For me one of the most iconic games from my childhood that most, if not all, of us played is Matching, or what some people call Memory. You know the game. The one where you flip over two cards and try to get two of a kind.
Matching and memory games are beneficial for kids in many ways. They; improve concentration, help them learn visual memory, increase their shot term memory, increase attention to detail, and give them the ability to find similarities and differences in objects.
The other day my daughter told me that she didn’t like the matching game we have because it’s kind of hard. I had to agree with her. There are a million cards so if you only want to use a small amount you have to take time to find matches first before you start separating. Not only that, but some of the picture are too similar and for her it can be confusing sine she is only a toddler.
In that moment I decided I would make her a more basic, yet fun, matching game. I’ll admit that in my search for a subject I got a little carried away. With the amount of amazingly cute and eye-catching graphics I was finding on Etsy, I’m surprised I stopped at only three sets.
HOW TO MAKE
You can make this set a couple different ways depending on the supplies you have on hand. I have a laminator because I laminate everything, really, I do. Sometimes I wonder what I did before I got one and how in the world I survived without it.
Since I have a laminator at my fingertips I just printed off the sets I made, cut them out, laminated them, then cut them out again. I love the idea of laminating them so that they are more protected and will make them last longer. With toddlers this is really a must.
If you don’t have a laminator but still like the idea or laminating, you can get self-laminating sheets form your local office supply or bigger grocery store. These are usually pretty thick sheets so when you cut out the square you will want to round the corners, so they aren’t super poky.
WITHOUT LAMINATOR IDEA 1
If you don’t have a laminator you can easily just print the sheets, cut them out and use them that way. A huge tip though is to print them on cardstock paper or you will most likely be able to see a little of the image through the back of the paper.
WITHOUT LAMINATOR IDEA 2
If you print the images out but want to do something a little more than cut them out but not as much as laminating them, you can glue them to felt, craft wooden squares, cardboard, or foam poster board. Feel free to get creative with it. The cool thing is that if you ruin a sheet it’s not a bid deal, you can just print off another set.
To get the 3 free downloadable Memory Matching Game sets fill out the form below. You will get 3 different sets, Solar System, Sea Creatures, and Dinosaurs and each set comes with 12 different matches.
Matching and Memory games are a great way to help our kids learn and grow while at the same time having fun. Get your free printables below and enjoy a round or two of this great game with your kiddos.