Any number can play.
There are 72 cards, and 36 images - each image is printed identically on two cards.
The object is to remember which images are hidden on the undersides of which cards, and to reveal and remove the pairs. The player who has the most cards when all the cards with hidden images have been removed from the table, wins the game.
Mix the cards well and lay them face down.
Each player takes a turn to flip two cards over so that everyone can see what they are, and then turns them face down again.
If the two which have been turned over are matching (have the same image) the player who turned them wins those cards, removing them from the array of down-facing cards.
The next player takes a turn.
When all the cards have been matched, the player with the most cards wins the game.
Make up any variation you like! Some options are:
Play with any even number of matching cards for a shorter game.
Place the cards around the room for a more active game. It may make the positions easier to remember.
Single card turn - Players may choose to flip only one card in a turn, until they know where the match is, then flip both to win them.
Matching kinds - Young children may enjoy matching kinds of creatures rather than species - ie: two different fish, two different birds, etc