For those of you implementing a winter theme, consider creating a mitten match! You could use actual gloves and mittens and have children pair them together, or create a type of memory game like the one I did here.
I made mine out of felt for quick and easy durability. I gave each set different characteristics, but you can see, for my older children, I made it a bit challenging by making some pairs similar to other pairs. I thought I had made each set as a matching pair (with one lefty and one righty), but it looks like a lack of sleep caught up with me and some are opposing and some are not. I can see an argument for either. If you make each hand you have an actual pair, but if you make them the same hand, you have an identical match. I ‘ll let you decide for yourself, or just be like me and make them late at night and see how they look in the morning!
You could easily create a set drawn on cardstock, or cut out of construction paper or scrapbook paper and mounted onto cardstock. (You’ll probably want to laminate the cards if you make them out of paper.) Make about 6 pairs for playing memory, though with younger children you may even want to start out with something as simple as 3 pairs. Or for the most basic level, present three mittens and ask which two are the same and which one is different.
Matching games enhance visual perception- the ability to see and recognize differences. This ability is what allows a person to recognize that a “b” is in fact different from a “q” or a square from a rectangle, helping with reading and math readiness. It also helps with observation skills, critical to the scientific process and learning in general. Playing this as a memory game, of course, strengthens memory skills, a key ingredient in cognition, while also teaching social skills as children take turns.
Only a nerd like myself could make a fun game of memory sound so complicated! At least now you’re armed and ready to explain to anyone else, just exactly why playing memory with children is not just cute!
For more wintry activities, click here!