Fun and Games

Memory Games for Kids: Benefits and Examples

Memory games for kids are a great way to help your children improve their memories and learn other skills. They’re fun and educational at the same time, offering a great range of benefits and giving you and your child some valuable bonding time, too. In this guide, we’ll look at some of the benefits of memory games and list examples of games to play.


The Benefits of Memory Games

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Why might you like to play memory games with your child? There are a lot of benefits associated with memory games, including a couple of obvious ones and some that are less obvious but still important.

Improving Memory

Obviously, one of the main benefits of memory games is that they can help children improve their memories. Games can be a great form of memory training, helping kids learn interesting new methods of retaining information that they’ll be able to use later on at school.

Better Concentration

If your child has trouble concentrating on one thing or focusing for long periods of time, memory games could be just what they need. These games encourage children to focus and pay close attention in order to succeed.

Educational Way to Spend Free Time

Nowadays, with so many distractions, many kids spend their free time on activities that aren’t really beneficial for their brains, like watching videos online or playing video games. Memory games provide a fun and educational way to spend some free time.

Family Bonding

Memory games aren’t just for children. Parents and guardians can take part in the fun, too, so you can spend some quality bonding time with your little one learning and playing these games together.

General Cognitive Development

Brain training memory games are also great for general cognitive development, helping children be better prepared for studies and academic success in the future. Playing these games is therefore a great way to get your child ready to study hard and get great grades.

What Age Can Children Start Playing Memory Games?

memory game online for kids

Oksana Kuzmina/

When should you start playing memory games with your little one? According to experts, the best age to start is around 3 years old. At this age, children have sufficient cognitive development to be able to concentrate on basic games and activities, so it’s a good time to begin with some simple card and shape memory games, as well as others.

Memory Games to Play with Parents

There are plenty of great memory games that kids and parents can play together. Here are some examples and how to play them.

The Magic Cup Game

The magic cup game is one of the simplest memory games to play. It’s great for concentration and focus; you only need a few simple items to start.

How to Play:

  1. Prepare three cups and a small item, like a rubber ball or coin.
  2. Place the item under one of the cups and then move them around.
  3. Ask your child to watch the movement and try to track the position of the item.
  4. You can add more cups and move them around faster to make the game more challenging.

I Went to the Moon and I Took a….

This is a fun game to play with multiple children or as a family. It involves every player adding elements to a story to create a fun and unique list of items.

How to Play:

  1. Decide on a number of players and an order to play in.
  2. The first player begins by saying the phrase “I went to the moon and I took a…” and chooses an item, which could be anything, like “a soccer ball”.
  3. The second player then says the same sentence, with the first object, and adds another object of their own, such as “I went to the moon and I took a soccer ball and a dog”.
  4. Each player then continues to repeat the phrase, adding something new each time.

Simon Says

Simon Says is one of those classic childhood games that is enjoyed by children of various ages, all over the world. It’s great for helping kids listen, memorize, and improve their concentration skills.

How to Play:

  1. One player takes on the role of the announcer and has to give out instructions, like “Simon says put your hands on your head” or “Touch your toes”.
  2. The other players should only follow the instructions if the phrase begins with “Simon says”.
  3. Experiment with different commands and different patterns of phrases to try and catch the other players out.
memory games for kids

Dan Race/

Draw a Word on My Back

Here’s another fun game for two players to enjoy together. It involves a mixture of physical and mental skills, training kids to use their mind’s eye and their memory at the same time.

How to Play:

  1. One player uses their finger to “draw” a word, letter by letter, on the back of the other player.
  2. The other player has to guess the word as quickly as they can.
  3. Players can alternate being the drawer and keep score of how many words they get right.

Drum Beats

If you’ve got a musical child, they’ll adore this game! It blends music and rhythm with the classic memory game formula, allowing your little ones to get creative, use their memories, and make some fun music, too.

How to Play:

  1. Prepare some drums (you can use upturned pots and pans of different sizes).
  2. One player starts by tapping one of their drums, and the other player has to copy the same beat.
  3. The first player then adds more and more beats, and the other player has to remember and replay the tune.
  4. You can try this with other instruments or even by singing different notes or words.

Quick Memory Games And Tools

memory game for kids

Irina Wilhauk/

Here are some ideas for quick memory games that you can set up and play in a matter of minutes, perfect for quick breaks or games on-the-go.

The Tray Game

This is one of the easiest games to set up, because you can use almost any items around you, from TV remote controls to pieces of fruit. And it’s one that the whole family can enjoy together, too.

How to Play:

  1. Grab a tray and place a series of objects on top.
  2. Show the other player(s) the tray and give them a minute to memorize the items.
  3. Hide the tray and take one item away.
  4. Then bring the tray back out and see who can guess which item is missing first.

Number String

This game is similar to “I went to the moon…” but it’s even simpler and requires less creativity, so you can play it with anyone at all.

How to Play:

  1. The first player says a one-digit number, like “four”.
  2. The second player repeats the first number and adds another, like “four, six”.
  3. The players continue to take turns and expand their number sequence until someone forgets it.

Card Recall

There are countless memory games you can do with a deck of cards, and it’s one of the most useful tools to have around if you want to play memory games. Here’s a quick and easy way to use cards for a memory game.

How to Play:

  1. Place five random cards on the table, face-up.
  2. The player has to try and remember all five of the cards and has 30 seconds or a minute to do so.
  3. The second player then takes the cards, shuffles them, and puts just four back down.
  4. The other player has to pick which card is missing.
  5. For a harder variant of this game, use a longer sequence of cards or take multiple cards away each time.

Board Memory Games

online memory games for kids

Studio.G photography/

There are also plenty of board-based memory games that you can easily buy online and play again and again with your children. Here are a few of the top-rated examples.

Brain Box

Brain Box is the name of a series of memory board games, with a range of different themes, including World History, Inventions, and Once Upon a Time. The game features a bunch of colorful cards, allowing cards to learn and play at the same time.

How to Play:

  1. Players pick out a card from the Brain Box deck and study the images on one side for 10 seconds (or longer, depending on the age and ability of the child).
  2. They then flip over the card and compete to see who can remember the most items and details from the images.

Disney Matching Game

Here’s a great game for all the Disney fans out there, suitable for kids aged 3 and above. It comes with a bunch of colorful cards with all of your favorite Disney heroes, like Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck.

How to Play:

  1. Players place the cards face down and take turns turning over two cards at a time.
  2. If the cards match, the player keeps them and continues.
  3. If the cards don’t match, the player puts them back and the next player has a turn.
  4. Play continues until all the cards have been collected, and the winner is the one who successfully got the most matches by remembering the locations of the different characters.


Simon, from Hasbro, is based on the classic childhood game, Simon Says. It gives you all the fun of that game in a modern, technological toy.

How to Play:

  1. Insert a battery and switch on the toy.
  2. Watch the lights light up and repeat the pattern by pressing the buttons.
  3. Continue until you are unable to remember the pattern.
  4. You can play solo or pass the panel to a different player each time to see who forgets the sequence first.

Related: Toys for Autistic Kids: A Guide to Help Them Thrive.

Online Memory Games

memory games for kids online


There are also plenty of great online memory games that kids can play for free on the computer or other devices, like phones and laptops. Here are some of the best memory games on the internet.

Magic Cards

In Magic Cards, players have a set of face-down cards on the board. They have to turn over two cards each turn and try to remember the locations of each one in order to match the pairs.

Minecraft Matching Game

If your child loves the popular video game, Minecraft, they’ll love this matching memory game. It involves memorizing the locations of cards to match Minecraft heroes and items.


Copycat is like an online version of Hasbro’s Simon. It features a colorful panel that will flash a sequence of colors, and the player has to memorize and repeat the sequence. Various speeds and difficulties are available.

Words Memory

In this words memory online game, players have to memorize a sequence of words. They get between 6 and 20 seconds to memorize (you can adjust the settings to suit your child’s level) and then pick out the words they remember from a longer list.


In Blink, colored circles will flash on the screen in a set sequence. Al the player has to do is remember the sequence and repeat it. This is a really fun and simple game and you can play again and again to beat your high score.

Make Your Kid’s Memory Better with Fun Memory Games

As you can see, there are plenty of great memory games to play, from classics like Simon Says to modern board games and online games, too. They can all help your kids become better at remembering and concentrating, aiding cognitive development and boosting a range of skills. Share this list around with other parents you know to help them have some educational fun with their kids, too.

The picture on the front page: Irina Wilhauk/

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