It’s Friday Favourites and this week it’s all about a kids memory game by Charley Harper. No not THAT Charlie Harper. Charley Harper, the artist. Strangely, I can’t remember where I found the game, but my six year old granddaughter and I have been enjoying it for three years.
The attraction of Charley Harper’s Memory Game starts with the educational value, but mostly we love the art and it’s subject of nature. Sometimes Miss V plays a different kind of game, solo. Sometimes with her grandfather and the game is always more competitive!
Paper versus Digital Games
I like it because the game is paper not digital. There are studies which are pro about tactile games and books. However, there are equal arguments, likely by developers, about the merits of computer games. Since this is my blog here are some words in defense of paper games and my review of Charley Harper’s Kids Memory Game.
Tactile simply means connecting to something. Some could argue that holding a tablet, a joy stick or stabbing at keys on a board is a kind of connection and they are right. However, it is the how of the connection I am interested in here. For most, quietly or thoughtfully holding a thing is soothing.
Tactile objects also create memories of a time and place. Like the feel of a book in a quiet library or a warm cookie in your hand at Grammie’s house.
Art is two fold. It is the active, like paint to paper. It is also the appreciation of, but this doesn’t have to be overt like going to a gallery. There are 26 tiles whose detail is seen each time anew. Whenever possible I try to build in art with other subjects. Here’s a great link with art game ideas.
Slow is crucial for a kids memory game
A slow game is crucial for any kids memory game to promote patience and finding meaning. It is the meaning of a thing in particular that helps. With this your brain forms neural pathways, storage and stronger recall of memories. Slow has been strongly suggested by advocates of pencil to paper writing, rather than typing for students right up to the University level. The slow moment is fodder for another article.
Paper games are easily transformed by imagination and used in other ways. My sisters and I used Monopoly money as currency in the “town” we built in our basement. When I am unavailable to play with my granddaughter, she arranges the tiles pairs of birds, animals and insects for her own ark. I wonder what adventure is taking place in her head.
Multi Tasking Parents
Some children who are easily frustrated can still benefit by reducing the number of tiles. You can also just let them enjoy arranging them in whatever way they enjoy. As they grow, the game grows with them.
Parents have the difficult task of ensuring balance in mind, body and spirit. The lovely thing about Charley Harper’s Memory game is that it promotes on multiple levels without you or your child even knowing it.