3 Entertaining Ways to Play Music Memory Games

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3 ways to play musical memory with your child

3 Ways to Play the Music Memory Game with Your Child

The game of memory has long been a staple of children’s games – and for good reason! There are so many proven ways that this simple game helps your child’s development. So, if your child loves their songs and singing, then take a look here at how you can combine the best of both worlds with these music memory games.

Often, it seems that music is in its own little world – completely separate from all other topics. But music can be combined with practically any topic. And a vast majority of children’s games, too! Musical games are an excellent way to incorporate music ideas and concepts from a very young age. The best part is, any parent can play music memory using these methods below!

With our youngest children, particularly toddlers, you might think that the only way to introduce them to music is through formal musical classes. While this is just one way to do so, I want to dispel that myth and show you how to introduce your child to music in your own home.  Again, any parent regardless of musical upbringing can introduce their child to music!

Memory is an excellent way to introduce your toddlers or young children to new concepts, new words, or even new sounds! And I’m positive that you’ll find ways to use this game that will entertain them for quite some time.

How is playing Memory beneficial for my child?

In general, playing memory is an excellent way to help your child learn new concepts as well as work on additional brain-boosting skills! In fact, playing memory can help your little one in the following ways:

  • Improves concentration by helping them try to remember where the matching pieces were.
  • Similarly, it also increases short term memory.
  • It helps them learn to focus on detail.
  • Teaches them about similarities and differences.
  • Learning to classify by different categories, not just by image.
  • In this case, it improves your child’s musical knowledge!

In addition, playing any games like this with your child promotes their social-emotional, cognitive, language, and self-regulation skills. All that through playing a simple, age-appropriate game with your child is amazing!

How can I play musical memory games with young children?

Thankfully, there are many types of memory and concentrations games you can play that are specifically designed to help your little one with these exact skills!  Below, you’ll find three ways to play the basic musical memory game: two ways are based upon the traditional card version and the third involves listening version of memory. I came across this version of the listening memory game and it definitely sparked my interest! 

A Music Memory Game for Toddlers

To be honest, I’d only ever thought of memory as a multi-player game, where the players each take turns trying to make matches by flipping over the cards. But for younger children, like toddlers, you can slightly vary this to make it more age appropriate. You can set it up so that your child plays “alone”. Although, you’ll probably be helping them out as they play.

Think of this version as the modified version for younger children. Here, you line up one card from each pair so that they form a line of face-up cards. Make sure the other pairs remain face-down in a pile. Then, let your little one match each of the remaining cards as they are turned over. It’s as simple as that! 

The modified way let’s your little one find out for themselves where the pairs belong. Plus, they can take their time. Start with only a few of the pairs and gradually add in pairs to increase the difficulty for your young ones.

The Traditional Music Memory Game for Preschoolers

Now, you’ll already know this version by heart. This version involves you and your child selecting a set number of pairs, mixing them up and placing them all face down. Then, you’ll take turns flipping over 2 cards at a time to find matching pairs. If you make a pair, you get an extra turn!

Take a peek at my Etsy Shop, Mod Music Printables, where you’ll find two versions of music memory games that are suitable for this age group (among several other great music-based printables!). You’ll find 6 Musical Memory Games as well as 6 Children’s Songs Memory Games. Each set contains 6 pages of 8 pairs each – that’s a total of 48 pairs! These versions of the music memory game will encourage your children to recall all kinds of concepts about music, instruments, and even the songs they know!

And I’ve made sure to include helpful tips on how you can engage your child with these games beyond their typical use! So, check out these popular printables and keep reading to find out about the final, fun way of playing a music memory game.

How can you make a music memory game more engaging?

You’ll find that both the music memory game freebie AND the printable music memory games available from my Etsy Shop, that there are also several ways of categorizing each set of cards. Rather than finding a pair just based on what the image shows, use the following questions to have your child to make the following pairs:

  • Which instruments can play a melody? (piano, guitar, violin, trombone, trumpet)
  • Which instruments typically play rhythms and not the melody?  (drum set, maracas, tambourine) 
  • Which instruments have strings? (piano, guitar, violin)
  • Which instruments are played by blowing air through them? (trombone, trumpet)
  • What types of instruments are there?
    • Brass (trombone and trumpet)
    • String (violin, guitar, piano)
    • Percussive (Drum Set, Tambourine, Maracas)
  • For the Musical Elements you can also classify the cards based on color or type of element (note, rest, or clef)

Now, this might be a bit challenging in the beginning, but by slowly introducing these concepts, your child will become familiar with the different types of playing and music making that are available to them. Make sure to talk about these different ways of categorizing. Discussing these concepts will help solidify them in their minds.

An alternative, musical version of memory. Played with Easter eggs filled with various materials to make different sounds

Music Memory Game: the Listening Version

So, I’m a fan of finding ways to develop children’s music listening skills. And when it comes to music, this can be done in a variety of ways. This game is an excellent way to help them focus on sounds.

Now, this game is highly flexible depending on what you have around your house. If you don’t have Easter eggs around, look for other small containers that are or that you can make opaque. For me, Easter eggs were the most convenient and easiest option.

To fill the Easter eggs, try to find a variety of materials that will make different sounds. Here are a few options:

  • metals objects (coins, bobby pins, or jingle bells)
  • office supplies (smalls wads of paper, paper clips, rubber bands, small erasers)
  • small food items (dry rice, popcorn, dry beans, and the like)
  • other options (hair ties, or even things that don’t make sounds like cotton balls or poms poms!)

Other items you might also need are tape (I highly recommend this to securely seal the eggs and prevent spilling) and a marker (to discreetly mark any eggs that sound the similar).

Tips and Pointers on Playing the Listening Version

The idea is fairly straightforward: Simply pick pairs of eggs to fill with the various items. You can choose to make the pairs the same colors or not. 

Then, place a few pairs out on the table. From there, it’s the same rules as the regular memory game. You’ll take turns looking for similar sounds!

Now, the focus of this version is, of course, the various sounds that the items makes when you shake the eggs. Some of the sounds will be similar, like the dry rice and popcorn. For those items, just make a small mark on one end to differentiate between the two differing pairs. Some sounds will be almost inaudible, like the cotton balls or smalls wads of paper. Just try and find small items that will make different sounds when the eggs are shaken. 

And, of course, as always, if you decide not to seal the eggs, just be careful and keep an eye on your child  – particularly those that like to put anything and everything in their mouths!

What else can you do with the Listening Memory Game? 

I absolutely love that this game really strikes ups conversation with your child! Think about asking them the following questions while playing:

  • What do you think could make that sound?
  • Can you also make that sound? 
  • Can you feel the object/objects moving around in there?
  • How many little things do you think are in there?

There are just a few examples of how you can really get your little one to hone in on their listening skills. Get them to shake the eggs softly or gently roll them around to feel the items moving around in the eggs.

Honestly, this game is excellent for getting them listening to sounds, thinking about sounds, and even making sounds. You’ll definitely engage them with their own world of sounds and that’s a great thing for young learners!

So, my dear readers, there you have 3 different ways of playing musical memory! If I’ve peaked your interest and you want to play a few rounds of musical memory with your little one, just sign up in the form above – and the PDF is yours to keep! Or, make sure you visit Mod Music Printables to find your own printable versions of the music memory game. 

Have you tried any of these versions with your child? If so, make sure to tag me @texaninoxford on Instagram. Or, let me know what you think in the comments below!

As always, have fun and happy music making!

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