Summer holidays have started, and it’s the time for vacations. Most of us would go on a long-awaited vacation with kids and family. The most stressful part of these long-awaited vacations is to keep the kids engaged during the long drives or long waits at airports or train stations. Instead of using the gadgets as boredom busters for kids, playing a few memory games with kids will improve their focus and concentration.
Do you remember the hot summer afternoons we spent indoors with cousins and other relatives? One or another elder relative would come up with different play ideas without equipment or materials. Those are the most fun moments that our generation used to cherish, isn’t it? In fact, we improved our general knowledge through those games also, isn’t it?
Benefits of playing Memory Games with Kids.
Playing memory games with kids has many benefits besides being boredom-busters. Here are some of those advantages.
- Enhances Concentration: Memory games require focus and concentration. Playing these games while traveling can help children enhance their ability to concentrate and recall information without any distractions.
- Improves Critical Thinking Skills: These games are designed to improve mental aptitude, as the players have to process the information, create new ideas, and ask relevant questions to get the correct answers.
- Promotes Bonding: These games are excellent options for families to enjoy together while traveling. While playing these games with your children, you can start partnering with them and start sharing information. That will improve and strengthen your relationship with your children as you spend time with them without distractions.
- Encourages Creativity: Some memory games require creativity and imagination. Encouraging your child to use their imagination while playing these games can help develop their creativity.
- Teaches Patience: Some memory games can be challenging and require patience to master. Playing these games while driving in the car can help children learn patience and persistence.
Related Read: Tips to boost your child’s Concentration and Focus.
Memory Games that can be played with no preparation
I have listed a few memory games that can be played with children during long drives, during the airport wait time, etc. I have divided these games based on the age group of children.
Toddlers to young kids:
Memory games can be introduced to children as early as three years. When they first start learning the words, it’s time to introduce the oral memory games, and before that, they can play the visual discrimination games.
Rhyming Game: When one player gives the word, let’s say cat, then the other player has to provide a rhyming word for cat, and that list can go on till the point both players are not able to find a rhyming pair. For little older kids, instead of words, we can provide them with sentences as well.
This game will improve their vocabulary and memory power.
Word Builder: It’s an age-old word game wherein the second player starts with the ending letter of the first word the first player has provided. This play can go on for a long time, and it will be interesting to understand how many words your child knows already. For older kids, we can add in more rules like no plurals or nouns are allowed and stuff like that. Instead of typical words, we can even use only the place names and play this word builder game too.
This game will improve their vocabulary, memory power, and geographical knowledge (provided we use the names of the places as the words).
I Spy: This classic game is great for kids of all ages. One person chooses an object within sight and says, “I spy something that is…” and then gives a clue about the object’s color or shape. The other players take turns guessing the object until someone correctly identifies it.
This game will improve their logical reasoning and observation power.
For Older Kids till Middle School.
We can play various memory games based on the interest and passions of the kids in this age group. I am listing down a couple of them here.
Memory Chain: The first person says a word (e.g., “apple”), and the next person must say that word and add another word to it (e.g., “apple, banana”). Each subsequent person must repeat the entire chain and add a new word. The game continues until someone makes a mistake.
This game will improve their vocabulary and memory power.
Name, Place, Animal, Thing: Players take turns choosing a letter of the alphabet and then come up with a name, place, animal, and thing that start with that letter. Points are awarded for unique answers.
This game will improve their vocabulary, general knowledge, and memory power.
Related Read: Tips to Improve Critical Thinking Skills in Kids
20 Questions: One person thinks of a person, place, or thing, and the other players ask yes-or-no questions to try to guess what it is. The game ends when someone correctly guesses the answer or when the players have asked 20 questions.
This game will improve their logical and critical thinking power.
Song Builder/Antyakshari: In this game, instead of picking the words, the players have to sing songs from movies or albums starting with the ending letter of the previous song.
This game will improve their movie knowledge and memory power.
Storytelling Game: This game is a little more complex and improves the creative thinking skills of kids. For example, One person begins a narrative with the first line. “There once was a fairy princess with red hair,” The following player must continue the story by reciting that line exactly. So, the following participant might say, “A fairy princess with red hair formerly resided there. She had a pink dress.” This game would continue till the story gets completed.
This game will improve their creative thinking skills.
It’s easier to leave the children to engage themselves with the help of books or gadgets. But long drives or those long waiting periods are the best opportunities for us to spend time with kids. During this time, we are not hard-pressed for time, rushing from one task to another. So leveraging this time to play these memory games with the kids will help us bond better with them, and they will start sharing stuff happening in their lives.
Pulling the kids away from the gadgets might be difficult, but once they understand the fun of these games, they will also be eager to spend time with you playing them.
QOTD: Check with children; how do they want to spend time during the long drives or long waiting periods at airport lounges?