33 Easy Games and Activities for Kids to Improve Memory

A brother and sister enjoying a game of chess, one of these 33 memory activities for kids, at their kitchen table.

Playing games and activities that boost memory can significantly benefit children’s cognitive development. Memory skills are essential for storing and retrieving information and play a crucial role in academic success. 

I’ve curated a list of 33+ fun games and activities to help boost your child’s memory. 

Memory Activities for Kids

Playing is underrated! Incorporating learning into play gives you the best of both worlds. 

Most of the time, children won’t even notice they are learning. 

#1 Matching Card Games: 

Use simple cards with pictures, colors, or shapes. The aim is to find pairs that help enhance visual memory. Suitable for all ages.

#2 Treasure Hunt: 

Create a list of items for kids to find. Your child can play this indoors or outdoors, and it helps with memory and recognition skills. Adaptable for different age groups.

#3 Simon Says: 

It is a classic game where one person gives commands (“Simon says, touch your nose”), and players must remember and follow only the commands prefaced with “Simon says.” This is fun for kids of all ages but loved most by younger children.

#4 Picture Drawing By Memory: 

Show a complex picture for a minute and then hide it. Ask your child to draw it from memory. This tests and improves visual memory. 

#5 The Cup Game:

Description: 

This simple game involves hiding a small object (like a ball or a bead) under one of several upside-down cups. Then, you shuffle the cups around, and the player must track the cup with the object and guess its location.

Memory Skills: 

It enhances visual focus, concentration, and tracking skills, as players must closely observe and remember the movements of the cups to identify the object’s location.

Age Suitability: 

Adaptable for all ages, with the complexity of the shuffling adjusted according to the child’s age and skill level.

Special Benefits: 

Besides improving memory and concentration, the Cup Game offers a fun way to develop hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills, especially in younger children.

#6 Puzzle Building: 

Puzzles are excellent for improving short-term memory and problem-solving skills. Use age-appropriate puzzles.

#7 What’s Missing?: 

Place several items on a tray, show them to the child, then cover and remove one item. Ask the child to identify what’s missing. Great for all ages.

You can find activity books like this and what is different in this collection of games and activities to improve memory on Amazon

#8 Music Memory: 

Play a song and stop it at random points, asking your child to sing the next line or to repeat the previous line. This enhances auditory memory and is fun for all ages.

#9 Color & Shape Bingo: 

Create bingo cards with different colors and shapes. This helps with recognition and memory, especially for younger kids.

#10 Sensory Bin Memory Play:

Setup: 

Fill a bin with various items that differ in texture, color, or shape. You can use items such as rocks, pom-poms, cotton balls, sponges, and marbles. Ensure that all items are safe for the child’s age group.

Activity: 

Allow the child to explore the bin and get familiar with its contents. Then, ask them to close their eyes and name an object by touching it. Then have them opens their eyes to see if they identified it correctly. 

Skills Developed: 

This game enhances tactile memory and recall abilities, as children rely on their sense of touch and prior visual memory to identify the missing items. It also encourages fine motor skills as they sift through the sensory materials.

#11 Shopping List Recall:

Description: 

One person says, “I went shopping and bought [an item].” The following person repeats this item and adds another. 

The chain continues with each person recalling the list of items in the correct order before adding their own.

Memory Skills: 

It enhances auditory memory and sequential recall as players must remember and recite an increasingly long list of items.

Age Suitability: 

Suitable for all ages, with the complexity of the items and length of the list adjustable based on age and memory skills.

Special Benefits: 

This activity boosts memory and encourages active listening and concentration, making it a great group activity for cognitive development.

#12 Suitcase Packing Recall:

Description: 

Like the Shopping List Recall, this game starts with someone saying, “I am going on a trip, and in my suitcase, I will pack [an item].” Each subsequent player repeats the list and adds another item.

Memory Skills: 

It focuses on auditory memory and sequential recall, challenging players to remember the order of items.

Age Suitability: 

Adaptable for various age groups, with the option to include more complex or thematic items for older children.

Special Benefits: 

It enhances creative thinking (as players think of unique items to pack) and memory recall and is a fun way for groups to engage in a collective memory challenge.

These activities are excellent for developing memory in a social and interactive setting, making them ideal for children and teens, especially in classroom or family settings.

Board Games for Memory Enhancement 

Board games offer a fun way to spend time together as a family and provide substantial cognitive benefits, especially in improving memory and strategic thinking. 

Here are a few board games and how each can benefit memory. You can find them all and more in this collection of games and activities to improve memory on Amazon

#13 Chess:

Memory Skills: 

Chess requires players to remember each piece’s rules, strategies, and moves.

Age Suitability: 

It is best for older children and teens who understand complex rules and strategies.

Special Benefits: 

Enhances strategic thinking, planning skills, and problem-solving abilities.

#14 Rummikub:

Memory Skills: 

Players must remember the tiles played and strategize their plays accordingly.

Age Suitability: 

Suitable for school-aged children and older.

Special Benefits: 

This game helps with pattern recognition, numerical sequencing, and strategic planning.

#15 Scrabble:

Memory Skills: 

It involves recalling a vast vocabulary and remembering potential word combinations.

Age Suitability: 

Great for children who are comfortable with spelling and vocabulary. Often more suited to older children and teens.

Special Benefits: 

It enhances language skills, vocabulary, and spelling alongside strategic thinking.

#16 Ticket to Ride:

Memory Skills: 

Requires remembering routes and cards played by opponents.

Age Suitability: 

School-aged children and older can play it, although younger children might need assistance with strategy.

Special Benefits: 

It encourages strategic planning, geographical knowledge, and decision-making skills.

Each game can be a valuable addition to your list of memory-enhancing activities. They’re educational and offer a chance for family bonding and social interaction, which are crucial aspects of development, especially for children and teens with special needs.

Brain-Boosting Trivia Games

Trivia games not only spark curiosity but also encourage the development of quick thinking and memory recall. This makes them an ideal choice for educational yet entertaining activities. 

Here are a few that my family loves to play and the benefits of each one. You can also find these games and more on this Amazon collection of games and activities to improve memory.

#17 Trivial Pursuit:

This is a favorite at our house. Our family owns almost every variation of this game.  

Memory Skills: 

Players recall information across various categories, from history and geography to entertainment and science.

Age Suitability: 

It is best for older children and teens, as it requires a broad range of general knowledge.

Special Benefits: 

It enhances general knowledge, improves recall abilities, and encourages learning in a fun, competitive environment.

#18 I Should Have Known That:

This is a new game we got this month, and we enjoyed it so much we’ve already gone through all the cards. I hope they come out with add-on packs. 

It is different because you start with a number of points (we went with 100), and points get deducted for every wrong or unknown answer. The winner is the one who is still standing with points. 

Memory Skills: 

This game tests players on things they ‘should’ know, often common knowledge or facts learned at school.

Age Suitability: 

It is suitable for teens and older children, depending on the difficulty of the questions.

Special Benefits: 

Promotes recall of everyday knowledge and facts, encouraging players to tap into their long-term memory.

#19 All of Us:

This one is played with two teams (or two individuals), and we always play kids against parents. Sadly, they beat us most of the time. 

Memory Skills: 

This trivia game is designed to be inclusive, with questions covering many different topics and cultures.

Age Suitability: 

It can be suitable for various ages, depending on the version.

Special Benefits: 

It encourages cultural awareness and inclusivity, improves memory recall, and provides educational value across diverse topics.

#20 Beat the Parents:

Memory Skills: 

This game often involves questions about various topics, requiring kids to recall information they’ve learned. It’s also a memory test for parents as they answer questions about kid-related issues.

Age Suitability: 

It is ideal for younger children, as the questions are more kid-related. 

Special Benefits: 

It encourages intergenerational interaction, improves general knowledge, and can boost a child’s confidence as they compete against adults.

#21 Guess in 10:

Memory Skills: 

This game involves guessing an object, animal, or person based on up to 10 clues. Children must remember the clues given and use them to make informed guesses.

Age Suitability: 

It is suitable for children who can process clues and make connections, typically school-aged children.

Special Benefits: 

It enhances problem-solving and critical thinking skills and improves memory recall and information processing abilities.

Trivia games benefit memory improvement by requiring players to retrieve information from their long-term memory, which is an excellent cognitive exercise. 

Additionally, you can play these games on teams, which makes them inclusive and adaptable to various skill levels, allowing children and teens with special needs to participate comfortably and confidently.

Additional Memory Activities for Kids and Teens

In addition to games, various memory activities can help kids and teens improve their memory skills. These activities are educational and fun, making the learning process enjoyable for young minds. 

#22 Fun with Mnemonics: Helping Kids Remember Complex Information

Description: 

Mnemonics are memory aids that help in encoding information in a way that makes it easier to recall. This technique often involves associating information with a particular word, phrase, song, or visual imagery.

How It Works: 

For example, one common mnemonic is “My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas” to remember the order of the planets in our solar system: 

  • Mercury
  • Venus
  • Earth
  • Mars,
  • Jupiter
  • Saturn
  • Uranus
  • Neptune
  • Pluto

Another method is using acronyms or creating a story that links a series of facts or terms. When I was teaching my kids multiplication we used a program called Times Tales. There was a story that went with each problem.

They still remember these stories today many years later! 

Age Suitability: 

Mnemonics can be adapted for all ages, from young children learning basic concepts to teens and adults studying complex subjects.

Special Benefits: 

Mnemonics enhance memory by creating strong associations between the information and the mnemonic device. They help learn and remember lists, steps, formulas, or definitions. This technique encourages creativity and makes learning more engaging and enjoyable.

Incorporating mnemonics into daily learning activities can significantly aid memory retention. 

It’s beneficial in educational settings but can also be used to remember important information in everyday scenarios.

Encourage children to create their own mnemonics, such as acronyms, rhymes, or visualizations, to remember important facts, lists, or concepts. 

This strengthens their memory skills and encourages their creativity and critical thinking.

See more mnemonics examples here

#23 Storytelling Chain: 

Start a story and ask each child to add a sentence while retelling what has been told. This encourages memory recall and creative thinking. Great for all ages. 

#24 Memory Challenges With Recall Lists: 

Read a list of words and have the child recall as many as possible. Start with shorter lists for younger kids and increase complexity for older ones.

You can also do this with: 

  • Shopping lists
  • Birthdays
  • Phone numbers
  • Chores
  • Daily schedules
  • Ingredients for recipes

#25 Sequencing activities: 

Provide a set of pictures and ask children to arrange them in a logical sequence from memory.

These additional memory activities enhance memory skills and promote critical thinking, attention to detail, and problem-solving abilities in children and teens.

#26 Sudoku:

I love doing Sudoku! And they come in many different difficulty levels. I included some for each in this Amazon collection of games and activities to improve memory.

Description: 

Sudoku is a number puzzle game where players fill a 9×9 grid so that each column, row, and nine 3×3 subgrids contain all the digits from 1 to 9. The challenge lies in figuring out the placement of numbers based on the given clues.

Memory Skills: 

While Sudoku primarily enhances logical thinking and pattern recognition, it also requires working memory.

Players must keep track of potential numbers for each grid space and remember which numbers have been placed in related rows, columns, and subgrids.

Age Suitability: 

It is best suited for older children, teens, and adults who have developed the necessary numerical and logical skills.

Special Benefits: 

Sudoku boosts brain function, improves concentration, and can help develop quick-thinking skills. 

Sudoku uniquely challenges the brain, making it a great addition to activities that enhance cognitive abilities, including memory. It benefits older children and teens who can handle more complex and abstract thought processes.

#27 Finger Writing Guessing Game:

Description: 

One participant uses their finger to ‘write’ a letter, number, or simple shape on another participant’s back. The person whose back is being written has to guess what the person is writing.

Memory Skills: 

This activity enhances sensory memory, particularly tactile sensory processing. Participants must mentally visualize and remember the sensations to identify the shapes or letters.

Age Suitability: 

Suitable for all ages, but particularly helpful for younger children learning letters, numbers, and shapes.

Special Benefits: 

This game helps develop sensory processing skills and spatial awareness and can be calming for some children. It also encourages communication and trust between participants, making it an excellent activity for building social and cognitive skills.

This can be soothing and provides a gentle way to improve sensory integration and memory recall. 

It that can easily adapt to various skill and comfort levels.

Utilizing Technology to Reinforce Memory Skills

Technology can be a powerful tool in reinforcing memory skills in kids. In today’s digital age, where technology is a prominent part of daily life, incorporating it into educational activities can significantly benefit children’s memory development.

Memory-Boosting Apps: Balancing Screen Time with Learning

 These apps provide interactive and engaging exercises specifically designed to improve memory skills. However, it’s essential to balance screen time and learning. 

Encourage children to use memory apps within reasonable limits and ensure they also engage in other physical and mental activities to develop a well-rounded set of skills.

#28 Lumosity:

Overview: A popular brain training app designed to improve cognitive skills through engaging games and activities.

Key Features: Offers a variety of games targeting different areas of brain function, including memory, attention, and problem-solving.

Suitability: Great for older children, teens, and adults looking to enhance their cognitive abilities in a fun, interactive way.

Download on Apple devices here.

Download from the Google Play store here. 

#29 CogniFit Brain Fitness:

Overview: A scientifically validated app designed to train various cognitive abilities, including memory.

Key Features: Provides personalized brain training programs and tracks progress over time.

Suitability: Suitable for various ages, with specific programs tailored for different needs, including children with learning and attention issues.

Download on Apple devices here.

Download from the Google Play store here.

#30 Peak – Brain Training:

Overview: This app offers brain games and puzzles to challenge memory, language, and critical thinking skills.

Key Features: Features over 40 games designed in collaboration with scientists and game designers.

Suitability: Ideal for teens and adults, with engaging and challenging games that adapt to the user’s skill level.

Download on Apple devices here.

Download from the Google Play store here.

Interactive Online Games for Memory Advancement

These online games often involve challenging memory exercises like memorizing patterns, sequences, or matching pairs. 

They provide an engaging and interactive learning experience while also honing cognitive abilities.

#31 BrainBashers:

Overview: A collection of brain teasers, puzzles, riddles, and optical illusions designed to challenge and improve cognitive abilities.

Key Features: Includes a wide range of activities, from memory tests to logical puzzles, updated regularly.

Suitability: Best for older children, teens, and adults who enjoy challenging their brains in various ways.

#32 Memory Improvement Games:

Overview: A website offering a variety of memory-enhancing games.

Key Features: Games focus on improving memory skills through different challenges, such as matching games and sequence recall.

Suitability: Suitable for all ages, with games ranging from simple to complex.

#33 Happy Neuron:

Overview: Offers scientifically-based brain training games tailored to individual cognitive needs.

Key Features: The games target five essential brain areas: memory, attention, language, executive functions, and visual/spatial skills.

Suitability: Appropriate for a broad age range, including children with various learning levels.

Reinforcing Memory through Daily Activities

Reinforcement is an essential aspect of improving memory skills in kids. Children can further enhance their memory abilities by integrating memory-focused activities into their daily routines.

This section will explore ways to foster visual and auditory memory skills through everyday tasks, allowing children to continue strengthening their memory capabilities.

Fostering Visual Memory Skills

Visual memory skills involve the ability to remember and recall visual information. Incorporating activities that stimulate visual memory can be both educational and enjoyable. 

Here are some ideas to foster visual memory skills:

  1. Create memory games using flashcards with pictures or shapes.
  2. Encourage children to draw or recreate a picture they saw earlier in the day.
  3. Play “I Spy” games, where children search for specific objects or details in their surroundings.
  4. Engage in jigsaw puzzles or other visual puzzles that require remembering shapes and patterns.

Fostering Auditory Memory Skills

Auditory memory skills involve remembering and recalling information that is heard. 

Children can strengthen their ability to process and retain auditory information by incorporating activities that stimulate auditory memory. 

Here are some activities to foster auditory memory skills:

  1. Read stories aloud and ask children questions about the plot or characters afterward.
  2. Play memory games that involve repeating a sequence of sounds or words.
  3. Engage in musical activities such as singing songs or learning to play an instrument.
  4. Practice listening to and following directions given verbally.

By consistently integrating these memory-focused activities into their daily lives, children can reinforce their memory skills and continue to improve their overall cognitive development.

Conclusion

In conclusion, engaging kids in easy games and activities can significantly improve their memory skills. By incorporating various play activities, classic memory games, memory activities, and technology-based learning, parents and educators can help children strengthen their memory capabilities.

By reinforcing memory through daily activities, children can continue to develop and improve their memory skills.

Remember, memory improvement is an ongoing process that takes consistent effort. By providing a supportive and stimulating environment for memory development, you can set your child up for success in both academic and everyday life. 

So, encourage play, engage them in memory-enhancing activities, and utilize technology wisely to reinforce their memory skills. With a holistic approach, you can help your child’s memory flourish!

Additional Resources for Parents

 

Do you have a child that needs one on one assistance?  

We offer one-on-one special education tutoring that can be done from anywhere the student is! Why? Because our special education experts conduct their sessions online!

Get started with a free consultation today!

 

 

A brother and sister enjoying a game of chess, one of these 33 memory activities for kids, at their kitchen table.
Looking for ways to boost your child’s memory? Check out these 33+ Memory Activities for Kids that your child will love!

 

Shannah Holt

Shannah Holt

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