A New Twist On An Old Classic: The Game of Concentration
It is the old game of Concentration, but there are a million different ways to play. It improves memory, but there are many other skills that can be improved upon that relate to a wide array of subject areas, such as science, math and reading.
First of all, let’s review the rules of the game:
Concentration is a card game where all of the cards are shuffled and are laid face down on a surface in orderly rows and columns.
All of the cards must have a mate (pairs).
Each turn, two cards are flipped over. If the cards do not match or are not a pair in one form or another, they are both turned back face down. If the cards match or are a pair, they are left face up and the person who made the match receives a point.
With a regular deck of cards, the pair is considered the card with the same color and number (so the ace of hearts matches the ace of diamonds).
Concentration can be played with regular playing cards or with special themed cards. It can be played by 1, 2, 3 or 4 people. More than 4 people can be divided into teams.
Now that we understand the rules, let’s explore a few varieties of the game.
Here are a few examples:
Make a set of cards with the picture of something from a magazine – an animal, object, anything that your child will recognize – and then the corresponding work on another card. Have them match the two cards.
Make two sets of cards with matching words. Put them out and see if they can match them.
Make a set of cards of articles, adjectives, nouns and verbs. Mix them up and place them face down. The object is to find two words that can go together. For example:
Write a problem down on a card and the answer on a separate one. They have to match the two.
Write down a series of addition, subtraction, multiplication or division problems. The cut them up or re-write the separate parts on separate cards. Turn them all over and your child has to find the numbers to make up the equation.
These are just five ideas. There are a million ways to use concentration to help your child’s memory and skills, and it’s fun, too. If your child is studying Earth Science, make cards that match lava and volcanoes or fault lines and earthquakes. Have fun with it. And one of my favorites: write down each family member’s name on five different cards. Then write down five of their favorite foods or things to do. Then play as a family. Can you match the family member with one of their favorite things, or is that just too personal?! Maybe just stick to the other ideas!
Whichever you decide to play, have fun!
May 2nd, 2010