Did you know the brain is one of the most vital organs within our body? The brain is responsible for controlling all of the various body functions that get us through the day! Cognitive skills are critical skills our brains need to perform basic tasks such as reading, writing, speaking, thinking, and learning. Students must work on cognitive skills, like memory, so they can easily absorb new information and recall this information for a later time. Keep reading to find out about different memory games for kids, and see how you can implement them for your child.
Explore fun (and free) memory games for kids to enhance their learning skills
Games are a fun way to engage students in their learning, so here are a few cool and creative memory games to try. They range from games that use LEGO to games on Scratch. Although these games cater to students ages 4 and up, parents, feel free to test your memory too. It is never too late to work out those memory muscles!
1. LEGO Build Challenge
If you have LEGO at home and want to know how to strengthen your student’s memory, try this fun game. To play, you must have two players or more. One player will quickly build a small structure that the other players must imitate. Player one must hide the LEGO structure until they complete their build. This LEGO build can be a house, a tree, a car, or anything that takes one minute to build. Once player one finishes the build, other players will have a few seconds to look at player one’s creation. Then they will have about one minute or less to recreate an exact copy of player one’s build. Other players must not look back at the original structure for reference. They must challenge themselves and use their memory to achieve this part of the game!
Additional challenges/variations: Make larger structures for each player to duplicate or take less time memorizing builds.
Best for ages: 6 and up
2. What’s On the Tray Game
What’s On the Tray is a game you can play at parties or casually at home. All you need for this game is a tray and random objects to place on a tray. To begin the game, have your kid memorize the items on the tray. Then, cover the tray and remove an object without your child seeing it. Next, show your kid the tray and ask which item is missing.
Additional challenges/variations: You can also play this game by having the child memorize what they saw on the tray, or you could add more items for them to remember.
Best for ages: 4 and up
3. Magic Cup Game
For this quick and fun memory game, you can play anywhere as long as you have three cups (must look the same) and a small object. The object could be a small ball, a nickel, or even a crumpled piece of paper. To play, hide the item under one of the cups, then have your student memorize which cup it is beneath. Next, move the cups around and once you finish shuffling the cups, ask the student which cup the object is hiding in.
Additional challenges/variations: To make this game a little more challenging, add more cups to hide the ball under or shuffle cups at a faster speed!
Best for ages: 4 and up
Did you know that coding can help improve the brain? Learning to code is similar to learning a new language because we need to learn new symbols, terms, and structures. However, reading code does not activate language regions in our brains. It turns on a network in our brain that cognitively challenges us, holds pieces of information, and allows us to perform various mental tasks, like memory. Coders constantly use their working memory to write programs because they recall how and when to use syntax, functions, conditionals, loops, etc. Coding is a creative and challenging way to help boost our brain’s ability to learn, memorize, and perform other cognitive skills.
Best for ages: 5 and up
If you have a student just starting elementary school, check out our ScratchJr classes!
Do you want to see some cool games you can create with Scratch? If so, check this memory game out! The goal is to click on the correct blocks shown at the beginning of each level. The levels get progressively difficult as you go. The max level possible is 500%. Do you think you can get above 100%?
Additional challenges/variations: Try remixing this project to add more challenging levels!
Best for ages: 7 and up
Here is another game on Scratch that uses memory skills to win the game. In order to win, you must empty the board by matching the same pie squares together. There are four levels of difficulty: easy, medium, hard, and “Are You Crazy?” Do you think you can complete all four levels? If so, try it out below!
Additional challenges/variations: If you completed this game quickly, then time yourself during each try to beat your old time. You can also remix this project to add more challenging levels or create your unique version of this memory match game!
Best for ages: 5 and up
Shop memory games for kids
If you are looking for activities that you would like to have on hand for family game nights or to take on the road, check out some of these entertaining memory games available for purchase.
- BrainBolt by Educational Insight: BrainBolt is a challenging game of memorizing light sequences. To win, you must remember the pattern on the game board and press each button according to the correct sequence. Price: $23.99
- Pressman Lucky Ducks: Lucky Ducks is a fun game for younger kids ages 3 & up. In this game, kids must pick up ducks and check if the shape and color match theirs. Price: $19.99
- Stellar Factory Peek & Push: Peek & Push is a strategy game for kids 7 & up that puts your memory to use. To play this game, you must seek, push, or win. To seek, you lift a card to see what color and number it is and put it down without showing your opponent. To push, you move a row or column down or up by one. To win Peek & Push, you must be correct about what you think is within a specific row or column. Price: $14.95
- Fred and Friends Donut Memory Game: Donut Memory is a sweet game about discovering and remembering the placement of each donut. This game is for everyone who enjoys matching games! Price: $11.75
Try memory games for kids
Children are constantly learning new information. They need ways to help them process and store this information for another time. Memory games can help young kids because it makes the learning process much easier and more effective by improving a child’s retention and levels of concentration. These games are a great way to strengthen and build the brain because they take only a few minutes out of the day and are fun to play on your own or with others! If you want to know when or how to implement an activity like memory games into your kid’s learning, read more about supplemental learning for kids.
Encourage your child's interest in STEM with a fun online class in Minecraft engineering, led live by an expert, and designed by professionals from Google, Stanford, and MIT:
Written by Hunter Wilkinson, a fervent reader and learner. She got into education to share her passion for storytelling and STEAM instruction. In her free time, Hunter loves to write songs/poems, run, play video games, and hang out with her two fluffy cats.