Test your memory

For ages 5 – 8 years

This is a detection and memory game that challenges your child to identify what’s missing. They are learning concentration, memory, prediction, thinking and language skills.

 What do I need?

  • Tray
  • Cloth – such as a scarf or tea towel
  • Assortment of small objects – such as a piece of Lego, a shell, small toy, bottle top, pencil, rock, bead, pine cone, spoon.

 How do I do it?

  1. Put 5 to 6 items on a tray.
  2. Ask your child to look carefully at the items and try to remember what’s there.
  3. Cover the tray with the cloth and, without your child seeing, take away one of the objects.
  4. Remove the cloth, and ask your child what’s missing.
  5. If they can’t get it straight away, you might need to give them a hint.
  6. Replace the item and play again.

 Variations of the game

Once you have had fun with that version, there are plenty more things to try.

  • With the objects still covered, ask your child to recall as many objects as they can.
  • Move an object to a different place on the tray and ask your child what has moved.
  • Add something new each day to extend the challenge. 
  • Use the tray and objects for recognising colour and counting.“How many yellow objects were on the tray?”

No-one knows your child better than you.  So, choose and/or adapt ideas here to best suit you and your child. Remember it’s the talking and time spent together that matters most.

More activities to try