DIY Nature Memory


‘I focus on the things in front of me.

I concentrate on the present moment. I am observant’


This is an opportunity for children to develop cognition skills such as planning, classification, inhibition, and memory through a nature-based DIY game of classic memory.



Egg carton cut so that each individual egg holder is separate (12) or 12-cup muffin pan and muffin liners


Group children into pairs

Invite each pair of children to find 6 pairs of identical/near identical small natural items. Each item needs to be small enough to fit underneath the egg holder cut-out. Example of items include acorns, dandelion buds, rocks with similar features, clovers, ect..

When the 12 items have been collected, place each one under an egg holder (or if you are using a muffin tray- inside the muffin tray with the liner on top covering the item).

Children will play the games in pairs. They take turns overturning two egg holders at a time in hopes to finding matching items (In the style of the classic memory game).

Game can be played multiple times and with different natural items.

Holistic Engagement

Teach the names/vocabulary for items children are using in their game

Prompt children to closely compare color shades, size, and features to make sure their items are close enough to being identical.  

This is a good opportunity to observe children’s cognitive processes. Watch how children grapple with memory strategies.  Are children accessing inhibitory functions that prevent them from playing out of turn or overplaying (picking more than two items per turn)? Use your observations to inform future planning.

Through working in pairs, children will practice turn-taking, reciprocal interactions, and social problem solving.


Questions to ask

Are those rocks the same size? Do those flower buds have the same number of petals? You found … where can you find another one?

Are you and your partner collecting items together or separately? How can you work together to make sure you have a good variety of items for the memory game?

Mindfulness Prompt

Concentrate on the actions during game-play, if your mind wanders bring it back to the game.

Watch the turns your partner takes carefully, this will help you get more matches.

Thank your partner for sharing the game with you. Show your appreciation by giving them a hug or high five.

Walking in the Woods