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Memory: Matching

Practice number recognition to find a matching pair. Whoever finds the most pairs wins.

Ages: 3-7
Players: 1+
Time: 10-20 Minutes
Type: number games
Location: tabletop
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Ages: 3-7
Players: 1+
Time: 10-20 Minutes
Type: number games
Location: tabletop

Instructions

This game uses the deck you made in our Number Deck activity. (Or see Variations if you don't have a Number Deck.) Start with cards 1-6 in two suits. The youngest players might benefit most from playing with the Numerals and Dots.

The numbers 1 through 6 in two suits

Shuffle the cards and lay them out face down.

12 cards face down

Take turns. On your turn, flip over any two cards. If they match, keep them and go again. Otherwise your turn is over.

Some cards flipped over and some taken

Play until all the matches have been found. Whoever has the most pairs wins!

Very young players of this game will benefit just from recognizing the match between the suits, and counting their cards at the end. Also practice skip-counting by 2 as you count each pair. (Skip-counting is counting by 2's or 3's or some other number, so skip-counting by 2's, for example, means counting 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, etc.)

Don't forget: it's Beast Academy Playground, not Beast Academy Study Hall. Change the rules, be silly, make mistakes, and try again. The Variations and Learning Notes are here for you if you want to dive deeper, but not all of them apply to learners of every age. The most important thing is to have fun.

Variations d

Solitaire:

This is a great game for a little one to play by themselves. Adjust the number of cards based on the child's age.

More Players:

As many as you've got!

More Numbers:

Include more numbers in each suit.

Ten Together:

For some simple addition practice, use cards 0-5 in one suit, and cards 5-10 in another suit. Instead of looking for matching pairs, look for pairs that add to ten: 3 and 7, for example, or 0 and 10, or 5 and 5.

Number Deck Alternatives:

Our Number Deck activity shows how to make, print out, or purchase a deck like the one used for this game. But, you could also use four suits of standard playing cards (remove the Aces and face cards), UNO cards, or other game cards. Your child will still get a chance to recognize and match numerals.

Classroom Tips d

Play this memory game in groups to practice subitizing and counting. Ask groups or individual students to keep track of how many turns it takes them to find all the pairs.

Discussion Questions

  • Are there numbers you can recognize in the Dots suit without counting?
  • What strategies do you use to remember where cards are located?
  • What is the best card to flip over first on your turn? What about second?
  • When the game is over, can you count skip count by 2's to see how many cards you collected?

Alignment with Beast Academy Curriculum

  • None (until BA Level 1 is released!)

See Variations and Learning Notes for more ideas on how to adapt this activity and incorporate it into your classroom.

Learning Notes d

Subitizing:

At first, children will need to count the dots on a card to recognize how many there are. That's fine. Eventually, they'll be able to see, though, a small number of dots and know right away how many there are. For example, they'll turn over a card with three dots, and instantly recognize "three" without counting them one at a time. This ability to instantly recognize small quantities is called "subitizing," and is a natural part of mathematical growth in a child. Subitizing is easier for smaller numbers like 3 or 4 than it is for larger numbers.

Spatial Awareness:

Young children may be a bit mystified at first when you know exactly where that other 4 is and flip it over (when in fact, it had already been flipped over a turn or two earlier). Help children notice that it's helpful to try to remember where numbers are even when they are turned back face down. Use words like "row" and "column," as well as "top," "bottom," "left," and "right." (Remember, columns go up and down, like columns in a building, and rows go left and right.) Talk out loud about how you remember where a card is: "Hmmm, I remember that the 2 was in the top row somewhere. Where was it again?" Encourage your child to do the same.

Strategy:

Which card should you flip over on your turn? If you don't already know where a pair is, it's best to flip over an unknown card first. Maybe it will be the missing partner of a card whose location you already know.

Comparison:

Can your child find a way to see who has more cards at the end without counting? This can be done using a matching strategy. Line up all of one player's cards, then line up all of the other player's cards next to them, so each of one player's cards is paired with one of the other player's cards. If every card has a match, then both players have the same number. If one player has some cards that can't be paired, they must have more cards.

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Materials
Learning Goals
  • recognizing numbers
  • spatial reasoning
  • skip-counting
  • spatial reasoning
  • pairs that add to ten
Common Core Standards
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Ready to level up?

Keep problem solving with Beast Academy’s full math curriculum for students ages 7–13. Check out our captivating comic book series and immersive online platform.

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Keep your entire class engaged with a full book and online math curriculum, for students ages 7–13. 98% of teachers say they’re satisfied with Beast Academy.

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