Make your own match game or memory game, and use family pictures! Hours of fun for the little guys!
When my son and his child moved to another city, they were only able to visit 5-6 times a year. I saw a need to make a book or game so my grandson could learn family members and their names when he came to visit here. I ended up making a game, and based it on that old standby, "Memory."
Actually this concept has been around a while. You've seen the little books available in the baby department of retail stores. It's a baby-safe padded book that mom or dad can slip in pictures of family members. Parents can include that book in their nightly story time with baby, and eventually the child learns everyone's names.
Creating the game~
Because my grandson was over two years when he made these trips to our house, I opted for a match game. (Please note: Before he was born, I had made him a book to learn our names--instructions for that one are at the end of this blog.) The instructions for this matching game are pretty straight forward. Print up some pictures of family members, making sure they're fairly small. Walmart can print two images on a 4.6 size which would be perfect for the game. I also found an online site that would do a 2x3 size, also perfect for a memory game. Just know that you will need to print up two pictures of each family member.
I love my Print Shop application on my computer, so I made my own game cards. I just made a template before I started. Then I inserted pictures of family members that were appropriate size and I was set.
Playing the game:
You know the drill. I had 24 cards and you simply spread them out on the table or floor, being sure to mix them up. Then you and the child play the game, turning over two cards at a time hoping for a match. An added plus is that the child can sometimes play by himself. You could mail him one copy, and keep another one at your house to play together. Even after they learn everyone's name, they still get a kick out of playing.
Books, games and videos!
You can apply this same idea in a book, another game or even a video that you send to the grandchild in another city. I saw an idea on Pinterest wherein you use the pictures in an old "Guess Who," game. I just haven't felt that industrious to conquer that one.
But I do feel a book of family members is great. It can be for a new baby, a blended family with new relatives to learn, an adopted child, new grandchild, great-grandchild, or new cousin, niece or nephew. As I stated above, I made one for my youngest grandson and I made it before he was born. I included pictures of his cousins and other family members. It was a book to be read at bedtime (or of course, anytime), and it enabled him to become familiar with family members and family customs.
I'm sharing this idea this summer, because it's a great craft (making the game or book) to do as so many of us are staying inside where it's cool. This is a great creative endeavor to do at this time. Also, many of you are headed out.....going to family reunions. Often your kids and grandkids are seeing family members that they only see once or twice a year. This matching game can help them learn the names of their long-distance cousins!
Happy summer, everyone! Until next time!!
In case you're interested in that "Guess Who" game for family members, here's the website:
Retired school teacher and now full time grandmother sharing ideas and looking for new ones about grandparenting!