Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Memory Matching Games for Early Learners

Are you using games to achieve learning goals with your four and five year olds?  If so, don't throw away your plastic Easter eggs just yet.  I created a product that is appropriate for four and five year olds.  It is a memory matching game packet!  These games are easy to use.  All you need to do is print the pages and grab some plastic eggs.  For long lasting use, the pages could be printed on card-stock or laminated.   

Many pre-kinders are ready to play simple, structured games. These games are ready for spring learning and review to begin!  They are great for playing with a peer or alongside an adult.
Uppercase to Uppercase Letter Matching
The object of the game is to find pairs that belong together (or match) in some manner. The game starts with one child revealing two characters such as two letters. If the letters are a match, the child keeps the tokens (egg halves)  If the letters are not a match, the child returns the plastic egg halves to their original position. It's important that the opposing player pays attention to the location of the letters that were revealed. This helps him/her find matches. The two players take turns attempting to make matches. The game is over when all matches are made. If a winner is assigned, it is the child that collects the greatest number of tokens (egg halves).
Shapes memory matching game.
Young children have fantastic short term memory! I wanted the games to be challenging yet not overwhelming for the children. 12 or 14 circles on each page became the right balance.  These games fast paced!  Children may want to play several times with the same game or use another memory game in one sitting.  I used the standard, small plastic eggs that come in a bag to cover the circles with. The miniature plastic eggs will be too small.   
Plastic milk jug lids cover the circles just as well as plastic eggs.
Don't have plastic eggs?  No problem!  Send a note to your students' families and ask them to save plastic milk jug lids.  You'll get quite a variety of colors AND you will be showing your students how reuse something!  I discovered that the milk jug lids fit on top of the circles just as well as the egg halves.
Numeral/dot matching is a beginning subitizing skill.
Memory games that use paper pieces to conceal the characters can be frustrating to pre-kinders.  Young children don't have the fine motor skills to easily lift a thin piece of paper off of a page and then return it to its location.  Often times you'll end up with bent paper pieces.  It's not their fault when this happens.  They haven't developed the dexterity that older children possess.  I am glad to have found a way around this issue.  Lifting up the plastic egg halves or plastic milk jug lids IS an appropriate activity that helps little finger muscles grow stronger.
Color words memory matching game
According to the Virginia Literacy Foundation Block 4, students should "Read simple/familiar high-frequency words . . .".  This is one of the standards for four year olds.  What words, (other than their own names) are appropriate for four year olds to learn to "read" instantly?   

There are a total of nineteen memory games in this packet! 

Here are the details:

1. 1 shape memory matching game

2. 1 shape/color memory matching game

3. 4 uppercase to uppercase memory matching games

4. 4 lowercase to lowercase memory matching games 

5. 4 uppercase to lowercase memory matching games

6. 2 color words memory matching games

7. 1 numeral to dots (subitizing) memory matching games

8. 2 numeral to numeral memory matching games

The targeted skills are: letter identification, numeral identification, shape recognition, beginning subitizing, and high frequency words (color words).

Click on the picture below to view the product at my Teachers pay Teachers store:
You might also like this FREE sight word memory matching game shown below.  Click the picture to view:
Need more memory matching games?  View this priced sight word memory game below my clicking the image:

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