Name it and Claim it
is a learning game
for very young children, who must be old enough to speak many words -- ages 20 months to three or four years, or so. As far as I know the game was invented by my mother for me and thus isn't in parental circulation
, even though it should be. Also, I'm pretty sure my mother named it without knowing about the Trinity Broadcasting Network
, as mass-marketed Jesus
was never really her thing. It stresses the skills of multi-modal object recognition
, object permanence
, and vocabulary
, and does so in a way that's fun for the child (and can impress the mother's friends :-).
The game is simple and cheap to set up, and doesn't require any special equipment. All you need is a bunch of the child's small toys, each a few inches large, and a sack or box filled with foam packing peanuts, available at any place one can mail packages. My mom had a special set of toys she used specifically for Name it and Claim it, kept in the same container as the packing peanuts. On special occasions we would go through my toys around the house looking for others that would fit into the game well, and giving me an early chance to Participate in My Own Manipulation, as it were. Name it and Claim it also presented a great way for my mome to give me little gifts, since adding new things made the game more fun, and made it more challenging for me.
Game play is the child feeling around in the packing peanuts for the toys, which should be suspended there. Upon finding a toy, the child examines it with his hand, but can't pull it out until he says what he thinks it is. The child then pulls out the toy and sees it, then can either play with it and his other toys or keep playing the game to find more. It's fun because of the novel feel of the peanuts, the curiosity that can be fulfilled by finding stuff, and the thrill of playing with a different-than-usual toy. It's a learning experience because the child has to integrate knowledge about the world he usually perceives visually with knowledge built on a strictly tactile model -- abstract thinking at its best.
Here are some of the things I remember finding, to get you started: a matchbox car, a little round person toy, a plastic Brontosaurus, an eight pinned Lego, a penny, a quarter, a magnet of the numeral 3, a very small and soft stuffed puppy, a plastic Tyrannosaurus, a piece of sandpaper, a Barbie comb, a string of beads, and a rubber bouncy ball. Have fun thinking of your own tiny but tactilely engaging objects.