Introduction: The Brain Game!
Make your own Brain Game by knitting noodles, sewing them onto a hat, and printing out the provided PDF's.
This travels well and its tech-free aspect makes it great for Camping trips.
Super-fun and educational!
Step 1: Yarn and Needles
I found 6 different colors of yarn that I liked as a group. This is a nice way to use up leftover yarn. The Frontal lobe uses the most, while the brain stem uses the least, so choose colors and amounts accordingly.
I used US no. 6 knitting needles. The shorter, the better, since you'll be turning them a lot.
Step 2: Knitting the Noodles
I cast on 5 stitches, then used the Stockinette stitch. This works up very quickly and produces the tubular effect needed.
You want two sets of each color to make both hemispheres of each lobe or part.
Better to knit longer than you need, but also be sure to save some of each color to sew the noodles onto the hat.
My Frontal and Parietal lobe noodles were almost 3 feet each, x 2.
You'll just have to experiment, but know that it is pretty mindless knitting, which is good because you'll need to pay attention when sewing the noodles onto the hat.
Step 3: Brain Hat Base and Cage
I used a flesh-colored hat that I don't wear anymore. You could pick up a
basic one at the store, of course, if you don't have one to sacrifice.
You'll need to stretch and hold the hat in place to sew your noodles on.
I used the protective cage from a heat lamp, plus a hose clamp, which is adjustable.
I then secured them together with electrical tape.
Step 4: Sewing on the Noodles
Find some images online of the "different areas of the brain".
Keep it handy for the duration of your sewing.
Remember that you are dividing into two hemispheres. I sewed one side on, experimenting with noodle movement to duplicate the brain, and then sewed the other half as symmetrically as I could. This was trickier than I had anticipated.
The scale doesn't have to be perfect, just do the best you can with what you have. It is always okay to undo what you have done and fix it until you are happy with it, even if this means towards the end, when most of the noodles are sewn on. Proper planning and pinning helps to avoid this
It took me awhile to sew all of the noodles and parts on to my satisfaction, and it still isn't a perfectly accurate representation of the brain, but it is close enough.
Step 5: Cerebellum
This one area of the brain is more striated, so I ironed the tubes flat, then arranged them like so.
You could probably just knit the piece, but I wasn't sure at the beginning what color would be used for what. I suppose if I had been less "mindless" about my approach I could have changed my method.
I pinned it onto the back, lower portion of the hat, using a ham where the hat ended, and sewed all layers through.
Step 6: The Brain Stem
I thought the green would be a good choice for the brain stem because, you know, stem.
I sewed the two lengths together in a haphazard way that would join them while also having a bulbous shape at the top.
I then sewed it underneath the cerebellum.
Step 7: Research!
I watched some fun and informative videos to learn all about the brain's structure and function.
The three I have included are great!
I also read quite a bit, especially when I wanted to get specific info about lateralization when making questions for separate hemispheres. The brain has a lot of plasticity as far as each hemisphere interacting with each other, so I only created several cards for those distinctions.
I had a sheet of paper with the different lobe names on it, with their respective yarn colors, and just kept adding relevant info to those structures until I had about 8-20 functions for each.
Step 8: PDF's and Printing Instructions
It took a little bit of trial and error and Brain Power to figure out how to create the card text's placement and printing, for sure.
Enjoy. : )
(I used canva.com if you'd like to make your own)
The first 2 PDF's(1A,1B) combine to make the first page, the second and third PDF's each contain the two pages within.
Take note of the images showing how to feed the printed page to accept the other side(of text)
If you print the Structure side first(blue side up) put it into the feeder tray so that the words are upside-down to you, looking into the printer.
Be sure to use card stock thick enough so that the answer on the other side doesn't show through.
I then cut out all the squares using a paper cutter.
Step 9: How to Play!
This game could be played alone, but much funner with more than one!
1. The cards are placed Function-side up, Structure-side down (orange side up), in a single pile on the table.
2. Each player takes a turn wearing the hat, picking up the top card, being sure to not look at the other side.
3. Based on what the text says, the hat-wearer has to guess what Structure the Function is describing and touch that part of the hat.
Cute, eh? And, that's it!
If you want to add additional rules about scoring and such, etc. feel free to make it your own.
Runner Up in the
Participated in the
Invention Challenge 2017
Participated in the
Explore Science Contest 2017