When is learning fun AND delicious? When it’s also your morning tea, of course!
This post is by regular contributor Carrie George of A Little Learning for Two.
This ‘memory crackers’ game started out as a bit of a joke to make my kids laugh but it has quickly become one of their favourite snacks and something they ask for all the time. The best part about this activity is that it can be adapted to suit all sorts of learning objectives, from colours to shapes, and you can use whatever you have on hand at the time.
Playing with your food isn’t for everyone but we don’t take anything too seriously at our house. If it’s fun, sneaks in a little learning and gets two picky eaters to empty their plates, it’s a winner.
Alphabet Snack Matching Game
This activity is just like a normal memory game that you might play using pictures or cards, but using crackers instead!
You will need:
- Plain crackers of your choice
- Biscuit/cookie cutters
- Spread/s of your choice
- Any topping that you can cut with biscuit/cookie cutters (cheese, sliced ham, sliced chicken or turkey)
- A plate or tray
We like to start by cutting our shapes first. We spread our slices of cheese and ham out on cutting mats and then cut two of each shape we want to use. The girls love being involved in this step!
We have been using letters for our snacks but you could use anything you like – shapes, numbers, themed objects – for example, sea animals or farm animals.
Once you have cut your shapes place the number of crackers you want to use on a plate or tray, making sure there is an even number so that you can create pairs. Cover one side of each cracker with whatever spread you are using, the current favourite at our house is beetroot dip!
Place your cheese shapes on top of the crackers, spread side up, making sure there are two of each one on the plate. Mix up the pairs and then turn them over to create an edible memory game and let the fun begin.
Our girls love turning them over one by one, matching the pairs and then mixing them up to play all over again. Once they are bored with the game they match up the pairs and devour them!
Another variation of this game that our girls enjoy is when I use different types of spreads to create a colour matching game. In the example below you can see we have used Vegemite, butter, beetroot dip and mashed avocado.
Other game ideas and suggestions:
- Matching colours with objects: have one cracker with a tree shape and a matching cracker with avocado, another pair might be a sun shape and lemon butter.
- Matching similar objects or categories, such as a boat and car shape for transport, or a starfish and dolphin shape for sea creatures.
- Use the letters of your child’s name, high frequency sight words or spelling words to encourage familiarisation and/or reading/spelling practice.
- No biscuit cutters? No problem, try using two spreads of contrasting colours and writing the letters or numbers on using a clean paintbrush or small knife. For example, spread a cracker with butter and then write your number on top with Vegemite.
- Other spread ideas: butter, ricotta cheese, cream cheese, jam, peanut butter, nut butter, mashed avocado, dips, hummus, tahini, Nutella, Vegemite.
- Store all of your off cuts from your cheese/ham etc… in sealed containers and use them on top of homemade pizzas or in other dishes so there is no wastage.