Thursday, January 5, 2012

Apple Pickin'

Now that Little Girl is getting bigger, she is learning to play new and different games. When we were at Grandma and Grandpa's house a couple of weeks ago she discovered the game Hi Ho Cherry-o. She loved it, and particularly loved playing it with Grandma. When we got home, she continued to talk about it. She wanted to know when we could go back to Grandma's to play again. I decided that, while we didn't have the actual game, that shouldn't keep us from playing...! It was time to get to work. But, in order to avoid copyright infringement (or to make sure the two year old sees a difference...) I figured we should call our game something different. So instead of cherries I decided our game would use apple - and Apple Pickin' was hatched.
First we made "apples." Using sculpy clay we made four different colors of apples. Little Girl chose red, yellow and green, as she loves all three of those colors of apples. She then chose blue for the fourth color. Maybe because she likes it, maybe because she knows it is my favorite color, maybe because she wants to see blue apples... No matter the reason, we rolled and baked our clay and soon had four colors of apples ready.
Next it was time to design the game board. I had a shirt box left from gifts my girls had received, and thought that would be perfect - good size, sturdy cardboard, built in storage for game parts... I cut paper to the size of the box, sketched some trees and set Little Girl to work coloring. The problem? Her pictures were so nice and pretty (and unrecognizeable as trees) that I didn't want to poke holes in the, So while she rested I cut colored paper trees to glue onto the box. I felt bad, but I really didn't want to poke holes in her artwork... I used a hole puncher to mark the spots in the trees where the apples would "grow." I then had to poke corresponding holes in the box so that the clay apples would sit in the trees without rolling away (too much). Thank goodness both girls napped so I could use a screwdriver without worrying about anyone (other than me) getting hurt! Finally, the game board was done! Would the apples stay in the trees? Yup...! (I did have to make the holes a little bigger with a larger screwdriver so the apples wouldn't roll as much, but that was an easy fix.)
Now that the board was done and the apples were ready, it was time to play, right? Almost. We needed a spinner. I wasn't sure how to make that with what we have on hand at home. What I really wanted was one of those brass "Brad" paper fasteners, but I don't keep those at home. (I think I have only ever used them for arts and craft projects in school settings, so I never thought to have them here...) I suggested making a large paper die, but Little Girl insisted that it had to be a spinner. So we improvised. I drew out the circle, the options and an arrow. The spinner base was glued onto cardboard for strength. And the arrow? Held on with a sewing pin. Not as safe as I would like for my two and a half year old, nor as secure, as it tends to pop off if spun too strongly, but it is functional until I can fix it...
The end result? A fun knock off which Little Girl loves to play! When Daddy got home that night she wanted to play with him, when friends came over this evening she wanted to play with then... So much fun!
I am so glad Little Girl wants to play games, especially one like that which uses counting, taking turns, color recognition... And I am really proud of her for helping create her own version which she can share with her friends. I can't wait to see what games she wants to make next!

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