Word Recognition Games | Practicing Vocabulary Skills - FamilyEducation

Vocabulary Memory Game for Kids

Play this memory game with your child to help build word recognition skills, work on his concentration skills, and to build your child's vocabulary.

This game is best played when your child has a set of vocabulary words he needs to learn. In school, this frequently happens when there are words that are specific to a theme or are found in a book he's reading. In real life, it might be a good way to introduce a vacation you're going on, or to teach your child about what you do for work.

Skills Being Practiced

  • Word recognition
  • Concentration
  • Word-definition matching

What You Need

  • Set of vocabulary words
  • Markers
  • Index cards

How to Play

1. Have your child write his vocabulary words on a set of index cards, marking the back of the card with an X.
2. Ask him to define each word, assisting him if he has trouble. Write the definitions on another set of index cards, marking the back of those cards with an O.
3. Have your child use each word in a sentence, in a way in which the meaning of the word can be gleaned from the context of the sentence. Write these sentences on a third set of index cards and mark the back of those cards with an exclamation point.
4. Pile all the index cards together and shuffle them well. Set them facedown on the floor in rows and columns of equal numbers, just as you would if you were setting up any other type of Memory game. The object of the game is to see who can gather the most sets of matching cards, in which each set contains the word, its definition, and the sentence in which it was used.
5. Player One turns over three cards, one with an X, one with an O, and one with an exclamation point. If any of the three cards match each other, the player may leave those cards facing up. If all three of them are a match, the player can take them all.
6. Player Two can either choose to look for the missing card in a set, or turn over three new cards. When all the cards are gone, the player with the most cards wins.