Have you started wrapping presents yet? I started yesterday and ended up with the inevitable scraps of paper as I cut the gift wrap down to size. I usually save these scraps and cut them into smaller pieces to be used in collages and other art projects for R (4.5 years). Yesterday I had another idea for using all of those discarded bits of paper. I made a Christmas themed homemade memory game.
How to make a DIY memory game using recycled gift wrap
You will need:
To make a DIY Memory Game
1.Cut the gift wrap into twelve squares of equal size. Mine were 6cm (approx 2.5 inches) square but you can adjust the size according to the size of the scraps of paper that you are using. The number of squares that you make will also depend on how much paper you have, the age of your child and how challenging you want the game to be (the more squares that are used, the more challenging the game becomes). There needs to be an equal number of squares and there needs to be a pair of each picture/pattern. You don’t need lots of different rolls of paper to make this game. Be creative and look closely at the pattern on the wrapping paper. If your gift wrap contains lots of different design elements, you can make several pairs of cards all from the same roll of paper.
2. Cut an equal number of squares from the cardboard. I used some craft card stock which was backed in silver glitter. We had this left over from our space themed birthday party and I thought it looked Christmassy with the glittered backing.
3. Glue the squares of gift wrap to the cardboard squares.
That’s it! You’re done. Read on for three fun ways to play with this DIY memory game.
GAME 1 Finding pairs
This is your traditional memory game. We’ve had lots of fun with this one and it’s very versatile since R and I play it together, but he can also play it on his own. It’s been a great activity for him to do while I’m busy cooking dinner. He loves memory games like this.
Begin by laying the cards face down on the table.
Turn over two cards. If they are a pair, then the player keeps those two cards and takes another turn. If the two cards are not a match, the cards are turned back over and the next player takes a turn.
GAME 2 – SEQUENCING
Since there are two of every card in this set, you can create sequences and have your child recreate the sequence.
GAME 3 – What’s missing?
1. Set out some of the cards and ask your child to look at them for as long as they need to memorise the cards.
2. Ask your child to close their eyes. While they are not looking, take one card away. Your child then looks at the remaining cards and tries to determine which card is missing.
3. If this is too challenging for your child’s age or skill level, give your child a matching set of cards to hold and they can determine the missing card through a process of elimination by looking at the matching cards in their hand.
VARIATION: Instead of taking a card away, leave all four cards there, but arrange them in a different order and then ask your child to put them back in the original sequence. (We play this version quite a lot and it is good memory practise for me as well!)
A simple handmade gift for kids and made by kids.
This memory game also makes a quick, simple and thoughtful handmade gift that children can help to make. We’ve made a few sets of these and will be giving some to R’s friends and cousins. You don’t have to limit yourself to Christmas themed gift wrap either. This game would look lovely made from scrapbook paper, birthday gift wrap or your child could even draw pictures for the pairs. We stacked our game cards and then tied them with a simple red bow. They look so pretty. There’s something special about a gift that’s made by hand.
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