Memory Match-Up Game
Memory & Movement Mat! (Builds skills for both the mind and body)
This is a creative idea to engage your child’s mind as well as body. This activity is great for working memory, recall, auditory and visual processing, attention, body awareness, balance, strengthening, and so much more! The fun aspect of this activity is that it can be modified to meet the needs/demands of almost any age level.
There are several ways to modify this activity to make it age appropriate for your child and to address the needs they may have. Listed below are items needed, steps for creation, and how to perform the activity along with variations to make it an appropriate yet challenging activity for your child.
Targets : sequencing, visual/auditory processing, memory/recall, following multistep commands, communication, body awareness, crossing midline, coordination, strengthening, weight bearing, and so much more!
Multicolored construction paper (6 different colors per mat)
8 sheets of blank white paper
Steps for Assembly:
Find a flat and clean surface to create mat on for optimal use. Tape 4 sheets of blank white paper together (at ends) to make a large white square (then tape to ground). Repeat this for second mat.
Select 6 different colors of construction paper. One of the selected colors will be used on both the front and back of the mats. For smaller mats – cut each piece of construction paper (7 sheets total) into two separate pieces. This will be enough to assemble both mats. For larger mats – you will need a total of 14 sheets of construction paper (same 6 colors) all uncut.
Tape selected sheets of construction paper around mats. There should be two colors on the front of the white square, two on the right side, two on the left side, and one on the back. The color on the back of the mat should match one of the colors on the front of the mat. The idea is for the mats to mirror each other!
Once completed, inspect the mats to be sure they are in fact are a mirror image. This is important to ensure the activity is performed correctly. See picture for an example of finished product! Have fun!
How to Play (Original)
Step 1: Both participants will be on their hands and knees (quadruped position) and place both hands (palms down) in center of white square on their mat. Knees will be aligned behind the color on back of mat.
Step 2: Participant one will reach and touch a color on their mat with desired hand (right or left) and bring their hand back to starting position (white square). Participant two will mimic this movement on their mat touching the same color with the same hand.
Repeat movement if child requests to see it again. *Verbal or visual cues can be provided as needed. For example:“Reach forward with your right hand and touch yellow. Bring your hand back to white.”
Step 3: Once both participants understand the general idea of the game, difficulty can be increased to present more of a challenge to participants. Examples could include: touching more colors for the child to mimic, only giving a visual demonstration without verbal cues, no repeats given, have the child perform in plank position, have the child give you specific directions on which colors to touch with what hand, etc.
Article and Activity by: Lindsay Coulter, COTA