That’s when I came up with the nuts and bolts game and ushered my husband off to the hardware store to pick up the necessary supplies.
8 1/2-inch x 2 1/2-inch carriage bolts
8 (or 16) 1/2-inch hex nuts (8 nuts for quick play; 16 for longer play)
Labels (download a PDF from Google Docs here)
Sticker paper to print the labels on
Cardstock to print the cards on
How to Play
How to Play
- Each child selects one bolt and draws a card.
- Depending on what that card says (either ‘rhyme,’ ‘opposite,’ or ‘shape’), he/she must look at the word/shape on the bolt and find the nut with the appropriate word on it and then screw it on. For example, if a child picks the bolt with the word “head” on it and draws the “opposite” card, they must find the nut with the word “feet” on it. (The cards are color-coded to make this easier.)
- If the nut a child needs has already been used, he/she returns the bolt to the pile and play continues with the opponent taking a turn.
- The game ends when either all the bolts have been matched with nuts or no more can be matched.
Note: The first time we played this, I only labeled eight of the "prolonged play" nuts. It was pretty discouraging when my son couldn’t make the matches from the cards he drew, because the nuts he needed were already used. Adding a second set fixed that and prolonged the game.
While these nuts and bolts are probably too big to technically give my son the fine-motor experience he needs, they definitely provided a little afternoon fun!