Are you planning your summer activities with your kids already? Here’s a fun little project they will have fun making: memory matching cards! My kids love to play Memory–my preschooler plays the official version at Grandma’s house, but we don’t have that game at home, so we decided to make our own with readymade stickers and cardstock. Such a quick and easy project!
The stickers that come with many stickers to a sheet, with repeating images are ideal, like the ones sold in the education/teacher aisle at your local dollar store. Or, buy two packages of identical stickers. Any kind of unmarked cardstock will work. The heavier, the better!
- Stickers (you must have 2 of each image), $1
- 1-2 sheets of cardstock or heavy paper, $.50 or less
- Paper cutter or scissors, on hand
Total cost: $1.50
You will need one card per sticker. Determine how many cards you will need.
Cut cards from cardstock. To cut 16 cards from one sheet of paper, cut paper in half from both directions. Cut resulting rectangles in half again in both directions. This is easiest if you have a paper cutter, but you can also do it with scissors.
Stick stickers to cards. Your child can help with this (my two year-old did a pretty good job! The images weren’t perfectly lined up on the card, but he didn’t care, and he had a ball sticking the stickers on the cards).
Note: it is best if stickers are different-looking enough to not be confusing to little ones. In other words, two different shots of the same doggie might be a little too similar! We used these stickers that all have a different baby animal on them!
Play the game!
To Play (ages 3 and up):
- Mix cards up.
- Lay all cards face-down on table (in a grid pattern).
- Youngest player goes first and turns two cards of her choosing over. If cards match, she takes the cards and has another turn. If cards don’t match, move to the next player.
- When all cards are matched, the player with the most sets of matching cards wins.
To Play Simplified Version (ages 2 and under):
- Limit total number of cards to 8, or four sets (you adjust for your child’s skill and interest level).
- Youngest player goes first and turns two cards of his choosing over. If cards match, she takes them, but does not have another turn.
- Next player takes a turn.
- When a match is made, everyone cheers.
- When all cards are matched, start over again.
The Not-Ready-For-Organized-Games version (younger 2s and under):
- Turn 4 sets of cards face up.
- Take turns looking at each card and trying to find its partner.
- Cheer when child finds a match.
- You can also use these cards to play other games like Go Fish!
- If you don’t have stickers that match, how about making your own? Print photos of your family (faces are good) on labels and stick onto cards. Avery has free label-making software that makes it super easy to print straight to labels! This would also be a fun handmade gift for a birthday boy or girl.