Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine Solitaire Game

Well, I needed to create a craft for my son's 3rd grade class to create during his St. Valentine's Day party at school. In the past, I've sent in crafts where the kids can make bracelets and pom pom critters, but I wanted to make something that these "older" kids would like.

This summer, when my family went to The Polar Caves in upstate New Hampshire, my oldest son was facinated by the little wooden puzzles on the tables where players could jump little pegs trying to get as few pegs left as possible. The version he played was a triangle shape. I thought if I turned the puzzle upside-down,  could use a heart-shape and make a cool Valentine's craft that would appeal to these sophisticated kids in bigboy's class--both boys (who seem to hate anything with hearts on it) and girls.

They were fun to make. Relatively easy, and even though they are a little more expensive than I would normally do for a classroom craft, pretty economical. I could even see someone making a batch and handing them out as Valentine's. They would also work well for a Father's Day craft/present or a Christmas craft/present (or many, many, other holidays where a simple present is needed). The supplies for 22 of these games cost me about $30.00 without using any coupons.

Here's how to make them:

Valentine Solitaire Game

Supplies needed for one game:
  • 1-4 x 5"  rectangle of 1" thick styrofoam (I needed 20 pieces, so I bought a 12"x36" piece at Michael's for $7.99)
  • 1-4 x 5" rectangle of cereal box cardboard (FREE-used my recycling)
  • 1-8 x 13" piece of red wrapping paper (or whatever color/pattern you choose) (I bought a roll at Michael's for $3.99)
  • Heart printout which includes game board and directions (Made by me--we'll see if I can upload a pdf)
  • 14 Golf tees (I bought a large quantity at Sports Authority-250 for $14.00, but there are smaller bags there for about $5).
  • Crayons or stickers for decorating (optional)(free--I used what I had on hand)
  • Scissors, tape, glue stick
How to create it:
  1. Tape the cardboard rectangle to the styrofoam block.
  2. Wrap the cardboard/styrofoam with the wrapping paper like you are wrapping a present. Remember which side has the cardboard on it--that will be the bottom of the game (the cardboard keeps the golf tees from poking through the foam and out the other side which would ruin the game).
  3. Cut out and decorate the two hearts: the game board and the directions. You can color them with crayons, markers or colored pencils (don't block the game board or directions!).
  4. Using a glue stick, glue to game board to the side of the package that does not have the cardboard. Glue the directions onto the opposite side of the package.
  5. You can now add stickers to the piece if you'd like.
  6. Now, for the holes: gently poke the golf tees into the circles on the board game side. Poke them straight in. The cardboard inside the package will stop them from coming out the back of the game. Because there are 14 pegs and 15 holes, you'll need to poke an extra hole.
You are done! Have fun playing this game alone or with your family and friends!

Step One: Tape together cardboard and foam
Step Two: Wrapping the foam/cardboard

Step Four: Gluing on the hearts
Step Six: Poke the golf tees into the board

The finished game with 14 tees packaged in a quart size freezer bag so that the kids can take them home.

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