.

  • has free printable memory games to teach sight words!


    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.

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

Round Homemade Memory Chips - from the Dandee Blog

How to Make a Memory Game

© 2011 hsschulte


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