***IMPORTANT UPDATE!*** The ever-spectacular Ainslie from CleverPatch has just let me know that she had the same painting troubles with the pebbles! Before painting, scrub the pebbles with steel wool in warm, soapy water to remove the stones' waxy layer. Then you should be fine!
Usually I’d be letting you know about this week’s surprise item… but I only just finished last week’s dad-craft! The crafty activity that had me butting my head against the wall all week-long, started with these items:
Wooden Noughts & Crosses Board & Polished Pebbles.
(click here to check out the Board and then here to see the Pebbles).
Originally I was going to do a straight nerding-up of noughts & crosses by painting the pebbles to look like Gremlins & Mogwai. And then I realised two things: that’s a bit obvious, and Little E is still a smidge too young to understand the rules. Last week’s amaze-tacular (if I do say so myself) Instant Woody (from Toy Story) Kids’ Costume fit these parameters perfectly (click here if you haven’t seen the coolest costume ever!).
I needed to look at this from a new angle. After half an hour with my head dangling to the side, I had a bit of a headache and a cool idea. What if I turn it into a different game? Something educational for a toddler. And that’s how we ended up with:
Nintendo Colour Matching Game
You will need:
- CleverPatch wooden noughts & crosses board
- acrylic paints in lots of colours: red, yellow, pink, green, brown, orange, white, purple, black and blue
- paintbrushes (thick & thin)
- CleverPatch polished white pebbles
- thin tipped black permanent marker
On the surface this week looked like the easiest make of them all. At least, that’s what I thought going into it. WRONG! Here’s why.
Step 1 – paint a base coat
Use a very thin-tipped paintbrush to paint the grooves with black paint. This will make anything we paint on top of the board really pop out.
Then use a thicker brush to undercoat the surface of the board, and 9 pebbles, with white paint.
Step 2 – paint the board
Luckily the board comes pre-divided, so all we have to do is paint each square a different colour. I’ve gone with basic colours as Little E is only at the early stages of recognising colour.
If you wanted to make this more complicated you could use different shades of a colour, such as light blue, aquamarine and navy.
Step 3 – paint the rocks
Just paint the rocks with the same colours that you painted the squares on the board. Seriously, how hard can this be? Well, if you’re a little ‘extra-special’ like I seem to be, then this single step will take about four days.
Paint one side of the pebbles, leave to dry, paint the other side, leave to dry, then discover that the first side mustn’t have been dry enough as the newspaper is now stuck to the rocks. Tear off the paper and re-paint.
Time for a second coat… but I’ll take them to work to do in my lunch break. Do you know what happens when you place nine painted pebbles in a plastic bag and carry them around for a while? They play a game of ‘chip off all of the paint’! Suddenly I was back having to peel them back to rock and start under coating them. Again!
By the next day I had the pebbles painted and ready. Until Little E found the board and had a quick game by himself. Now I needed to repaint the pebbles AND the board!
Step 4 – stick a border onto the board
Using double-sided tape, stick some strips of wrapping paper around the edge of the board. This will create a cool border, and cover up all the evidence of my bad painting.
Step 5 – draw on the pebbles
I can’t possibly do anything plain and straight-forward. There has to be a way to nerd these babies up. How about I paint icons representing classic Nintendo NES characters onto the pebbles? This was a great idea for about two seconds – once the brown pebble was obscured by a giant red and yellow Donkey Kong tie, I realised I had a slight problem. The brown rock now looked more like a red rock.
So I literally went back to the drawing board!
Just simple black pen sketches of the characters instead. This way the pebbles still have their main colour for Little E to recognise and I get to have some Dad+Nerd fun!
We’ve got Mario, Yoshi and a ghost from Mario Bros, Donkey Kong, Eggplant Wizard from Kid Icarus, Samus Aran from Metroid, Mega Man, Kirby, and Pikachu from Pokemon.
(Note that Kirby and Pikachu are not present in the above photos – please refer to the next step to find out why).
Step 6 – try to protect the pebbles; FAIL
To save me from repainting these things yet again, I brushed the pink Kirby pebble with a coating of craft glue. In my head it was going to create a thin barrier to shield the paint from Little E’s enthusiasm. What I actually got was a streak-faced Kirby, and then the paint came off as I tried to wipe away the glue!
Phenom-A-Mum suggested spraying the stones with hairsrpay to have the same protective coating but without smooshing a brush all over my drawing. Did it work? If you’ve seen the picture above then you know that it didn’t. Pickachu’s face melted instead.
Nerd-tastic learning ahoy!
So I hid all of the disasters and just showed Little E the parts that worked. I’ve decided that this will just be a temporary toy as he not-so-gradually destroys it through toddler-style use.
Oh well. At least he thinks it is ROCK n’ ROLL!
Little E got the point of colour matching quite quickly. I asked him to point to the blue square and he did (it’s the only colour I can guarantee he’ll get right every time), then I asked him to put the blue Mega Man rock onto it.
A little back and forwarding ensued, but he got there! He also got the orange Samus Aran (Metroid) onto the right square. And then he lost interest in what I was trying to direct him to do.
Just putting coloured pebbles onto a brightly coloured board was enough fun for a two-year old.
Did I enjoy this week’s craft? NO!!!! It was a massive pain in my butt, all of which was completely my own fault. But I’m pretty jazzed with how something so simple turned out, and how much Little E enjoyed playing an educational game. I think that I will sneak this out once a day, for a few minutes, to develop his understanding of colour.
If you want to give this a try, I reckon someone who isn’t as stoopid as I am could finish it in a day, including drying times. Good luck, suckers!
Who is your favourite Nintendo character? Do you remember the Eggplant Wizard?
Let me know in the comments below:
This is not a paid post, however CleverPatch are providing Big Kid Little Kid with the craft materials used in this post.
DISCLAIMER: This crafty dad-craft consists of my original craft design and engineering, but it is inspired by products and/or characters that I did not invent. Nintendo and its associated characters, are not my invention and are either trademarks or registered trademarks of their owners in Britain and/or other countries. This homemade craft is in no way official nor endorsed by the trademark holders.
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