Matching games and memory games, like this nature memory match game, can help kids and adults build memory, focus, and recognition skills. Remember where the natural items are, and, match them up, to win this homemade nature memory game!
This DIY nature memory game is a great way to exercise the brain and boost memory skills for both children and adults.
Using items found in nature adds a sensory component to the game that can boost the brain-building power of the game of memory.
Remember where the natural items are, and, pair them up to win this nature memory match game!
How to Make Memory Matching Games with FREE Natural Materials
Want to make the classic game of memory more interesting? Use real items from nature to create your own free memory games!
Matching games like nature memory match games are fun for both children and adults.
Remember what’s in each of the boxes, and, match the natural objects to win!
These educational matching games can be played at home or in schools.
Homemade matching games like this memory match game are perfect for homeschool education, Waldorf education, and is a Montessori-inspired sensorial activity.
Benefits of Playing Nature Matching Games
This DIY Nature memory game is a memory match game and sensory activity.
Using natural materials, such as items found in nature, adds a sensory component to the game of memory that increases its brain-building power.
Games that are made to challenge memory skills, like memory matching games, are important for the proper development, and, the continued health of the brain into late adulthood. Increased memory capacity can improve social skills, and increase self-awareness and self-confidence.
Playing memory games can also help both children and adults develop focus, memory, and recognition skills.
This DIY memory match game can also be used to teach math and science concepts depending on how it’s played and what natural items are used.
Free memory games like this nature memory match game can be played both at home and in schools.
Memory Match Game Materials
- 12 Paper Mache Boxes (or more if you want to increase the challenge – you can also use muffin tins with cupcake liners on top.)
- 6 matching pairs of natural items (See below for more information)
Related: Sorting and Classifying Rocks
DIY Memory Matching Games and Variations
There are many different pairs of items you can use to play memory games, as well as several different ways to play nature memory matching games. Below are just a few ideas to get you started!
- Use natural items in general or use different types of flowers, leaves, rocks, etc. (Science/Nature Study)
- Use seasonal items or items found in a specific place such as the beach, forest, dessert, etc. (Science/Nature Study)
- Encourage players to touch and explore the items found in each box. (Sensory Activity)
- Invite players to describe the similarities and differences between the items during play or after play. (Classification/Science)
- Use the same natural material in amounts from 1-6 in each box and have the child count the number of items to make a match. Example: 1 rock, 2 rocks, 3 rocks, etc. (Math)
- Use other small items to play this easy homemade memory match game. Some examples include:
- You can also use these same boxes to play this scent memory match game.
How to Set Up Nature Matching Games
First, you will need to collect natural materials in your backyard or go on a nature hunt to find natural items small enough to put inside each box. You will need at least two of each item, or a pair, in order to make a match.
Please do not use small items if your child is still mouthing objects, or anything not safe to taste or touch. When in doubt, leave it out.
Once you have collected a pair of each natural item, place one of each set into the 12 paper mache boxes as shown in the photo below.
Last, place the lids on the boxes and mix them up.
Related: Nature Sensory Bin Scavenger Hunt
How to Play Nature Memory Matching Games
The game of memory(with natural materials) can be played with one or two players. Following is directions for both memory match game versions.
Game of Memory Directions (with a Natural Twist)
- Place the memory match game boxes on the table in 3 rows of 4 boxes. (Or, use a muffin tin with cupcake liners on top to cover the items in the tin.)
- The first (or only) player picks a box and opens it.
- Another box is selected to try to match the item found in the first box. Picking the box up to feel the weight of it or shake it is not allowed. A memory match game box can be picked up to explore the item inside only after the lid has been opened.
- If the items inside each box match, the player that found the match gets to keep the boxes. Place the boxes with the lids on the bottom off to the side so children can explore each match. Allow children to take their time with this before moving on. This is where learning happens!
- If the boxes selected do not match, the lids are placed back onto the boxes and are kept in the same place that they were originally found.
- The idea is to try to remember the item that is found in each box, and, where it is in order to make a match.
- If you are playing matching games with two players, watch and remember the item that is uncovered and where it is during the other player’s turn.
- When a match is made during gameplay, the player that makes the match gets to take another turn.
- The memory match game is over when all the nature items have been matched up, or, paired together.
- The player with the most pairs of matched objects wins!
Related: 15 Open-Ended Toys for Pretend Play
DIY Nature Memory Games for Kids and Adults
This DIY nature memory match game is an educational matching game and sensory activity for kids of all ages. Matching games can help both children and adults develop focus, memory, and recognition skills.
Playing memory games, like this nature memory match game, can also boost brain development and help children develop the sensory system, improve social skills, increase self-awareness and self-confidence, and build memory skills.
You may also like outdoor activities for children and this fun collection of feelings games for kids that can help with social-emotional development.
Learn more about Rhythms of Play HERE!
If You Like Memory Games, You May Also Like
- Scented Cotton Ball Matching Game
- DIY Rainbow Peg Dolls for pretend play and matching games
- Nature Scavenger Hunt
- Popular Board Games for Family Game Night
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Nell has over 20 years of experience working with children and is the founder of Rhythms of Play. She believes in the wonder of childhood, the power of the imagination, learning through play, and getting outside in all seasons! Learn more…