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Subject: Gaming with children - Memory rss

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Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
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Games, games and more games!
This is part of a series of reviews of how games have worked with my children, now aged 5, 8 and 10. For the full list see: My children's game reviews - children aged between 2 and 12.

My older two played Memory quite a few times, but it was my youngest who really loved it, so this review is mainly based on playing it with him.

Fun Components:

Different versions of Memory have different pictures, and some of them have more fun components than others. My son's preferred Memory games have generally been the ones that are themed to things like TV shows that he recognises. The ones with just pictures of balls and trains never appealed to him as much.

Simplicity of rules:

Memory can be played by children as young as 3, especially with smaller sets, and is one of the first proper games they can learn. The rules are so simple, and it's a great early introduction to turn taking and concentrating between turns. As they get older you can ramp up the difficulty, using bigger sets with more sets of pairs. There are also endless computer versions where they can play solo.


When playing a 3 year old you may have to play sub-optimally to let them win, but a 5 year old with good memory can play on an equal footing with many adults. For this reason it's one of the better games for young children. Sometimes it can be almost a cooperative game, as they point out the other halves of pairs for you on your turns too!

Did the children enjoy it:

My older two both played Memory, but my daughter never really enjoyed memory games, and my son would much rather play Shopping List or Crazy Chefs than regular Memory, although he regularly played it on the computer. My youngest however absolutely loved memory games of all forms, and particularly his Octonauts set, and we have played it with him many times over the last three years. It's one of our standard holiday games now, as it's just a pack of cards/tiles, so easy to pack.

And how is it from the adult's point of view?

Memory was my sister's favourite game as a child, and I've always enjoyed it. It is definitely one of my favourites to play with younger children, especially as they get a bit older and play with slightly larger sets, just because you get to play properly too, and unlike many games aimed at that age group, you actually have to think!
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