Sunday, September 11, 2011

Updating the Memory Game...

I guess I'm slightly obsessed with this memory game, after I made the first one I kept thinking of ways to improve or extend the game.

When my Aunt Susan was here in July we went to a quilt store I hadn't been to called Wendy's Simple Stitches in Howell, MI (great place!) and Aunt Sue found the perfect flannel fabric for a new & improved memory game.  The fabric is 'Jolly Jungle Labels' from The Hensley Studio.  The coordinating fabrics are great as well.

Instructions are the same as those posted here with a few improvements:  I ironed the fusible webbing onto the flannel before cutting out the animal blocks and I cut the felt squares 1/2" larger than I wanted so I could trim them after sewing on the animals to get even edges.

I absolutely LOVE how these turned out with the flannel and felt.  Mom made the perfect box for the game and all that is left is to make a 'how to play' sticker and a 'handmade with love (by your Aunt A, Grandma and Great Aunt Sue)' sticker for the inside top and bottom of the box.

Now I need to make another set...


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Memory game boosts memory and observation skills

Aunt Alisa saw this project at the Purl Bee and thought it was a great present to make for her nephew. She said:

Mine is simpler, but I think it turned out cute.  Played with Mom (a formidable opponent) and we both thought it was challenging! ; )

You'll need 8 different fabrics.  I chose colors, but these could be animal prints, cars & trucks...anything!  You'll also need felt, we used heavyweight wool felt but craft felt would work.  We used iron-on interfacing to stiffen the fabrics before sewing to the felt backing.


  1. Cut two 2.5" squares from each of the fabrics
  2. Cut 16 2.5" squares of interfacing
  3. Cut 16 3.5" squares of felt backing
  4. Iron the interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric squares
  5. Pin the stiffened fabric squares to the center of the felt squares and stitch around the edge
  6. Iron each square
  7. Cut the felt down to the finished 3" size

I didn't start with 3.5" felt squares, so mine couldn't be trimmed much and look a bit warped.  I'd also try using a double-sided iron-on product next time so that the stitching could be purely decorative (or even skipped).

I think I'll make a little drawstring bag to keep these in and this will be a sweet little present!

To play the memory game: Arrange all pieces face-down in a grid pattern on the floor or table or other playing surface. The first player turns over two pieces. If the pieces match, the player keeps the set and takes another turn. If they don't match, the player turns the pieces back over and the next player takes a turn. The player with the most matches when all the pieces are matched is the winner. The trick is to remember where you saw the unmatched pieces that you or other players turned over previously. This is an old game that is universally recommended to build observation and memory skills.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Shoe laces and pasta develop delicate fine-motor skills in preschool tots

Great Aunt Sue, the early-childhood educator sez:
Don't forget to start on that fine-motor practice early.  Buy a set of colorful shoe laces and some pasta to help preschoolers develop fine-motor skills that are necessary for writing. Make sure if you are buying macaroni that it can be strung!  I have gotten some that the hole is too small for anything. The best to use are ziti, rigatoni and wheels. And if you want to color it, just add a tablespoon or two of rubbing alcohol, and a drop or two of food coloring into a zippered plastic bag and shake. This is also good to use to talk about color mixing - red and yellow make orange, etc. or just experiment to see what you get!  Lay out to dry before stringing.
Bonus: You can also use colored pasta and glue to decorate a picture frame or drawing, etc.