All of these are good examples such as the chronological maps is practice breaking down information and managing it in an appropriate order. Map projects add to the thinking and reasoning of spacial relationships and memory skills are all good practice. Think of it as exercise for the brain to improve basic reasoning and problem solving skills.
Although, I could not find any information pertaining to just the examples that you provided, I did find a few sites that may be of interest.
I really did appreciate that question, it was a good reminder to me that I need to be doing more of these activities with my preschooler. I just loved playing the memory games with my little girl and had totally forgot that we have these games sitting on a shelf that my son should be enjoying too. So thanks for bringing this subject to our attention at education.com. :-)