DIY on a Dime: Memory Game for Kids

Learn how to make a personalized Memory Game for kids with some inexpensive materials from Life as MOM Contributor Janel.

how to make a memory game

All Photos: Janel Piersma

Memory. Oh, how I loved that game! It was by far one of my favorite games to play as a young child. It’s a great game to teach children how to take turns and identify things that match.

Today’s tutorial includes a FREE printable to make alphabet matching cards. It’s a great way for kids to learn and practice the alphabet. This printable offers FOUR options:

  • Uppercase alphabet matching pairs in black
  • Uppercase alphabet matching pairs in multiple colors
  • Uppercase and lowercase matching pairs in black
  • Uppercase and lower case matching pairs in multiple colors

Of course, you don’t have to use this printable. You can make your very own variation. Personalize the game with your child’s favorite things or family photographs.

For a more advanced game for a child who is learning a second language, make cards that say a word in a foreign language with the English translation as its match. Use your imagination, and make a game that will interest your child!

Because this game contains many pieces, you’ll want to plan a way to store it. You can keep it simple and store it in a ziptop bag. Or, you can create your own storage container.

I stored my game in a felt purse, based on a tutorial from DIY Your Way, that holds this set of Alphabet cards perfectly.

The version shown here is the lined version of the purse. However, the simple unlined version would work even better since it is slightly larger and easier to make. If you don’t have a sewing machine, you can easily stitch the unlined version by hand OR use hot glue instead of stitching. Easy peasy.

How to Make a Memory Game:

Supplies:

  • cardboard from cereal boxes
  • paper cutter
  • scrapbook paper of your choice
  • cardstock
  • ABC card template (optional)
  • Modge Podge & paintbrush (or other adhesive)
  • Scissors

Directions:

  1. Flatten out your cereal boxes, and use a paper cutter to cut out 2″ x 2″ squares for your card pieces. If you are using the provided template, you will need 52 pieces. If you don’t have a paper cutter, you can use a ruler and scissors but it will be a little more difficult to be exact in your cutting.
  2. Cut your scrapbook paper into 2″ x 2″ pieces. If you are using the provided template, you will need 52 pieces.
  3. Print the provided template onto cardstock, and cut it into 2″ x 2″ cards.  If you don’t wish to use the template, design your own cards out of cardstock that are 2″ x 2″ in size. Just make sure that each card has a match.
  4. Apply a thin layer of modge podge (or other adhesive) to the backside of your cereal box square AND your scrapbook paper square. Place the glued sides together, and press carefully to align the pieces and make sure that they are stuck together.
  5. Apply a thin layer of modge podge (or other ahesive) to the other side of the cereal box square and the backside of your “matching” piece square. Place the glued sides together, and press carefully to align the pieces and make sure that they are stuck together.
  6. Use scissors to trim any uneven edges if needed.
  7. Allow the pieces to dry completely. If you wish, you can place them under something heavy (like a book) to ensure that they dry flat.
  8. For greater durability, add add a layer of modge podge over both sides of the cards. Allow to dry completely.

How to Play the Game: Allow youngest child to go first. Mix up the cards and place them face-down on your playing surface. Each player takes turns flipping over two cards and trying to find a match. If he finds a match, he keeps his pair, and takes another turn. Once all of the matches are made, the player with the greatest number of matches wins.

Game Modification for Very Young Kids: If your child is very young, you can play a modified version of the game. Place the cards face-up and have the child find matches. You can also ask the child to find a specific card and its match.

Janel is a stay-at-home mom of two daughters and a “law school wife” in Virginia. Raised in a budget-conscious and DIY-minded family, she blogs about motherhood, crafts, and living on a law school budget at Life with Lucie and Ella.

DIY on a Dime

This is part of the DIY on a Dime: Great Gifts series. For more easy and frugal gift ideas, check out the list.

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