California State Symbols Printable Memory Game

Welcome back for Day 3 of California Week! 

Today I'm sharing a printable game, inspired by California's state symbols. As you may know, all 50 states have a state tree, a state bird, and a state flower, as well as a state flag and a state seal. Beyond that, it is up to individual states to declare any other state symbols they wish. (Louisiana has an official state meat pie and Massachussetts has a state muffin.) California has some interesting state symbols of its own. Did you know that we have an official state dance, a folk dance, and a song? Can you name our state fabric? How about the state Gold Rush and Silver Rush Ghost Towns? 

All together, California has 41 state symbols. I used just over half of them to make a printable memory game for you to play with your kids or students. For the easiest version, print two copies of the state symbols below onto heavy cardstock. (If you want the cards to last a long time, laminate the sheets.) Cut the cards apart, shuffle them, then place the 24 cards face down in a grid in front of you. Take turns turning over the cards, trying to make a match. If you make a match, you keep both cards and get another turn. Whoever has the most matches (out of a possible 12) wins.   

You can up the difficulty level of the memory game by doubling the number of cards. Print two copies of this second set of state symbols onto heavy cardstock, cut them apart, and mix them with the previous cards. Follow the same rules as before with 48 cards. 

Both of the memory games above work with non-readers. If you want to increase the difficulty even further, try this version. Print just a single copy of each of the sets above (or remove the duplicate cards if you've already printed them), then print single copies of the category cards below. You'll still have 48 cards to match, but instead of matching two of the same picture, you have to match the category (State Flower) with its specific item (California Poppy). This can get really tricky, considering we have a State Fish and a State Marine Fish, for example. 

You can also use these as flash cards, if for some reason you are trying to memorize all of California's state symbols. I'm not sure why you would, but it's an option. Maybe before trying out to be a Jeopardy! contestant, where you pretty much should try to memorize literally everything. 

Are you looking for more fun California-themed games? Here are some that you might enjoy. 

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