This DIY is a double whammy. It’s a relatively mess-free way to get creative with kids, and it’s a challenging, quiet game that will keep them occupied for hours (or at least minutes) when it’s done.
I came up with the concept when I was brainstorming portable crafts to do with my 11-year old “little sister”. I volunteer with Big Sisters every week at a local school and it can be challenging to find projects we can complete in the hour we have together without making a huge mess. This one was a big hit.
I’m sure you’ve seen memory games before. You take turns flipping two cards until you find a matching pair. This DIY version can be adapted for different ages by using more or fewer cards.
- coloured cardstock
- a paper cutter or scissors and a ruler
- a glue stick
- markers/pens/pencil crayons
The amount of cardstock you need will depend on how many cards you’re making. We used a variety of colours for the top layer to add an extra element of challenge to the game but you can stick with just two colours if you want. Make sure the bottom layers are all the same colour because they’ll be facing up when you play the game!
Cut your cardstock into equally sized rectangles using a paper cutter or a ruler and scissors. The bottom layer (in our case the cream cardstock) should be about 1cm (1/2″) both wider and longer than the top layer. You want the finished cards to be about the size of a playing card but you can make them bigger if you want so they’re easier for small hands to grab.
When you have all of your top and bottom layers cut out (we made 36 of each), it’s time to glue. This is a job your little helpers can do. Glue the top layer onto the bottom layer, making sure to get all the corners. Placing them under a heavy book for a while can help to flatten them out.
Now brainstorm a list of pictures you’re going to draw on the cards. Since we made 36, we had to come up with 18 unique items we could draw. My “little sister” and I split the list in half and each drew 9 sets of 2. We decided to draw our sets on differently coloured top layers to make the memory game even more challenging. When your brain is trying to remember a colour, an item and the location of a card it’s even harder to keep it straight.
There you have it. Good luck making and matching!