Thematic Memory Match

One of my original goals when I began doing My Obstacle Courses with my son was to work on building his play skills, particularly turn taking since he is an only child and doesn’t have to do that very often.  As I looked through his toy closet, I noticed that we had accumulated a number of different memory match games (Sesame Street characters, shapes, colors, etc.) and I also remembered how much I used to love playing this game as a child.  I decided to try it out with my son and found it to be a perfect game for introducing turn taking and following directions when playing card games.

My son studying the card he flipped over. He loves the mystery of not knowing what is going to be on the other side of the cards!!

I realized that I could make my very own memory match games that would be unique to our theme and would allow me to work on attention to details and building vocabulary.  I could change it up frequently and easily by using thematic stickers and index cards.  It is so easy to make and the possibilities are endless!  Most importantly, my son loved the mystery of what stickers would be waiting for him when he flipped them over!!

How to make your very own thematic memory match game:

These are the three things I need to make a thematic memory match game: 10 4x6 index cards (will make 20 playing card size pieces), paper cutter (scissors work but the cutter is quicker and straighter), and a sheet of thematic stickers.

Step 1: Choose a package of stickers. If they don't have matching stickers on the same sheet like this one does, you can use the same sticker from two separate sheets.

Step 2: Get 4x6 index cards. I usually use blank colored cards but white ones work as well.

Step 3: Cut the card in half so you have two "playing card" size pieces.

Index card after cutting in half.

Thematic stickers with cut index cards- ready to put the game together!

Step 4: Choose a sticker and place it in the middle of the card.

Step 5: Place the matching sticker on another card.

Continue with the other stickers...

until you have a full set ready for a game of Thematic Memory Match!

See it in action!

When first introducing this game to your child, you may want to start with a few cards facing up and working on finding the cards that are the same.

Matching up the cards that are the same. Next person's turn!

Another pair matched! Who's turn now?

Continue until all cards have been matched up into pairs.

Too easy?  Ready for a challenge?

Thematic Memory Match game with cards face down.

Flip one card over at a time. Talk about what it is, any specific details about the sticker, any details or information about the object to help the child relate (Where or when do we see it? Is it real or make believe?)

Flip over another card. If they match, remove them from the game area. If they do not match, flip them both over and the next person takes their turn. It is important to watch what the other person flips over because it could help make a match later on!

Continue taking turns and finding matching pairs until they are all matched up.

Easy Add Ons:

  • More cards can be added to make it even more challenging.
  • If your child is ready for and is motivated by competition, keep track of the number of matched pairs to determine a winner.

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