I don’t know about the rest of you, but it’s difficult to find time for myself these days.   My escape used to be writing this blog, or watching Law & Order (before it started to really suck). But recently I’ve stumbled into a new, fun past-time that is eating up much of my late night free time.  Perhaps you’ve played my new favorite game – sock matching?

Sock Matching, I learned, is actually an ancient sport involving precision, speed, and persistence.  The great thing about sock matching is that it requires only a minimal investment in materials & equipment to provide you with hours of entertainment.

The basics of the game are simple, but I must acknowledge that the set-up is very cumbersome.  Still, the resulting fun is well worth the effort.

Materials & Equipment:

  • Multicolored socks in various sizes and textures that are just similar enough to (pardon the pun) keep you on your toes. These will become your game board pieces.
  • 1 or 2 small children
  • The largest bottle of laundry detergent you can lift
  • Washer & Dryer

Game Play:

  1. Apply clean matched pair of socks to one or both children (the level of difficulty increases with additional game pieces on the board).  Send them to school for approximately 8 hours.
  2. When they return, have them remove their socks and place them in the tub of the washer.  Repeat this process for several days or a week to ensure maximum pieces on your game board.
  3. Once all socks have been gathered in the washer tub, add a generous quantity of detergent and proceed with the washing cycle of your choice. After washing, move socks to the dryer and proceed with the drying cycle of your choice.  Remove warm, dry socks from dryer and send children to bed (trust me, it’s much more fun when you play the game post 10 p.m.). 
  4. Lay out socks (your game pieces) in the pattern of your choosing on a table or other large, flat surface.  This will be your game board. 
  5. The objective of the game is to stand in front of the game board and match like socks into pairs as quickly as possible before falling asleep while standing up.   If you match all of the socks on your game board into pairs – before collapsing – you’ve won!

If you fail to match all your socks, no worries.  You will continue to accumulate additional game pieces over time, giving you plenty of chances to try again! 

You can play many fun variations of sock matching as well, including:

  • “Artistic Matching” where you match socks at breakneck speeds Punky Brewster style,
  • “Speed Matching” a lightning-paced round dedicated to pairing as many matching and non-matching socks as possible.  Bonus points if no one notices during the light of day that they’re wearing 1 navy blue and 1 black sock, and
  • “Tournament Matching” where you invite other family members, neighborhood kids, and even strangers to contribute one or two pieces to your game board and then compete across households to match pairs.

Example of a game in progress:


I figure, Dick unwinds with World of Warcraft and now that I have Sock Matching, I don’t have to relax  in front of the TV by myself, longing for something to do.  

Next week, I’ll teach you all about another game I play called “Finding clean underwear”.   Whoever said being a mom is all work and no play certainly hasn’t figured out how to poke fun at her work!

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