Preparing the Materials
Print out the document, on card stock if desired, and laminate, if desired. The large sheet pictured above is a worksheet, and the rest of the document’s pages are cards, so cut them out. For a simpler activity, simply print out two copies of one of the landscape pages, and cut one of them out.
Here is the document:
memory activities pdf
I made it in WORD, using the “Webdings” font.
Playing the Game
Show your child two or three cards, and then show them the worksheet and ask them to find the pictures that they just saw. They can identify them by placing pennies or another manipulative on the picture, or by marking it with a writing utensil. If you have laminated the worksheet, they can do this with a crayon or dry-erase marker and use the worksheet again and again.
Gradually make the game harder by adding more cards, and/or lengthening the time between when you show the cards and when they mark them on the worksheet. For example, you can show them the cards before you eat, and give them the worksheet after.
Why do memory activities?
Memory muscles, like other muscles in the body, grow with use. I like this activity for my little ones because it is age appropriate for them. Playing traditional “memory”, where you turn over the cards until you find a match, is something that my three-year-old doesn’t have the patience for yet. See Chess for Preschoolers for more on my philosophy on intellectual vs social maturity. Eventually, he may want to memorize the Declaration of Independence, but let’s face it, that sort of thing just doesn’t do it for him right now. Card games like this do. Because the game is based on pictures, instead of words or ideas, the game is concrete. The objective is clear, even for my toddler.
Another thing that is great about these activities is how simple it is adapt the challenge level of the game. I dare you to try it yourself. Mix up the cards, quickly look at ten of them and place them in a pile. Then try to identify them on the worksheet. How did you do? Okay, maybe you’re smarter then me. Look at 15 of them, and then put it away for a day. Then try to identify them on the worksheet. Haha. I couldn’t do it either. Not yet, anyway. Do these activities every day, and your child will surprise you.