May 22, 2020

Stay-at-Home Activities 3: Memory

        Many states in the US are beginning to “reopen,” but that doesn’t mean you should be abandoning your stay-at-home habits just yet.  It will still be a while before we’re back to full social mixing, and until then, here’s a quick and easy game to play at home.  If you’re bored, why not instigate a family game of Memory, aka Concentration.  It can be played with a wide age range, with varying numbers of people, and with just a small area on the corner of a table or the floor.
        Download this page and print two copies.  It’s best if you can print on thicker paper or card stock to make the cards easier to handle and to eliminate the danger of seeing through from the back. 

        Carefully cut apart all the cards along the lines.  Shuffle them together, all facing down.
1.  Lay out all the cards face down in a grid (say 6x10, or 7x8 plus a row of 4).
2.  The first player turns any two cards face up so that everyone can see.  If the two cards are identical, the player wins the pair and removes it to their own pile.  They may then try another two cards.  If the two cards are not the same, they are turned back down in place, and the next player takes a turn.
3.  Early on, it is unlikely that a matching pair will be turned up, but the object is to remember where each card lies, so that when you turn up one that you recognize, you can pick its match as your second card.
4.  The game ends when all cards have been matched and picked up.  The winner is the one with the most pairs.

     - If you live singly (or can’t get anyone in your family to play with you!) this can be played as solitaire, where the challenge is to find all the matching pairs in the fewest number of turns.
     - If playing with people of widely different abilities it can be helpful to give each player only one chance per round.  In other words, you do not get to keep going as long as you find matches.  Rather, each player gets to look at only two cards per turn, whether it’s a match or not.
     - Cards can be put out in a more random pattern instead of a neat grid, which can make it harder to keep track of what’s where.
     - You can print a third copy of all the cards and require all three matching cards to be found for a set.
     - When playing with children, every time an unmatched set of cards is turned up you can encourage everyone to try to think of some attribute that the two objects have in common.  For example, “They are both flying things” or “They are both green” or “They both start with B.”

        All of these cards are from my own original block prints, of course, which means that these are all some of my favorite things.  (If there are some you don’t recognize, try looking them up!)  If you made your own game of Memory, what things would you put on your cards?  Why not go ahead and do it: make your own family game of Memory!  The two pictures for each set don’t have to be identical as long as they are clearly recognizable as belonging together.  For example, you and a child could each draw the same 20 objects, and then parent and child dogs make a set, parent and child houses, parent and child cupcakes…  Or each member of the family could be in charge of making a certain number of sets for the game, and you could draw a sitting cat and a sleeping cat for one set, a red car and a blue car for another, and so on.
        Let me know in the comments what you’ve done, or what variations you’ve enjoyed.

[Memory game cards designed by and from original artwork by AEGN, 2020.]

1 comment:

Sue Bursztynski said...

Sounds like fun! I’ll certainly print it out when I can.