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5 Fun Memory Games for Kids

Maggie is a teacher, writer, and mother of three. She specializes in activities for kids.

Memory Games That Will Help Improve Your Child's Memory

Memory Games That Will Help Improve Your Child's Memory

Benefits of Playing Memory Games With Kids

Do you want to help your child become a more successful learner? One really effective way to help them achieve this is by regularly playing memory games with them.

The benefits of playing memory games with your preschooler and school-aged child are enormous. Think about how many areas in the curriculum require a good memory. History, maths, and science, to name but a few, all require students to remember numerous facts, figures, and formulas. Children who develop a good memory won't dread learning history facts and dates, as they will find it relatively easy.

As they get older, learning maths formulas, science elements, and Latin grammar will be a breeze for children who have enhanced memory skills. These memory skills will continue to benefit them through their academic years and into adulthood.

Here are some fun memory games you can play with your kids that will greatly help to improve their memory skills before they even start formal education. Kids aged 3–6 years will love participating in these activities.

The Best Memory Games for 3–6-Year-Olds

  1. Kim's Game
  2. Matching Pairs
  3. Memory Train
  4. The Magic Cup Game
  5. Spot the Difference

1. Kim's Game

Put five objects on a tray, such as a pencil, pen, small toy, shell, or ornament. Ask your child to study them for a couple of minutes. Put a cover over the tray. How many objects can your child remember?

Children love this game, and it can be played with more or fewer items, depending on your child's age and ability. A variation of the game can be played when they get very good at it. Here, you take the tray out of sight after they have studied the objects. You then remove one object and ask your child if they can spot which one is missing.

How does it help improve your child's memory?

Kim's game helps your child develop visual memory, which is an important skill for learning to read and spell. A child with a good visual memory will be able to recall words and the letter order of words more accurately.

2. Matching Pairs

Take a standard pack of playing cards and remove the numbers 6–10 from the pack. Place the remaining cards face down on the table in eight rows of four. Each player tries to find a matching pair by turning up two cards.

If it is not a matching pair, then the cards are placed face down again in the same position. If they do match, the player keeps this pair of cards and has another turn. When all the pairs have been found, players count their pairs. The one with the most pairs of cards is the winner.

How does it help improve your child's memory?

This game really helps encourage your child's memory training as it takes a considerable amount of concentration for a young child to watch and remember where each card is. Using a standard pack of cards will have the added benefit of reinforcing number learning.

There are also plenty of memory games that you can buy with pictures on them rather than numbers. Very young children might prefer these bright, colourful versions of this game, and they work along the same principles as using the standard pack of cards. Alternatively, try out some of the free printable matching games available on the internet.

3. Memory Train

I'm sure you all remember playing the popular memory train game in your childhood. First of all, tell your child to imagine going on holiday. Start off by saying, "I packed my suitcase and put in my...hairbrush".

The next person repeats the phrase but adds on an extra item, e.g., "I packed my suitcase and put in my hairbrush and t-shirt." And so on. You can play your own variation of this game. For instance, you could go to the supermarket to buy groceries or visit the funfair to go on rides.

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How does it help improve your child's memory?

Kids love repetition and learn effectively when things are repeated over and over again. The memory train game really stimulates the memory as it involves repeating the same list over and over and adding one item to it each time. This is quite a challenging game, but you'll be amazed at how quickly your child develops the ability to remember long lists of items.

Good concentration and memory skills will help a child succeed in school.

Good concentration and memory skills will help a child succeed in school.

4. The Magic Cup Game

For this game, you need three plastic cups and a small item such as a coin. Place the item under a cup, making sure your child knows which one it's under.

Move the cups around and ask your child which cup the item is under. Your child can then have a go at moving the magic cups. My young daughter dresses up and pretends to be a magician when playing the magic cup game and this makes it all the more fun.

How does it help improve your child's memory?

This game teaches children to concentrate really hard as they try to follow the cup with the object under it. Concentrating and paying close attention is the first step in developing a strong memory.

This is also one of the key skills required for successful learning. Children who can concentrate hard will focus well in lessons in school and won't be easily distracted by other things going on around them. Teachers will tell you what a valuable skill this is.

5. Spot the Difference

Ask your child to study you, paying attention to what you are wearing. Leave the room and change one thing. For instance, you could take off an earring, tie your hair back or change your shirt.

Come back in and ask your child to spot what you have changed. You can also play this game on a whiteboard. Draw a person or scene and rub one thing out when your child is not looking. Can your child spot the difference?

How does it help improve your child's memory?

This game helps to build concentration and visual memory skills as your child will have to form and retain a visual picture of what you looked like before you made the change. Well-developed visual memory skills will be beneficial to your child when it comes to learning to read and write.

Playing Memory Games: Important Tips

  • Play memory games regularly. This will build your child's concentration, a key skill required to become a successful learner in school.
  • Play the games that your child finds enjoyable. Your child will learn better when the games are fun and will want to play them over and over again.
  • Make sure that your child is achieving success in the game. Play the game with only four items if your child can remember four objects but not five. It's important that a feeling of success is achieved as failure is de-motivating, especially to a young child.

Start Playing Memory Games With Your Child Now

Children who have developed good memory skills will find learning a breeze. They will focus well in school and, as a result, will become successful learners and confident individuals. All the games described are suitable for children from as young as three years old.

You can also easily adapt the games to suit your child's age and stage of development. Alternatively, there are plenty of highly reviewed memory games for sale on sites such as Amazon.

The Disney Princess Memory Game comes with particularly good reviews, so it is well worth considering. So start playing memory games whilst your child is young. It will really help to develop concentration and memory skills, and your child will reap the benefits at school.

Memory Games Make a Great Gift for a Child

Amazon sells a variety of memory games, many of which are based on favourite characters and themes, such as Disney Princesses, Dr Seuss, and Curious George. These would make fantastic Christmas or birthday gifts for a child.

Improve Your Child's Concentration

Children with poor concentration will be easily distracted, restless and unfocused in the classroom. This will have a detrimental effect on their ability to learn and their overall academic performance. Playing memory games with your child is one step you can take to help your child develop better concentration.

Many parents have also found that DHA supplements have really helped improve their children's focus and concentration. Clinical trials show that children with ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder especially benefit from taking a DHA supplement.


Eleanor on July 01, 2020:

I really love playing memory games with kids, especially they love making them online on

neha bhave on August 29, 2018:

Hello the memory games are very good for kids.Thanks for putting up such activities

Maggie.L (author) from UK on September 05, 2014:

chitrangadasharan, Yes, you're right. Memory games really do help improve a child's memory and can be fun too.

Thanks for the vote and pin. That's really appreciated.

Maggie.L (author) from UK on September 04, 2014:

Susan Recipes - you're very welcome. These memory games have really helped my kids to develop good memory skills. I hope they come useful for other parents too.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on September 04, 2014:

Very useful and informative hub!

I agree with you that memory games are very helpful in improving a child's memory, especially in their formative years.

I remember my kids in their younger classes having 'Mental Maths.' class.

Voted up and pinned on my parenting board!

Susan from India on September 03, 2014:

Thanks for sharing this memory games for kids. It is very informative for all those who are having kids.

Maggie.L (author) from UK on July 11, 2014:

Hi rasta1. Thanks for reading and commenting. We play cards a lot in our house. It's a great way of getting the family interacting with one another - not easy for us these days with two kids in their teens.

Maggie.L (author) from UK on July 11, 2014:

Hi Ologsinquito. Thanks for stopping by to read. I'm all for giving birthday presents that give children the opportunity to learn whilst having fun.

ologsinquito from USA on July 11, 2014:

These games would make great birthday presents!

Marvin Parke from Jamaica on June 20, 2014:

I remember playing these games especially the one with the cards. Great evergreen hub.

Maggie.L (author) from UK on June 20, 2014:

Hi sadstill22. My daughter loves memory train too. Thanks for reading.

Annabel from Singapore on June 18, 2014:

my son likes memory train

Maggie.L (author) from UK on May 30, 2011:

Thanks Beverly for reading my hub and for your positive comments. I hope your grandson enjoys these games as much as my kids.

Beverly Stevens from College Station on May 30, 2011:

Thanks for these great ideas. I'll have my grandson this summer and plan to use these.

Maggie.L (author) from UK on May 29, 2011:

Fay, thanks for stopping by to read and glad that it might come in useful to you and your little grandson. My teenage daughters both have good memory skills and excellent concentration. I'm sure playing these memory games when they were young has contributed to this.

Fay Paxton on May 29, 2011:

Thanks for this, Maggie. My six year-old grandson has excellent retention. I'm always trying to think of ways to reinforce his memory skills so this has really come in handy.

up/very useful

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