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Activities

Super Simple Memory Game

Jan 12, 2016

It’s winter, which often means more time inside than usual. 

While the additional indoor hours can be challenging, this super simple memory game is sure to keep the kiddos happily engaged and entertained for a good while. 

The best part is that the game requires little to no prep and can be played three different ways, making it easy to adapt for kids of all ages. Let’s get started, shall we?

You Will Need:

  • a serving tray of some sort
  • a tea towel
  • several small objects from around the house

Memory game supplies: a tray, a tea towel and small objects from around the house.

Instructions: 

Alright! First up, the set-up (which is the same for all three versions of the game and couldn’t be easier).

Simply arrange the small objects you’ve collected on the tray so each can be seen clearly and you're done!

Next, invite your little one to investigate the items closely. Ask him or her to try and commit each of the items to memory before covering up the collection of objects up with the tea towel. 

Now the fun part—choose the way you want to play!


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1. What’s Missing? 

Carefully remove one object from the tray, using the tea towel to keep your selection a secret.

Wrap the object up inside the towel and reveal the remaining tray objects. See if your little one can tell you what is missing! 

Afterwards, switch and invite your child to remove an object while you take a turn being the guesser.

A young girl looks at a tray of objects.

2. Name The Objects  

With the tray of items fully concealed under the towel, ask your child to name as many of the items as he or she can remember while you keep count.

Afterwards, switch positions and have your little one count up the number of items you can remember. Continue back and forth, taking a moment in between turns to re-study the tray in hopes of beating your previous personal record!

3. Add An Object

Ask your child to close or cover his or her eyes. While he or she is not looking, quickly retrieve a small, interesting item from around the room and slip it under the tea towel, adding it to the tray.

When you’re ready, remove the tea towel, have your child open his or her eyes and see if he or she can tell you what has been added.

Afterwards, switch roles and allow your little one to have a turn adding something to the tray while you close your eyes.

A young girl inspects a tray of objects.

Keep in mind that the difficulty level of these games can be adapted by adjusting the number of items on your tray.

If the game seems too easy for your munchkin, simply add a few more items. If it seems too challenging, consider removing a couple items.


Another fun idea is to create a mini take-along version of the game to keep in your purse or bag. Not only will it come in handy when you’re out and about with the kids (it's perfect for waiting at restaurants and appointments), but it’s also a great way to put random small objects—like extra game pieces, unpaired doll shoes and leftover craft supplies—to good use.

A small cotton bag that says

Once you’ve collected your items, find a small (preferably opaque) bag or container to store them in and you’re good to go. The bag or container will take the place of the tea towel in the tray version of the game, so no need to worry about that. 

That's it. A super simple memory game that's easily adaptable to kids of all ages. Enjoy!

Article Author Jen Kossowan
Jen Kossowan

See all of Jen's posts.

Jen is a teacher, blogger, and mama to a spirited little lady and a preemie baby boy. She's passionate about play, loves a good DIY project, adores travelling, and can often be found in the kitchen creating recipes that meet her crunchy mama criteria. You can follow Jen on her blog, Mama.Papa.Bubba, and on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

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