by: Jenny of Hank+Hunt

I’ve started making games for my boys. I like simple bold design, and sometimes it is really hard to find games that look good.  I wanted to make this memory game after I saw the cardboard printed one at kindergarten. It had poorly drawn pictures of mama and baby animals.  Is it just cheaper to get a bad illustrator?

I think we should fill our lives with pretty things, and I don’t understand all of the cheesy design that qualifies for our children in schools; ahem, comic sans font I am looking at you. I think we can teach kids and make beautiful products, so I figured I could make a cute version of the memory game that both my boys could use.  In fact, they even helped punch out the circles.


You will need: 12 wood squares, sand paper (400 grit),  card stock, circle punchmod podge, a hair dryer and a paint brush

The very first thing I did was remove the stickers from the wood squares.  Use your hairdryer and heat the entire sticker for 5 – 15 seconds.  The sticker should peel away cleanly; if it doesn’t just reheat until it does.  I have found that if you don’t do this, sometimes the sticker won’t come off cleanly.

Next sand lightly with sandpaper.  I focused mainly on the edges, rounding the corners slightly and then lightly went over the front and back.  We don’t want any tiny splinters in tiny fingers! This goes really fast, with the usual interruptions, because let’s face it we’re parents and we should time based on reality. The sanding still only took me 20 minutes for all the pieces. Wipe away dust with a clean cloth.

Use a hole punch to cut out your circles. I used my 2 inch punch. Cut two circles for each color.

Using your paint brush, give one side of the wood square a light and even coat of mod podge. Stick one paper circle in the center and press down. Use your finger to press out any air bubbles. Repeat with remaining pieces and let dry completely. Once dry, recoat with mod podge and let dry about 3-4 more times. If you do really thin coats, it dries really fast.  If the coat is too heavy when you start, the paper will start to warp. Once dry, grab some short people and let them go to town.

I finally let the boys play with this right as I was starting dinner.  I find it’s the best way to keep them happy and occupied — introduce something new when I have to go do something less fun like dinner or laundry. You could really make this memory game into anything, cut out shapes, patterns, letters, or even family photos!