Christmas Memory Game {Freebie}

When I sit down at night to plan for the next day, I think about what would be a great activity for Sean Patrick.  Last night as I was brainstorming, I realized that we haven’t played memory in a while.

But, I also wanted to make a memory game that the incentive for winning was not just pride.

So, each time a player makes a match they collect a snow card.

The player with the most snow gets to “shovel” the cards and set up the next game.

christmas memory game 600 x 400.002

If you have any other ideas for winners of board games please share them in a comment!

For this memory game, nine matches can be made. There are numbers and words on the cards to reinforce number recognition and reading skills too!

(To make setting up the game easier draw a game-board with 18 rectangles for the kids to play the cards face down on).

The other extra page is a blank template if you want to extend this game by having the students cut up magazines to make their own matching game.

I will add pictures or a video of Sean Patrick and I playing this later but for now…

Here is your Game Printable!  Click here!

Or, if you have a TeacherPayTeachers account, click here, and follow me too please. 🙂

I recommend printing this game onto card stock so that you can’t see through.

We Can All Learn From This Mommy Teacher….Casey From Kidpired Creations!

Hi!  It’s Casey, stopping by from Kidspired Creations once again!  My husband and I have recently discovered the game Bananagrams and it has instantly become a family favorite!  Even my boys (5 and 2) love to play as well… they just play with a different set of rules… Mommy Teacher rules!

If you are not familiar with Bananagrams, it’s a banana-shaped bag filled with Scrabble tiles and, like Scrabble, there are tons of the most frequently used letters in the alphabet (i.e. vowels) and several of the less frequent ones.  This makes building words easier than when you just buy a single pack of 26 letters from the kid’s section at a store because you are able to make words that have double letters, or several words that use the same letters at once.  As you can probably imagine, there are endless ways you can use these tiles to work on basic reading and spelling skills.

One of the building blocks to learning to read is being able to break words into syllables.  As expert readers, we do this when we come to a long word, but we are able to do this because we were taught this skill.  I notice myself doing this when I am typing out a long word in an e-mail quite

Refresher course:  what is a syllable?  A syllable is recognized by the presence of a VOWEL SOUND in a word.  For instance, the word “baby” has two syllables ( because of the presence of the long “A” and long “E” sound in the word.  Be careful, some vowel sounds are hard to hear, like the “schwa” sound in the word “table”/ˈtābəl/. <-That upside down e is called a “schwa.”  It sounds like “uh” and YES it’s a vowel sound.  But, I digress…

My oldest son, James, has already mastered sounding out/reading simple CVC (consonant/vowel/consonant) words like “cat,” and bigger compound words like “bedroom” (Jess teaches about compound words here), so now I am moving on to larger polysyllabic words (words with more than one syllable).  These words will be easier for him to read if he separates them into different syllables and reads them individually, but first, I need to teach him how to count syllables.

Clapping out syllables is a great way for kids to be able to HEAR the number of syllables in a word:  BED (clap)  ROOM (clap).  I suggest starting off with simple compound words (cupcake, doghouse, rainbow) because they are made up of two monosyllabic (containing 1 syllable) words, thus it is easier to hear the separate syllables.

Another great way to count syllables is to use objects such as pennies to represent each different syllable.  This helps kids to be able to SEE the number of syllables in a word:  cup.cake = 2 pennies.  Point to each penny as you say each syllable separately.

James found objects around the house

that only have 1 syllable:

car, ball, shoe (though it’s really a slipper),

cap, rock, dice, car (again)

You can also teach your child to FEEL syllables by having him place his hand under his chin as he says the word slowly.  With each syllable that he says out loud, his chin will make his hand move down.  The only problem with this is that some sounds (like the schwa) do not make your chin move, so when I say “table” while teaching this technique it sounds more like “tay-ball”… I over-exaggerate each word and make funny faces when I say it.

When your child has begun to understand the concept of syllables, you can start visually breaking down words into syllables by using the Bananagrams tiles.  Start with words that have short vowel sounds like “exact” (ex.act) or words that are monosyllabic that become polysyllabic when you make it past tense such as “started” (start.ed).

Just for fun, I broke down the word “hippopotamus” because our dog’s name is Hippo.  Notice how James sounded it out “hippo.pot.[long A].mus” and I did not correct him.  Once he put the word together he automatically fixed the “long A” to the schwa sound.  Give your kids a chance; they might surprise you with the things they can figure out without Mommy’s help!

Thanks, Jess, for letting me hop onto your blog!  Please visit my Kidspired Creations blog for affordable, customizable and kidspirational art!  I also frequently post DIY projects and party ideas!  Also, please stop by my personal blog about My Kidspiration and all the hilariousness that comes with raising two boys and a baby girl!

The 5th Shareworthy Game from Casey’s Top 5

Hi! It’s Casey stopping by from Kidspired Creations once again!
Here is the last of my TOP 5 games for Pre-Schoolers:
#5 Cootie Games!
Ages 3+
Cootie was one of my favorite games as a kid and is now one of James’ favorite too! By rolling the die, you get to add different body parts to your cootie bug! Whoever builds his/her bug first, wins! Though Cootie is the original, there are a series of Cootie Games for your little one to play, including Don’t Break the Ice, Ants in the Pants, and Don’t Spill the Beans! These games go for as low as $3.99! Collect them all!!!
Pre-School Learning Skills
  • Counting (Cootie)
  • Body parts (Cootie)
  • Fine motor skills (All games)
  • Hand-Eye coordination (Ants in the Pants)
  • Balance (Don’t Spill the Beans, Don’t Break the Ice)
  • Spacial/Structural Awareness (Don’t Break the Ice)
  • Taking turns (All games)
  • Imaginary play (ditch the rules and let them play!)

The 4th Shareworthy Game from Casey’s Top 5

Hi! It’s Casey stopping by from Kidspired Creations once again!
Here is the fourth of my TOP 5 games for Pre-Schoolers:

#4 The Learning Journey Explore and Learn Counting Treasures!

Recommended for Ages 3-6
BONUS: It’s a puzzle AND a game! This has been James’ favorite game so far because he loves puzzles! In order to play this game, you must first put the 50-piece game board together. Then there’s a spinner (an instant favorite for even my 2 year old). It’s the simple things, really.
Pre-School Learning Skills
  • Fine motor skills (puzzle)
  • Spacial Awareness (puzzle)
  • Number recognition (1-10)
  • Number awareness: relationship between number symbols and counting objects
  • Taking turns
  • Early addition


Another BONUS: They also have other Learning Journey Explore and Learn Games!!!

The 3rd Shareworthy Game From Casey’s Top 5

Hi! It’s Casey stopping by from Kidspired Creations once again!
Here is the third of my TOP 5 (scratch that) 6! games for Pre-Schoolers:
Ages 2+ (according to the box, 8+, but we can adapt)
My husband is not only great at all things math-related, but can easily calculate numbers in his head. He doesn’t credit good study skills or a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering for his number genius, he credits the many hours he spent playing Dominoes with his grandfather. I, on the other hand, played with my dominoes by stacking and building houses and though I use a calculator for even simple math, my creative side dominates. It’s no surprise then that Dominoes is one of my favorite games for helping to develop BOTH sides of the brain.
Ages 2+: Let your child have fun stacking and knocking the dominoes down. There are endless ways to build them (vertical, horizontal, or both). If you get creative enough, you can use play dough balls and create your own 3D Angry Birds game!
Pre-School Learning Skills
  • Fine motor skill development (turning dominoes around in one hand, stacking and balancing)
  • Hand-Eye coordination
  • Imaginary Play
  • Spacial Awareness
  • Creative design
  • Sharing
Ages 3+: Use picture Dominoes to develop matching skills. Disney makes some fun Princess, Handy Manny, Cars (and more) Domino sets where you match characters together, instead of matching dots.
Even at this “big kid” age, keep building! No need to always follow the rules to the game. Let your child’s imagination run wild as he/she builds houses, mazes, bridges and more! Another idea is to line dominoes up to make different patterns (horizontal, vertical, horizontal, vertical…).
Pre-School Learning Skills
  • Pre-Math Skills (matching and patterns)
  • Hand-Eye coordination (balancing)
  • Fine Motor Skills (stacking and building)
  • Imaginary Play
  • Spacial Awareness
  • Creative design
  • Sharing
Ages 4+: Introduce Double 6 Dominoes and begin teaching the rules to simple Domino games. Continue to do the same activities as before because, well, it’s still fun!
Pre-School Learning Skills
  • Counting
  • Addition and subtraction (depending on the game)
  • Matching
  • Number awareness (understanding the relationship between numbers and amount of dots)
  • Problem Solving
  • Strategy
  • Taking turns
  • (All the other skills mentioned above)

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