This version of the game is described to provide early recognition of numbers ~ made more difficult by having to memorize their positon on the table. It can be played by two or more players ~ or even as a solo game.
A set of cards with two each of 'anything' is laid out in random order on the table ~ each card face down. Here we illustrate the cards with a set of single digit whole numbers. Any other suitable cards will work for the 'memory' part of the text ~ so long as identical pairs are available.
The aim of the game is to collect as many matching pairs of cards as possible.
Players take it in turns to choose a card and turn it over for all to see. A second card is then chosen ~ turned over ~ face showing. After a few moments the cards ~ if different ~ are both turned ~ face down ~ in exactly the same positon as before. All players will have noted the placement and value of the cards. The second player chooses one card. If he/she recalls that it matches another card ~ now hidden ~ then that card is chosen as the the second choice. The two cards are removed from play and that player scores a point. If there is a mis-match the cards are replaced ~ as before ~ and turns move on.
At first the game is full of chance. As play progresses the positions of desirable cards are noted by the better players. When all the cards have been removed the scores are compared.
Another version of the game rewards a player who matches a pair an extra turn in addition to scoring a point. This can lead to a very quick clean-up of the remaining few cards as the game progresses.
To make the game easier ~ start with fewer cards ~ or start with triplets of cards. The game can have symbols added ~ plus ~ minus ~ multiply ~ divide. It can be played with alphabet cards ~ or just the vowels. For a longer ~ slightly different ~ project, youngsters can make their own pack of cards ~ drawing triangles, squares, stars ~ or using pictures ~ cats ~ dogs ~ giraffes ~ anything.
Returning to early mathematical learning one set of digits could be paired with a set of dice-pips ~ or Roman Numerals ~ or addition and substraction sums where 8 matches 6+2 or 9-1. I leave it to your imaginatin to make such cards. I will also be providing a suitable kit for making at home. Eventually...perhaps...
The Elbe series of BusyBusy cards ~ and their purpose ~ is fully described on a separate page .