Child Memory Games

Improve Concentration and Listening Skills

Child memory games give kids the opportunity to exercise their brains and help to improve their language and concentration skills as well as their memory.

Surrounding children with books, puzzles and generally providing an enriching environment has been shown to stimulate their developmental growth and capacity for learning.

So what sorts of other kids memory games are appropriate?

Simple memory games to play with younger children can involve asking which sound matches which animal, or what colors certain household objects are; ‘What color is a banana, what color are your socks?’

Finding matching pairs is lots of fun and most adults will find that their kids have better memory than they do!

Once your children reach four or five years of age they will enjoy looking at books that challenge them to spot the difference or find hidden items on a page.

Use playing cards to play Concentration or other similar card games of finding pairs. Once they begin to recognize the alphabet you can challenge them in letter recognition and sounds. Other specific memory games can be played easily at home with individual children or in a group.

Memory Test

This game can be played with a number of children (with pen and paper) or with a single child who can just use their memory to recall the objects.

Arrange a tray with a selection of between five and twenty common objects- spoon, pencil, coin, button, key…and so on, the number of objects can vary depending on the ages of the children.

Cover the tray with a cloth and bring it into the room. The kids get to view the display for one to two minutes before it is re-covered. The child to write down the longest list from their memory wins the game. When playing individually you can alter the game to remove one object and then see if the child can spot which one has been removed, or gradually add more objects to the tray testing their skills further.

Chinese Whispers

The players sit in a circle or a line so that they can whisper to their immediate neighbours but not hear any players further away. The first player is given a short phrase by an adult and whispers it as quietly as possible to her/his neighbour. The neighbour then passes on the message to the next player. The game continues until the player at the end announces the message that they have received- often completely different to the original. 

The game has no objective, and no winner – the entertainment comes from comparing the original and final messages. An exercise in listening, memory and the power of gossip!


Word Associations

The children sit in a circle and the first child begins by saying a sentence in story form e.g ‘I went to the store to buy eggs’. The next child repeats the sentence and adds an item. ‘I went to the store to buy eggs and milk..’. In this way the children keep building up a story as well as remembering what the previous sentences were.

The game can be varied by working through the alphabet or matching items to the first letter of each child’s name. ‘Tom went to the store and bought toffees and met Martha who bought milk…’ 

The child who forgets a line drops out of the game.This game not only improves a child’s memory but also encourages him/her to be creative in story telling.


A good child memory game for a small group. The children are divided into two teams. One team leaves the room while the other makes ‘mismatches’ by altering objects in the room. They might turn objects upside down, put an item of clothing on inside out. After 3 minutes the other team returns and has one minute to try to spot the mismatches. Any that do not get noticed score one point to the team that made them. The team with the highest score wins.


This game can be play indoors or outdoors and tests the communicating and listening skills of your children. They each get a plastic container filled with exactly the same blocks, lego etc. Sit them back to back with one being the ‘caller’ and the other the ‘listener’. The caller explains to the listener which pieces they are putting together and how. The listener can ask questions to ensure that they have understood. Once the pieces have all been used they can compare structures to see how good their communication has been.

The game can also be played with paper and pen, felt and felt board, whatever else you can think of.

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