My granddaughter Edda lives in Iceland, far away from her Canadian family. While she visits every two years or so, Edda has so many cousins, aunties and uncles that it’s hard for her to know how the family all fits together. To help her understand who belongs to which branch on the family tree, I make games for Edda and send them to her in Iceland. As she plays them, she absorbs the information and when she arrives in Canada to visit, she is familiar with the names and faces a well as having an inkling about who belongs with whom.
Edda’s favorite activity is my unique spin on the Memory Game. It’s just like the Memory Game kids play with picture cards where they have to match two of a kind to make as many pairs as possible to win. My twist is to create the cards myself with pictures of family members for Edda to match up. It’s fun and helps her remember family members’ names and faces when she come to visit us in Canada.
To put the game together, you first need to engage all your siblings, aunts and uncles, nephews and nieces and ask them to send you head shots of themselves. This step takes a while and you may need to nag a bit.
Once you’ve collected all the photos, you add first names to the bottom of each photo with whatever photo editing program you are using. Next you print two of each photo and lay them out on white paper and have the paper laminated (or do it yourself if you have a laminator…).
Cut all the laminated photos to the same size and you have yourself a Memory Game.
I made this game for Edda when she was three and it helped her to recognize all the family members she met when she came to Canada. A surprise side-effect was that she played the game with her Icelandic Gramma and Grampa and they were able to recognize the people who visited Edda in Iceland.
In Edda’s memory game, I included photos of our cat (Uncle Puff) and her cat (Brutus). Pets are family too!
This game has been played about a zillion times and is now a part of her happy family memories. It’s a great game for children between two and ten years old.
Until next time…