Today I made a memory game using images from some of my paintings. My kids were watching over my shoulder as I was working with the images on my computer, and they kept saying, “there’s a match!” every few seconds. Once it was all printed and cut out, they had a great time playing it, and collecting their own matches. There’s a printout below if you want to make some too. Simply print two sheets (so there are matches), and cut them out.

To play, just put the cards face down. During each turn, a player gets to turn over two cards. If the cards match, they keep the match and get to take another turn. If they don’t match, the cards are placed face down again and it’s the next player’s turn. If your kids are too young for that version, then just place the cards face up and let them try to find the matches. They become very proud of themselves every time they spot a match. Everyone can play! They can also fit inside a mint tin, for on the go. Perfect for restaurants and cafes. Happy matching!

Click on the image below, then print. (Make sure and print two!)


45 Responses
  1. Tricia Orchard

    That is an awesome version of memory! My girls love playing memory. Thank you so much for leaving a version for us to print.


  2. Anonymous

    Totally awesome! My son and I have been having SOOOO much fun since discovering your website. You're brilliant. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
    I've made a pledge this year not to buy any toys for my 2 and a half year old. Thanks for helping me keep this resolution.

  3. learning table

    Thank you for sharing this. They are beautiful, and my youngest son will love playing with them. He loves memory games, and he's really good (better than Mommy!)

  4. Joel Henriques

    Thanks everyone!

    Lori – Yes, the transitional objects made it in this photo set. ha. Also, you can see part of the green Vintage Fabric Doll, which Tess has been carrying around for 10 months now! Nice.

  5. Jennifer

    Love the images! On the six hour train rides to and from Berlin this week, my kids and I played many a handmade memory game…such fun and so portable.

  6. elissa, ebb & flow

    great idea! my aunt made a matching game with pictures of family members so my nephew could learn everyone's names even though we don't see each other all the time.

  7. Zom G.

    Brilliant and beautiful! Such a lovely way to reuse work. I've been wanting something like this for my wee man for awhile now. Thank you!

  8. Fern and Feather

    love your blog. all of your ideas are wonderful! you were mentioned at Alt as a new blog to watch! so I have been excited to find you. warmly, Alexis

  9. Kelly

    amazing!!! I love this. Your work is beautiful and the fact that you are willing to share your work and ideas for FREE?! Oh man, I am your biggest fan. Seriously. What a treat to have found your blog.

  10. r8chel

    Back in November I took some photos of household objects with the idea that I would make a memory game for my kids… but along the way I became obsessed with getting it perfect and never finished it. Maybe I should dust off those images and finish what I started! Thanks for the additional inspiration.

  11. Joel Henriques

    Thanks everyone!

    elissa, ebb & flow – Great idea! Yeah, So many cool options!

    r8chel – Yes, you should do it!

  12. Catherine



    I also made a memory game for my son's second birthday with pictures of his toys and clothes (striped paper on the other side) and he loved it.

  13. Rebecca and Andrew

    Joel, my two year olds are just getting the concept of "memory". Thank you for sharing…and the pictures are vivid and wonderful!
    You have such a gift!

  14. Pam

    What a wonderful handmade version of this game! I used to love this when I was little. Thank you for the inspiration! I think I will make this for my niece!

  15. cristina

    Oh, can't wait to show these to my nephew!
    Say, i have a few of his Joel toys to share but
    am not sure how to send them to you through
    fb. help!
    by the way, science fair judging is tomorrow!
    his display looks great.
    cheers to movie wheel and animation!
    He included 2 of your bird thaumatropes and two
    of his own hand made flip books
    as bonus "hands on" activities.

  16. Joel Henriques

    Thanks everyone!

    cristina – That's awesome! I love to see the photos!

    Just upload the photos on the "Wall". (Select the Wall tab and click on the "Photo" button.) Once your photo is uploaded it will automatically appear in the "Photos by Others" section in the "Photos" tab.

    Here's a link to the wall

  17. i'm zandri

    Thank you so much! You put the rest of us to shame with your wonderful ideas & creative games. I'm amazed as always!

  18. Absolute Novice

    This is a great idea!!! Love it :)
    I am studying to be a teacher and I love all the creative things you write about, I hope that one day I'll be able to do them with my students! Thanks for sharing!!

  19. Anonymous

    Thanks for sharing! It's great!
    My child it's gonna play with this in Barcelona, as you can see, your memory cards have traveled thanks to the net, and to you, of course!

  20. Sarah Rachelle

    Thanks, we love this game! I printed it onto the smooth back of some cream linen-textured cardstock and it looks really nice. I think it would make a great gift to.

  21. Maiken

    I have wanted to make a memory game with pictures of the family on them. I love that you designed the images. The personal touch of your projects are wonderful.

    When we play a memory with my six-year-old and her five-year-old cousin we have them pick two tiles and turn them over, but then leave them over. There are simply too many tiles for them to remember locations. :)

  22. Joel Henriques

    Thanks everyone!

    Sarah Rachelle – ooh good idea with the textured cardstock. I'll have to find some of that and try it out!

    Maiken – Thanks for this tip! I'm going to start playing it this way with my 4 year old twins. Perfect!

  23. Alice

    Great idea! WE have a cool name for Memory game in our language PEXESO. It is a abbreviation of "Memorise as hell" :-))) Do you know that the origin of Memory game comes from Japan. Their version of matching game is called Kai awase and it is played with shells.

  24. Jody

    Love it!! When I taught preschool I always did 2 weeks of "famous artists" – Van Gogh, Mondrian, Kandinsky, O'Keefe, ect. I'm going to file this away for if I ever teach again. But I think I'm going to be printing two off for Easter baskets. Wouldn't that be cute?

  25. Joel Henriques

    Thanks everybody!

    Jody – If you make an Easter basket, I'd love to see a photo. Sounds like an interesting idea!

  26. My daughter loves memory games and plays a lot on the ipad. With real cards, she likes to carry them around and say MATCH a lot. You should check out the “Tell me a Story Cards” by eeboo. Might give you a fun idea.

  27. Iuiu

    When I first saw this memory game, I immediately printed it and glued some yellow cardboard on the back, to make them stronger. But the kid grew and nine pairs made the game too easy. So I browsed your painting blog and added ten more pairs. Now my son is five and we play memo every day. I am impressed at his memory. So thank you for these amazing ideas!