Group Memory Games

By Lane Cummings
Memory games can test and challenge your memory in a dynamic way.

Memory games do exactly what their name tells you: they challenge and ultimately improve your memory. While rote memorization can be boring at times, memory games are usually just the opposite--they stretch and test your memory in a dynamic way. Group memory games can be even more fun as you can play them with friends.

I Went on a Holiday

"I went on a holiday" is a memory game which not only tests the memories of everyone in the group, but also allows them to flex their knowledge of geography as well. Players sit in a circle and the first player picks a city or country that begins with the letter A. For example, a player could say, "I went on a holiday to Amsterdam." The next player has to repeat exactly that and then add a city that begins with the letter B, saying for example, "I went on a holiday to Amsterdam and then I went to Boston." The next player repeats everything he's heard so far, adding a city or country that begins with the letter C. Players continue until they finish the entire alphabet. If a player forgets a city or country that was already named, she is out of the game.

Blind Jigsaw

This game forces people to work together using their individual and collective memories to complete a jigsaw puzzle against the clock. All of the players play "blind." This means that after the players have been divided into two groups, each group gets an identical jigsaw puzzle. Both groups take a long look at the picture on the cover of the jigsaw puzzle box and then cover it. The groups have to use what they remember of the picture to complete the jigsaw puzzle with their teammates. You can give the teams as much or as little time as you like. The winning team will be the one who completes more of the puzzle accurately.

Items from a List

"Items from a list" tests the memories of small groups of people by either showing them pictures or showing them a list of items. Divide people into groups of three. Show each group a large color photograph of a room filled with furniture and accessories and let them focus on it for ten seconds. Give each group one minute to write down as many items as they can remember from the picture. The groups must work together to recall what they saw from the picture. The group that accurately remembers the most items wins. Alternatively, you can do this with just a list long list of items and no pictures.

About the Author

Lane Cummings is originally from New York City. She attended the High School of Performing Arts in dance before receiving her Bachelor of Arts in literature and her Master of Arts in Russian literature at the University of Chicago. She has lived in St. Petersburg, Russia, where she lectured and studied Russian. She began writing professionally in 2004 for the "St. Petersburg Times."