Games like this DIY nature memory matching game exercise the brain and boost memory skills. Using natural materials such as items found in nature add a sensory component to the game of memory that increases its brain-building power. Remember where the nature items are and match them up to win this nature memory game!
Want to make the classic game of memory more interesting? Use real items from nature to play.
This easy DIY nature memory matching game is fun to play for kids preschool age and up.
Remember what’s in the boxes and match the natural objects to win!
This fun game can be played in schools, homeschool education, Waldorf education, and is a Montessori-inspired sensorial activity.
Benefits of Playing Nature Memory Matching Game
This DIY Nature memory game is a memory matching and sensory activity. Playing nature memory helps children develop focus, memory, and recognition skills.
Games that are made to challenge memory skills like this nature matching game are important for the proper development of the brain. An increased memory capacity can improve social skills, and increase self-awareness and self-confidence.
This DIY nature memory matching game can also be used to teach math and science concepts depending on how it’s played and what natural items are used.
Nature memory can be played in schools, homeschool education, and is a Montessori-inspired sensorial activity.
DIY Nature Memory Game Materials
- 12 Paper Mache Boxes (or more if you want to increase the challenge)
- 6 matching pairs of natural items (See below for more information)
Related: Sorting and Classifying Rocks
Nature Memory Matching Game Variations
There are many different pairs of nature items you can use to play this nature memory game, as well as several ways to play this nature memory matching game. Below are just a few ideas to get you started:
- Use nature 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 children to touch and explore the items found in each box. (Sensory)
- Have them describe the similarities and differences between the nature 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 game. Some examples include:
- You can also use these same boxes to play this scented cotton ball matching game.
How to Set Up Nature Matching Game
First, you will need to collect natural materials in your backyard or go on a nature hunt to find nature items small enough to put in each box. You will need at least two of each item to make a match.
You can also use any items that you keep on your nature table or in your collection of natural materials for pretend play. Please do not use small objects 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 two of each 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 Game
The classic game of memory (with natural materials) can be played with one or two players. Following is directions for both versions.
Classic Memory Game Directions (with a Natural Twist)
- Place the nature memory boxes on the table in 3 rows of 4 boxes.
- The first (or only) player picks a box and opens it.
- Another box is selected to try to match the nature item found in the first. Picking the box up to feel the weight of it or shake it is not allowed. A nature box can be picked up to explore the nature item inside only after the lid has been opened.
- If the nature items match, the player that found the match gets to keep the boxes. (Place the nature memory boxes with the lids on the bottom off to the side so children can explore each match. Allow kids to take their time with this before moving on. This is where learning happens!)
- If they don’t match, the lids are placed back onto the boxes and are kept in the same place they were found.
- The idea is to try to remember the nature item that is found in each box and where it is in order to make a match.
- If you are playing with two players, watch and remember the nature item that is uncovered and where it is during the other player’s turn.
- When a match is made the player that makes the match gets to go again.
- The game is over when all the nature items have been matched.
- The player with the most matches wins.
Related: 15 Open-Ended Toys for Pretend Play
DIY Nature Memory Matching Game for Kids
This DIY nature memory game is an educational matching game and sensory activity for kids of all ages. It is an educational game and sensory activity all in one!
Playing this nature matching game can boost brain development and help children develop the sensory system, focus and recognition skills, improve social skills, increase self-awareness and self-confidence, and build memory skills.
You may also like this collection of feelings games for kids that can help with social-emotional development and this collection of nature study supplies for kids.
Learn more about Rhythms of Play HERE!
If You Liked This Nature Matching Game, 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
The One Essential Tool You Need To Get Organized For Good!
Subscribe to the Rhythms of Play community newsletter to get organized, connect with your kids, and find the FREEDOM to do the things you LOVE!