States & Capitals Memory Game

Early Elementary Age

The picture shows (smaller than actual size) what the cards will look like (2 cards per state, Bonus cards and the back of the cards).

This is a fun game for 2 or more players.  It's played just like a regular Memory Game (or Concentration as we used to call it).  The cards are shuffled and then all cards are laid out in even rows face down.  Then each player takes a turn flipping over two cards to try to find a matched set.  If a set is found, that player keeps the cards and takes another turn.  If not, the cards are turned back over and the next player tries.  If the matched set is a Bonus set, the player takes 2 extra turns (1 turn for finding a matched set, and 1 turn for the Bonus cards).  There are 3 sets of Bonus cards for an extra turn, however, you must match the right cards to get the bonus.  After all sets are matched up, the winner is the one with the most cards in his/her pile.

Variation:  You can break apart the deck to work on only part of the states, such as just working on the Eastern states, or just the Mid-West, etc., then add other parts later as the kids learn them.

A fun song that could go with this game is the Animaniacs song "America" which is another fun way to learn the states and capitals.  :)  It is sung to the tune of "Turkey in the Straw".

You will need Adobe Acrobat to view and print these files.  Get it free here.

Or you can download all 14 files in Zip format:

states.zip (152k)

  There are 2 cards per state, one for the state name, and one for the capital.  There are also 3 sets of Bonus Cards (each set is different) for extra turns.  Also, I have included a page to be used as the back of the cards.  Print states1 through states12, then turn over and print states-back on the back of each sheet.  NOTE:  Print all files as directed on card stock, cover with clear contact paper or have them laminated, and cut them apart.  The remaining file for download is the instructions for play.

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