What Did I See? Visual Memory Games

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Visual processing is an essential part of everyday life.  Visual processing games and activities can strengthen and build skills related to vision, math, and reading.  

What is Visual Processing and Why Do We Care?
What is Visual Processing and Why Do We Care?

The Visual Memory Games included here focus on visual memory and attention. These fun games for the eyes can be made simpler or more complex depending on the level and age of the children.

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3 Games for the Eyes The activities included here focus on visual memory.

Visual Memory is the skill that enables you to recall or remember the visual details of what you have seen.

How Does visual memory effect Kids?

A child with weak visual memory skills may struggle to recognize numbers and letters, remember sight words and it may affect their classroom performance. We came up with some Visual Memory Games to help build and strengthen this skill.

Game 1 – Draw What You Saw

In this Visual Memory game, the kids draw what they remember seeing.

Materials for the Draw What You Saw Visual Memory Game:

  • Pictures
  • Drawing Utensils
  • Paper
Visual Memory Games
Easy Version

Instructions for the Draw What You Saw Visual Memory Game:

  1. Hold up a picture for the children to see. Hold the picture up for a longer time to make it easier, and for a shorter time to make it more difficult.
  2. Place the picture so that it can no longer be seen. Ask the children to draw what they remember seeing.
  3. Observe whether the drawing is accurate, has details, etc. That will tell you what the child is remembering and then you can add difficulty as they progress.
  4. For older children show them a more complex picture and have them write what they remember seeing. Look for them to add details. rather than writing “birds” they could write “two birds” or “blue elephant”.

Visual Memory Games

Game 2: What Did I See? Visual Memory Sequencing Game

Children sequence what they remember seeing.

Materials for What Did I See?:

Visual Memory Sequencing Games
Visual Memory Sequencing Game
Instructions for What Did I See? 
  1. Line the picture cards face down up along the floor. We used our Squishy Squashy Balloons to combine gross motor sensory with visual memory. We find that young children tend to retain more and enjoy learning when we combine skill building with movement.
  2. Have the child step next to a picture card turn it over, look at the picture and then turn the picture card face down again.
  3. The child says what the picture was, “I saw a duck.” Then take a step forward to the next card. Turn that card over and look at the picture before turning it face down again. Now, the child needs to say, “I saw a duck and a watermelon.”
  4. The child keeps taking a step forward and listing what they saw in the correct order. The child who can list the most items from memory wins.

A reader asked for a variation that would suit very young children.

Game 3: Here is a Visual Memory game for early learning:


  • Pairs of toys
  • A cloth or blanket (something to cover the toys.)

Gather some toys. There should be two of each type of toy. (Two trains that look alike, two toy ducks, etc.) Start with no more than six different types of toys. You can begin with three different type to make it simpler. Put one of each pair of toys around the room. Hold up one of the toys for the kids to see. Cover the toy with the cloth or blanket. Then ask them to go find the matching toy and bring it back. If the child is having difficulty spend more time looking and feeling the toy that they are going to match.

More Visual Memory Games:

Toy Theater – an online visual memory game

Eye Can Learn – more online games

American Dyslexia Association – Memory worksheets


  1. I love how these activities cultivate observation skills. It’s amazing how much students can accomplish if they’re attentive to detail. Love it!


  2. I love this post. Our daughter has Mild Cranial Facial Microsomia. It affects her right eye. The games and ideas you’ve mentioned here would be great for her.


  3. Visual memory is so important for reading. What a great group of activities. Thanks for sharing this informative article on the #made4kids linkup.


  4. When I first started reading, I thought, “this is a great idea for when my kids are older, but I have no clue how to do this for them now.” I love the idea of making it more kinaesthetic for younger kids! Can’t wait to try this. I always love your ideas!!!


    1. Okay, Alana, that’s a great challenge. I am going to add in a version for very young tots. 🙂


  5. These are great! I really need to do these with my 5-year-old before he starts kindergarten. He loves drawing, so the first one would be especially fun for him. Thanks for sharing all these ideas.


  6. These are all wonderful ideas! My favorite is the Draw What I Saw. I will have to try that with my little guy!


  7. What a great way to strengthen memory! These would be great ways to entertain kids at a restaurant. Thanks for sharing!


  8. These are great ideas! Thank you for sharing! I had never really thought about playing visual processing games. I really like “What Did I See.” My daughter would really like that one!


  9. These are amazing!! I’m going to try them with my daughter this weekend! Thank you!


  10. Love these ideas. I think you’re right about combining movement with visual learning. At my daughter’s kindergarten, they actually got them bouncy chairs so that could be moving while learning! Will try these memory games with my kiddos!


    1. I love those bouncy chairs. 🙂 What a great kindergarten.


  11. I really love this idea! You could play some of the variations in the car too! I am always looking for car ride games!


    1. Many kids just learn naturally through play but vision games are a great way to improve those skills.


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