Four Dot Memory Variations

Memory (aka Concentration) is a versatile game with a long history and one that can be used to develop fluency for different maths concepts. This page is dedicated to sharing some new and challenging variations on simply matching the dots. We'd love to know what you think.

Classic Dot Memory

What you need:
📦 2-4 players

📦 2 or 4 sets of 0 - 5 cards. Make your own set of cards or print this PDF on thick card stock. 

In total you should have 12 cards; two sets of 0 - 5 dot cards (for a smaller game) or 24 cards; four sets of 0 - 5 (for a bigger game). 


Get ready to play: 

Shuffle the cards well and lay them out face down in a grid of rows and columns.


How to play the classic game:

Take turns flipping over two cards. If both cards have the same number of dots, they are a match (E.g. 4 and 4 make a match. Zero and zero make a match). A player can only take their pair, when the other players agree it is a match.

That player keeps the pair and has another turn. If the cards do not match, the player turns them face down again, and it becomes the next player's turn. 

How to win the classic game:

When all card pairs have been collected, the winner is the player with the most pairs and therefore the most cards!


Download 0 to 5 cards

'Start with Zero' Variation

In this variation, the challenge is for pairs to be collected in number sequence, starting at Zero. This means that even when a player turns over a matching pair (e.g. two 3s) they cannot take it until the numbers before it have been taken in sequence (e.g. two 0s, two 1s and two 2s). 


'Most Dots' Variation

In this variation, the game still involves collecting matches (e.g. 5 and 5) but at the end of the game, the winner is the player with the most dots collected. 

Is it possible to win (have the most dots) without having the most pairs? If so, how many different ways can this be achieved with two players...?


'Make Five Memory' Variation

In this variation that practises addition, a winning pair is two cards that make a total of five. The player with the most pairs making five, wins.

Out of curiosity, how many dots did you collect altogether? :)

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