Penguin Pairs (Reception)

My daughter and I like to play a game called Penguin Pairs (memory I think people call it) but with matching penguins. It was a game that I played as a child and really enjoyed. If you don’t know it: each player takes it in turns to select two cards and turn them over to see if they match; if they do, they keep the pair but if they don’t they place them back faced down. The winner is the player with the most pairs.

After we have finished we have to figure out who has won. When my daughter was younger I’d announce, “you’ve won!” or “oh well, you lost but see if you can win next time”


Then a few months ago I didn’t say anything. My daughter said; “Have you won?” and I replied with “why don’t you tell me who has won?” She thought for a few minutes and announced she had, but without looking at the number of pairs. I said “are you sure?” So she reached across and started lining her pairs up with mine and looked at me and said “no, you won” I said “how do you know?” and she pointed to the extra 2 penguins and said “because I don’t have any to put here” (pointing at the gaps)

The next time we played it was in a smaller space and on a little table rather than the floor. We were faced with the same problem at the end: who had won?

Space was limited so during the game my daughter and I had made piles of our pairs rather than place them side by side. So when the game had ended we both piled up our cards and we looked at the two piles. She announced “we both won because my pile is the same as yours. They are both the same tall”


Last night we played the game again after a month of not playing it and we played it on a gymnastics mat. Without discussing it we had both placed our pairs in a line along the edge of the mat. I’m not sure who made the decision to do this but we ended up two lines side by side. She said that her line was the longest so she was the winner. I did question whether a longer line meant she has won so she counted the lines to double check. Her line was 11 penguins and mine was 5 so she had won.


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