Shark Memory Game

We’re not the only crafters out there who are excited about shark week – and not surprisingly, one of those  other crafters is Jeanette from Paper Plate Shark Jaws and Off the Cuff Cooking.  She is joining us today to share a shark matching game that is fun for the whole family, along with several sets of rules so that you can adjust the game to challenge kids of all ages.  Make sure you stop by her blogs for more inspiration!

Shark Matching Memory Game

by Jeanette Strole Parks

This game has different skill levels, and can be played on the floor or a large table or, for a fun outdoor game, on a flat area of grass or a driveway.

Shark Memory Game

Project estimate:

  • 18 square paper plates, $1 and up
  • Clear packing tape, on hand or $1
  • Free printables (download below):
    • Print-outs of Shark illustrations, make two per shark-illustration for a total of 12*
    • Print-outs of Word-Play pictures, make one, per illustration, for a total of 6*

Total: $1 and up

Shark Memory Game

Cut out the print-outs along the outlined square on the page.

Shark Memeory Game

Line up the cut-out image in the center of a paper plate, and carefully tear off 6 1/2 ” strips of packing tape, and work your way from top to bottom to adhere it completely to the paper plate; try not to leave any gaps, since this will prolong the life of your memory game if the illustration can’t get any moisture or dirt on it.

Shark Memory Game

When all 18 images have been cut and taped, this game can be played a few different ways, much like a traditional “memory” game:

Version 1. For very young kids, just leave the plates all face-up [3 rows of 6, or 2 rows of 9], and have the child(ren) take turns looking at the different illustrations and matching the sharks to each other.  You can also show them how the Word-Play cards use the same words in the names of the sharks. (For instance, the lemon image with the lemon sharks, and so on.)  This one is easiest since they don’t have to actually remember where the plates are, but just study the words and images until they’ve all been matched up.

Version 2. For the next variation, flip them all over, but only use the shark images. This version uses 12 plates.  Each player takes a turn finding matching pairs of sharks, turning over 2 plates per turn, and if they’re not matching, they flip them back over again.  When a match is found, the player who found it takes the matching plates out of the game and stacks them by him or her.  At this point, the other player(s) take their turn(s). Play until all plates have been matched. Whoever has the most matches at the end wins.

Version 3.  Alternatively, just use single Shark plates along with their corresponding Word-Play plates for a total of 12 plates. Follow the same rules as above.

Version 4. Full game is the 2 Shark plates AND the Word-Play plates, and to complete each turn, each player turns over 3 plates.  All three have to match on one turn to win that turn.  Follow all other rules as above.

*Illustrations are copyright of Jeanette Parks / and may only be printed for home use to create this game or craft activity.

Click on the images below to enlarge them, then right-click to save them to your computer for printing.

Bull SharkHammerhead SharkLemon Shark
Leopard SharkNurse SharkTiger Shark

More shark crafts:
Follow Mrs. Greene’s board Shark Week! on Pinterest.