Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Chinese New Year Themed Preschool Activity: Animal Memory Game

For this activity, I used the Chinese Zodiac Memory Game from here, which is basically just the pictures of twelve animals that correspond to the Chinese calendar. I just printed out two sheets of animals, cut them out, and tapes them onto colored cardboard that I upcycled.

You could just use this game for an animal unit study also, and even just take out the dragon if you don't like them. Actually, starting with smaller sets of animals is easier for young children than trying to do all twelve at first anyway. It seems easier to start smaller and add pairs as they (usually even more quickly than adults) master the game.

We actually did a bunch of variations on this activity, but the most basic way to play is like any memory game. Turn several pairs of cards face down, mix them up, and arrange them in a grid. Now have the player turn over cards two at a time, trying to find a matching pair. If the player doesn't turn over a matching pair they should try to remember what cards are where but return them face down. Then it is either another player's turn to turn two over to try to find a match or, if only one person is playing, the same player can just keep playing until he finds all of the matches himself.

The boys had fun with this activity. It was a little too hard for Andrew (2) and almost to easy for Aaron (3 1/2), but Aaron has been playing and mastering memory games for quite a while. I'll share more variations on this game soon.

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