I've mentioned before that I have a tendency as an artist to get obsessed with a medium and work it to death, and while you can quibble about whether or not the tree part toys I've been making lately qualify as art, you can't doubt that I'm milking it for all it's worth.
This weekend I had the chance to give the Dremel another spin, making a simple tree part memory matching game.
When it's your turn, you flip two of the game pieces and if you have a match you remove them from the board. If not, you flip them back over and it's the next person's turn.
This will likely be an indoor toy to start, mainly because there are already so many tree part bits and pieces scattered around our outdoor classroom that it will be too easy for these game pieces to get separated from one another, which, of course, reduces the playability of the game. I think I'll try them out on the play dough table. That way if the game is no fun at least the kids can use them to make impressions in the dough.
I've also started a collection of flat, round stones that I'm planning to adorn with the same symbols using an acrylic paint pen. It might be fun to mix and match them. I can imagine that the tree cookies and stones together might make the job of identifying "matches" more challenging for younger children, who will have to take that extra step in reasoning to discover that the star etched into the wood matches the star drawn onto the stone, for instance. With older kids, I'm thinking there are several variations in play possible, such as memory-matching both symbol and material, or having to memory-match sets of four.
But like I always say, the proof is in the playing. If the game's a bust entirely at least they'll be interesting additions to the usual Tree Block set.
If you're interested in reading about more of my tree part creations, here are the links: