It’s quite a challenge to get a new project up on the blog every Monday for a month. The truth is that it’s not really Monday here in Australia. Actually it’s Tuesday morning, but I imagine that it is still Monday somewhere, so it’s not really cheating. Well, sort of not. And in any case, “Matchbox Tuesday” just doesn’t sound the same as “Matchbox Monday”.
For this project I use a larger size matchbox: 12cm x 7cm x 4cm. If you live in Australia, Coles sells Redheads Handy Pack in this size. For a little box this larger size is great. The game I’ve made here is a version of ‘Trouble’. But the same idea will work for any game with a simple board and pieces that your kids might like. Instead of making the game board from a hard material like cardboard, you use cloth. I’ve chosen a 45 cm square of calico because it has a bit more weight than a lot of cottons. I also like the raw look with frayed edges and calico is fairly easy to draw and/or paint on and folds up well into a small space. To draw the board design, a permanent marker and ordinary acrylic paint work well. To cover the box I’ve used a good quality wool viscose blend felt, mainly because I like the feel of this felt, ( I find acrylic felts rough and a bit unpleasant to the touch).
I’ve made the bodies of the game pieces from 15 mm coloured wooden square beads with a 10 mm raw wood round bead for the head. For the hair I’ve used coloured wire: I got the red curls by winding the wire around a very thin knitting needle, and the aqua blue crinkles by using small flat pliers. The wiggly eyes were stuck on with a glue gun, ( hot glue dries very quickly and prevents the pieces you’re sticking on from sliding out of position). The box can be decorated with whatever you want. I prefer to go with “less is more”, but most of the kids in my classes believe that “more is best”.
There’s a lot of room in this sort of project to adjust the idea and make it your own. Whatever you do, kids seem to love these little packages that they can carry around with them like a hidden treasure or like something magical that they can unfold and fold up whenever they want.
If you have any questions, just ask. Have fun, Trixi.