Are you looking for a forest-school inspired activity to change up your outdoor play routine? Or maybe the kids just need a little extra motivation to go outside? Look no further than this fun and simple memory game. I’ve seen kids play this game at Swedish preschools many times, and it’s a perfect activity to take outside! Memory games give your brain a good workout and are fun for kids of all ages. After learning how to do it, older kids can easily play this game without adult intervention, and may even come up with a few variations of their own.
Outdoor Memory Game for Kids
- 5-15 natural objects
- Bucket for collecting the natural objects
- White sheet (optional)
- Go for a nature walk and collect 5-15 objects from nature. The child’s age will determine how many objects you need; the more objects, the greater the difficulty of the game. Try to choose objects with distinctly different features and textures, for example tree nuts, leaves, sticks, feathers, rocks and flowers.
- Spread out the white sheet or a blanket on the ground and place all the items in front of your child. Give him or her a couple of minutes to memorize the objects, then put the blindfold on.
- Remove one of the objects, then remove your child’s blindfold. (If more than one child is playing the memory game, let them decide which objects to remove.)
- Have your child guess which item is missing.
- Put the missing item back and start over with step 3, OR leave it out and remove another object. With the latter method the game gets easier and easier, since fewer objects remain, whereas with the former method the level of difficulty stays the same.
Variation 1: Play the game backwards, by adding objects to the sheet, one by one.
Variation 2: Play the game according to the original rules, but leave the blindfold on during the guessing part. The child then has to guess which object is missing not by looking at the remaining objects, but by touching them. This is a great way to challenge an older child by adding a degree of difficulty!
Variation 3: If you’re playing the game with more than one child, blindfold all and then see who can think of the missing item first. Since this makes the game more competitive, this variation may be better suited for older children.
For more forest-school inspired nature activities, check out these posts:
For more ideas on forest school activities, outdoor games and learning through play, check out these books: