The classic way you play with memory cards is to turn all the cards upside down, spread out in front of you. You then choose two cards at a time, turning them right side up. If the cards match, you remove them from the rest and stack them together beside you. If the cards don't match, you flip them both back upside down and continue until you find a match. If you are playing alone, you win when all the matches have been found. If you are playing with another player, the person with the most matches at the end of the game wins.
Modified Play Version 1 (one player):
We turn all the cards upside down in front of us as we would if we were playing the classic way. We turn one card over at a time, leaving the cards facing up until we find a match. When we find a match, we remove the cards from the rest and stack them together beside us until all the matches have been found.
Modified Play Version 2 (two player):
I divide the cards up so that I have one full set of images and Aias has the other full set. I hold my cards in a stack like flashcards and don't show them to Aias. Aias has all his cards laid out in front of him facing up. I choose one card to show him and he looks down at his cards and finds the match. When he finds it, I hand him my card, he stacks it next to him until the game is over and he's found all the matches.
Modified Play Version 3 (one player):
We place all the cards down in front of Aias face up and he tries to find the matches as quickly as possible. He stacks the matches next to him until the game is over and he's found all the matches.
Modified Play Version 4 (two player):
We place all the cards down in front of Aias face up and I ask him to find a specific image. For example, "where is the house?" He finds both houses and gives them to me. We stack the matches next to him until the game is over and he's found all the matches.
Modified Play Version 5 (two player):
We place all the cards down in front of Aias face up and I ask him to find two images. For example, "where are the house and the duck?" He finds me a house and he finds me a duck and gives them to me. We stack the pairs next to him until the game is over and he's found all the pieces I've asked for.
You can make your own cards, download some images from the internet, or pick up a set at a store. The ones we use were $1.25 at the dollar store and they are lovely.
If you use memory cards with your toddler in other ways, let me know! Please remember not to be pushy about games like this with a young toddler; if they don't find it enjoyable, don't insist. Kids this young don't need drills or academic types of activities to learn. Aias really loves playing with these cards so we persist and when he loses interest it's no big deal.
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