Monday, August 2, 2010

Yellow Car!

My girls play a car game that I both love and hate. It's called "Yellow Car" and the object is to spot and count the yellow cars that you see while driving from one place to another.
The rules are pretty simple:

(1) Count all shades of yellow cars
(2) School busses don't count.
(3) When you see a yellow car you shout at the top of your lungs "YELLOW CAR. I have X number of yellow cars now!" (Just kidding! But, this is what my girls do.)
(4) Game starts over every time you get back into the car and go somewhere else.
(5) No trying to play when we aren't in the car.

We have had various scream fests discussions about whether or not certain vehicles count and if you can really count the yellow truck on our street that is ALWAYS parked in the same spot or other really-don't-matter details. In the end, the winner is the person who has the most yellow cars when we reach our destination.

This game is an easy way to distract children from those days when you run several errands and have to be in and out of the car a lot. My two-year-old loves this game, but always loses count of how many cars she has called. She usually just sticks with the number two.

I thought I would make the game a little more tactile and educational for the little people who like to play. And, it just may help my older girls to stop cheating forgetting what number they were on!

The instructions are long, but this is pretty easy!

Instructions for the Yellow Car Self-Contained Car Game:

You will need:
3  small pieces of fabric
Fimo clay
six 8 inch pieces ribbon
stiff interfacing
2 sided fusible interfacing (Heat N Bond Ultra or "HnB" in the instructions)
Patterns for numbers and flap (HERE)
small square of Velcro or Velcro dot (hook and loop)

CARS: Make a set of 6 cars. I used Fimo clay which is baked. The finished product is firm, but a little flexible--not brittle at all and the colors are fantastic. I used a play-do cutter for the basic shape and tweaked it as I went along. Every car is a bit different.

You will need to cut two vertical slits in the middle of your car shape before it is baked. This is where you will weave the ribbon through the shape. Be sure the slits are tall enough to accommodate the width of your ribbon and thick enough to be able to weave the ribbon through the slits.

Follow the instructions for your clay to bake your cars and let cool completely.

A note--you can use felt, fabric, or foam for these cars, but I wanted them to be chunky so a young child with developing fine motor skills could actually grasp them and slide them along the ribbon. You can, obviously, tailor this to meet your needs.

PREPARE FABRIC: Cut two pieces of fabric  and one piece of stiff fusible interfacing 7 inches wide by 13 inches long. One piece of fabric will be the outside and one will be the inside. For the interfacing, I used a scrap from another project so I can't remember exactly what it is, but I got it at JoAnn's in the section with all of the interfacing. It is really stiff--I used it for the brim of a bonnet if that gives you an idea of how stiff it is. It probably doesn't need to be quite this stiff or thick, but I like the way it worked.

Adhere the interfacing piece to the wrong side of the fabric designated for the inside of your game.

ELLIPSE for FLAP: Placing the pattern for the large ellipse underneath the HnB, trace the pattern onto the HnB paper. Adhere the HnB to a piece of fabric that is about 7 1/4 inches by 5 1/4 inches. Cut out the ellipse and then cut it in half the long way. Peel off the paper backing. (And, yes, I forgot to line my ellipse up on my fabric--oops!)

ELLIPSE for NUMBERS: Use the pattern to trace 6 small ellipses on HnB. Cut a piece of fabric that is slightly larger than that. Adhere HnB to fabric and cut out ellipses. Peel off paper backing. Set aside.

NUMBERS: Use the pattern to trace the numbers backwards onto the HnB. You can place your pattern underneath the HnB and hold it up to a window to be able to see the numbers through the HnB. Adhere to a small piece of felt. Cut around numbers. Set aside.

Putting it all together...

FLAP: Sew Velcro to outside on one side of the flap. I marked the center and then placed it a little below that point.

Place the fabric sides of the ellipse together (right sides together) and sew along the outside curve using a 1/2 inch seam. Do not sew the straight edge. It might be difficult to sew because the Heat N Bond tends to stick to the machine. I just added a piece of lightweight fusible (one side) interfacing to the pieces because it is soft and helps the fabric slide through better.
Snip along the curve close to the stitching being careful not cut through the stitching.

Trim seam allowance down to about 1/4 inch.

Turn the flap right side out and iron the seam smooth. The Heat N Bond will adhere the two sides together as well, so iron carefully. The Heat N Bond will make the flap a little stiffer and more durable. Then, sew the flap closed along the straight edge. Sew close to the edge. Set aside.

GAME BOARD: Use a pencil to make a mark 1/2 inch up from the bottom of the game board. Mark again every two inches starting at the first mark. You will have your starting mark and 6 more marks.

Sew your ribbons on by placing the ribbon at the marking and wrapping about 1/2 inch behind the game board. I sewed mine really carefully--going over the stitching line on the ribbon 2 or 3 times. By wrapping it around the game board, I am securing it again.
(This is upside down because I sewed the left-hand side first.)

This is what the back side will look like:

Thread the ribbon through the slits on the cars.

Sew down the right side of the ribbon. I just stretched it taut and eye-balled it to make it level, but you can mark it if you prefer. On this side, you only need to sew it down once because the number part will sew over it again and again to help hold it securely.

Iron the small ellipses to the game board at the end of the ribbon. Be sure to leave a space a little more than 1/2 inch from the edge for your seam.

Applique using a satin stitch or zigzag stitch around the small ellipses to help hold them securely. This isn't exactly my area of expertise, but it worked out okay--go slowly. Then, iron on the felt numbers in the center of the ellipses. Use a straight stitch to secure these to the ellipses. I just stitched in the middle of each number.

Sew the other half of the Velcro to the bottom of your outside fabric piece. Sew on the right side of the fabric. Make a mark 1/2 inch up from the bottom edge and sew close to the mark.

Put rights sides together and sew around three sides. The side you do not sew will be the top of the game board or the short edge that does not have the Velcro attached to it. Trim your corners. You should also trim your seam allowance to 1/4 inch after checking to make sure you have sewn it properly. I forgot to trim mine and it was fine--just a little thick.

Turn your game board right side out. Do this very slowly and carefully since it will be very stiff and it is kind of lumpy and awkward with all of those cars. Be careful you do not bend your cars or they will break! Once it is turned it will sit funny because of that stiff interfacing. Just iron the edges flat being careful not to get near the cars.

Fold the top edge in 1/2 inch and iron to hold it in place. Slide your flap in place being sure that it is inserted far enough to catch it completely when you sew (about 1/4 inch). The side with the Velcro should be on the same side as the cars. Sew along the edge to secure it using a 1/4 inch seam. Topstitch along the other sides in the same manner.
Sew a straight line across your game board in between the 3rd and 4th rows. You can measure to be sure it is centered. It should be 6 inches from the top and bottom. This will help your game fold over more easily.

Your game should fold over and can be held together with the Velcro. My flap is a little small (I corrected this for the pattern you are downloading) and I decided I should have added a small handle, but it works!

You are done! Here is the FRONT:


And, when it is put away, the SIDE:

There you go! A car game for short car rides because, let's face it, the majority of our car time is spent on frequent, short trips that we make every day.

And that's why you need the YELLOW CAR GAME in your car!

I am linking HERE this week!

And, I entered the challenge at The CSI Project also!

post signature


Unknown,  said... August 2, 2010 at 6:35 AM  

Its really nice blog.i really like it and i will do this for my child also.and we play the game on it..

- Sell Junk Car

Kimberlee, The Spunky Diva,  said... August 2, 2010 at 12:20 PM  

That is very cute! Visiting from Something I Whipped Up Monday.

The Tarbet Family,  said... August 2, 2010 at 12:40 PM  

cute idea. . .you are super talented. . . i love checking out all your ideas :)

annies home,  said... August 2, 2010 at 1:31 PM  

This is so cute and I can imagine how fun it would be. When I was a kid we played a road trip game where we counted all the cars seperating the different colors. Hope you all have as much fun as we did

Liz @ LivingMySweetLife,  said... August 2, 2010 at 2:02 PM  

This is so cute and clever!! my oldest boy would love this game!! Thank you for the adorable tutorial. I found you via Skip to My Lou!

Adrienne,  said... August 2, 2010 at 4:54 PM  

Ditto to everyone. Wonderful idea Tammy. I want this too. I need more hours in a day so that I can do all of my projects and YOURS TOO!

STAEDTLER,  said... August 2, 2010 at 6:37 PM  

We have just discovered your gorgeous tutorial!
We'd love to meet you on our facebook fanpage - it would be great if you became a fan, too, and showed your artworks on our page.

Hope to meet you soon and best regards from STAEDTLER headquarters in Germany, Yvonne

Tami (Pixeltrash),  said... August 2, 2010 at 10:12 PM  

That is so cute. I bet my neice who is almost 2 would just like the cars and numbers even without the game! Thanks for the tutorial!

Crafty Mommy Diva,  said... August 3, 2010 at 2:00 AM  

How fun! My brothers and I always count how many houses had Christmas lights during the holidays and we can only look out our window. The person in the middle could pick whichever side.

Erin,  said... August 3, 2010 at 8:36 AM  

So cool! I love, love, love this, and it is making me wonder what else I can do with Fimo! What a great idea, thank you for the inspiration.

Jenn @ Delicious Ambiguity,  said... August 3, 2010 at 8:59 AM  

You’ve got a great blog here. Would love it if you’d link up some of your creative ideas for toddlers on my Tot Tuesdays Linky Party:

Katie from ABC&123: A Learning Cooperative,  said... August 3, 2010 at 4:12 PM  

This is such a fun looking game! I have added your activity to an upcoming post on homemade learning tools on our blog. We used your top photo, gave a short description, credited you, and provided a direct link back to this post. If you prefer we remove it, let us know and we will. Thank you in advance for sharing with our readers!

Judy Whatilivefor,  said... August 3, 2010 at 5:03 PM  

That is amazing! I love that it's entertaining, but you don't have to chase little pieces that get dropped.

Amy@ServingPinkLemonade,  said... August 3, 2010 at 7:50 PM  

This is such a great idea! How fun for the car.
Funny little brother was just telling me about this game in the car today. I've never heard of it before and now I have twice in one day.

seven thirty three,  said... August 4, 2010 at 11:29 AM  

Cute idea! We play a version of this game, but we get to pick what color we want... Super cute gameboard.

Thanks for linking with Sugar & Spice.

Margie,  said... August 4, 2010 at 8:52 PM  

Such a cute idea, and it looks amazing. The colors you chose were great. I wish I had kids!
Maybe I could still make it, adults need distractions on long car rides too right? :)

CraftyMummy,  said... August 4, 2010 at 11:28 PM  

Just popping over from Life in the Pitts...

This is a great idea! So cute and yet so easy for little kids. Love it!

Staci J,  said... August 5, 2010 at 4:31 PM  

Wow!! That's super cool of you to turn their game into something real! Such a fabulous idea!
Visiting from
Come by and check out the fun giveaway going on right now:)

Unknown,  said... August 5, 2010 at 7:48 PM  

Wow! That is so neat! Love it! Thank you for linking up, this week, to Anything Related!

Maggie Muggins,  said... August 5, 2010 at 9:42 PM  

This is such a cute idea. I'm going to make some for our car rides. What a great game!

Staci J,  said... August 6, 2010 at 2:17 AM  

This was one of my favorite projects I saw this week, just wanted to let ya know I featured you on my blog today:)

Ms Muffin,  said... August 6, 2010 at 8:46 AM  

totally cute! too bad my daughter can easily count beyond six ... and i don't feel like making one with like 20 cars ... it would be fun though! :-) (not the making - the playing!)

Alison @ Oopsey Daisy,  said... August 6, 2010 at 10:30 AM  

What a FUN game!! I am doing this when my son is a touch bigger. I may do it with buses, though. ADORABLE! Thanks for sharing!


Unknown,  said... August 6, 2010 at 12:28 PM  

This is GREAT!! Found you through "Whatever Goes Wednesday"! I linked your project under my "Inspirational Projects" section on my blog!


LostShootingStar,  said... August 6, 2010 at 3:36 PM  

This is absolutely adorable! I will definitely try and play with my kids!

Junk Car Removal

Fawnda@Fireflies and Jellybeans,  said... August 8, 2010 at 3:22 PM  

This is so cute and fun!

I featured you here:

Jenn @ Delicious Ambiguity,  said... August 11, 2010 at 6:08 AM  

What a great activity! Just wanted to let you know I featured you on Tot Tuesdays this week!

Alison @ Oopsey Daisy,  said... August 11, 2010 at 9:58 AM  

I featured this today:

One of my favorite ideas for sure! Thanks for sharing!

Jolene,  said... August 11, 2010 at 10:43 AM  

Oh thats lovely. My son took one look at that and asked if he can get one. Thanks for sharing the tutorial

Taylor4,  said... August 12, 2010 at 1:04 PM  

This is amazing! We are taking a long (4000 mi) road trip soon and I have been looking for fun car trip ideas. This will definately make the to do list. Awesome! Thanks for the great tutorial.

Liz,  said... February 8, 2011 at 9:52 PM  

I saw your tute on Not Just a Housewife and I had to make it! You can see mine here. Thanks so much!

Kristy,  said... April 6, 2011 at 9:12 AM  

Ha! We play this too! And what a great accessory to make it that much more fun! Thanks for sharing!

Kate Radford,  said... April 8, 2011 at 4:01 PM  

Ah! This is so cool and awesome. I want to make one for everyone I know. If only I could cram a few more hours into the day...

Anonymous,  said... July 6, 2011 at 6:08 PM  

Nice and very creative! I'm quite sure my kids will really enjoy htis lol! Especially the yellow bus game lol Thanks for sharing!

Tracey Crafts,  said... February 24, 2013 at 4:04 PM  

I was just googling the Yellow Car Game and came across your blog.
I love your design and a perfect idea to use in the car.

My boy loves the came and just like you we had ended in some heated rule discussions in the car. Its a great way to pass a long journey as we can all play - Priceless.

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