"Goodnight Moon" Game Directions

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"Goodnight Moon" is a children's matching game based on the classic Margaret Wise Brown book, "Goodnight Moon," a well-known bedtime story. This game is designed for one to four players, ages 2 and up, and helps promote matching and manual dexterity skills, as well as following rules and sharing with others. It also helps little ones develop language, visual, cognitive and memory skills. The "Goodnight Moon" game is family-friendly and includes six, age-appropriate levels to keep everyone entertained.

Beginner's Matching Game

  • Give one playing board to each player. If you are playing with children under age three, it would be better to limit the game to one child at a time.

  • Shuffle the 24 matching cards and place them in a stack, face-down on the table.

  • Draw one card from the stack and hold it up for the players to see. The player whose board has the matching picture can claim the card. Instruct the player to place the card on top of the matching square on their board.

  • Draw another card from the stack and show it to the players. Continue playing until all players have filled their boards with matching cards. Everyone wins.

  • Encourage children by using positive feedback such as, "Good job," "You are very good at taking turns" and "Good matching." This is a great way to help little players develop patience, cooperation and positive self-esteem.

Advanced Matching Games

  • Have each player grab a playing board.

  • Shuffle the matching cards and spread them face-up on the table. Make sure they are within reach of all the players.

  • Start the game with the youngest player. On your turn, choose one card from the pile that matches a square on your board. Place the card on top of the square, then the player to the left goes next.

  • Continue playing in this manner until all the cards have been matched. All players win.

  • Flip the playing boards over to the black-and-white side and play the game as above. The black-and-white side adds a visual challenge to the game.

Memory Game

  • Have each player choose a board.

  • Shuffle the 24 matching cards and place them face-down on the table. Sort the cards into even rows that are visible to all the players.

  • Choose a card and flip it over. Scan your playing board to see if you have a match. Place the card on top of the matching square and take another turn.

  • Flip the card over in the same position if you do not have a match.

  • Watch as other players flip over the matching cards. Remember where they are in the rows, and use it to your advantage when it is your turn again. The first player to fill their board wins.

"Goodnight Moon" Room Board/What's Missing?

  • Place the "Goodnight Moon" room game board on the table. Draw one matching card and show it to the player. Have them search the board for the matching object.

  • Place the card to the side once they find the object. Draw another card for the player to search for, and continue playing in this manner. Limit the game to five or six cards for young children, then gradually increase to the complete stack of cards.

  • Place seven of the matching cards face-up on the table for the "What's Missing?" game. Place the remaining cards in a stack beside the row. Allow the players to carefully look over the cards and try to memorize them. Start the game with the youngest player.

  • Have all the players close their eyes on your turn. Remove one card from the table and hold it behind your back or out of sight. Shuffle the row of cards, then allow the players uncover their eyes. The player to the left must look at the cards and try to figure out which one is missing. If they get the card right, they get to keep it. If they do not, play passes to the next player for their chance to guess. If no one can name the missing card, the original player must draw a new one and place it on the table. The player to the left is now "It."

  • Continue playing until there are as many cards left as there are players. Each player then takes one card and counts their stack. The player with the most cards wins.

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