This week one of the grocery stores had a 2 for 1 sale flyer. In less than 2 minutes I made sure it was quite useless for anyone else in the family to read because I cut it up. I made a Matching Pairs game to use for a kindergarten readiness memory activity.
Did you ever play the card game called Concentration or Memory where you have to turn over the cards and match up pairs? Even quite young children beat me at that game and I’m convinced there’s a great deal of luck involved, not just memory. These days there’s on-line and I-pad versions with lots of different objects for kids, but this picture shows a low-tech one that has the advantage of low-cost, too. It’s still fun to play, especially when the kids beat the grown-ups. (I have the 1 lone matching pair, a 3-year old has the other 3 and that was just my turn that didn’t match. Sigh.)
If you haven’t played, the idea is to use pairs of cards that are the same and place them face down in a group. Each person takes a turn to flip over 2 cards. If the cards do not match they get flipped back upside down. If the cards do show the matching pair, that person takes the cards away (counting 1 point) and the next person has a turn. 3 or 4 picture-pairs are good to start with; 5 or 6 pairs add more challenge. After all the pairs are matched, turn the cards over, mix them all up and play again.
Besides being a great way to exercise visual memory, kids also practice some social skills such as taking turns and following simple rules. There’s counting and lots of language involved, too. These are all important for readiness for kindergarten development. Two kids can play together or even one child alone can find the pairs. Who gets more in your house?