Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Game On!

True story. When I was a little girl growing  up in the Boston Mountains region of the Ozarks (I know...here she goes again) our bus rides home from school were so long I learned to play Poker like a pro. Who knew that inadequate bus services for the public school would encourage such a skill.

When we finally moved to civilization and closer to my Grandma, my mother implored us kids not to play Poker in front of Grandma. Grandma felt that Poker was one step away from the fiery gates. It is not my intention to offend any of you who have similar convictions (you can breath easy...this is not a post about Poker). But it wasn't uncommon for my brother with his buddies to be playing Poker on the front porch and have to throw the cards in the bushes when he saw Grandma's Chrysler coming down the street.

My Poker playing days are behind me (I haven't been on a school bus since the '80's, for one), but I still love to play games. We get more enjoyment out of a Family Game night than about anything. And don't get me started on the wonderful learning games you can coax out of deck of playing cards. Actually, I'll talk about those in just a minute. Plus, a few of my favorite "gamey" things I've made and our newest favorite board game.

I want to show you one of Josiah's more recent projects.

He created his own Board Game.

And it's pretty Whoopty-do!

We first talked about the concept for his game. He knew he wanted to create some sort of Mystery game. (He's all into mysteries right now). He decided he didn't want a Clue kind of game, but instead more in the line of Candy Land.

He also decided that instead of  the game board being all squares and lines like a Monopoly game, He wanted to created lots of twists and turns. He created his path on the board and then we colored in the squares. Like the Easter Grass in his hair? He was digging in his toy buckets for the right props for inspiration. I shouldn't admit to this, but I haven't got out any Easter Grass this year, yet. Yup. That grass is from last year, my friends.

He also decided that he wanted the detectives (the players) to reach the Pathways (the game is called the Mystery of the Missing Pathways). And after reaching the Pathways they could choose to go through doors A, B, or C. Certain doom or a wonderful surprise would be awaiting you. Depending on the door you chose.  See my big tote of fabric in the background. I told you all that the Fabric has taken over my house. I was serious!

We typed up some cards (I just simply made a form using a table in MS Word) and he figured out what manner of mishaps or lucky breaks you were to receive along the way.

The players take turns rolling the dice. If you land on a spot with a sticker (we used simple dollar store stickers) you have to draw a card. Hopefully, I'll get that one that encourages me to go to the Donut Shop!
As you can see he used Action Figures from his Ginormous Stash. 

Here he is. Explaining the wonder of it all.

Pretty fun stuff, huh? Oh. And he used the back of a large poster frame that had come apart. It was wonderfully sturdy and free.  He's already to try it out with his friends and his Daddy. I sure hope Daddy doesn't get locked in the room of spiders.

So I promised just a few other of my favorite Gamey things. I love using items that we already have or are easy to find.


Josiah and his cousin Christopher are playing War. Which I think is a genius way to learn math facts. In fact, Let's Play Math, a blog filled with tons of Math game ideas, has been a life saver. I would urge you to go try it out.  I have a Math Bucket filled with fun things Josiah can use to practice his skills at any time.

This next game has to be mentioned. It's just plain fun. Headbands! You can check us out playing with the Cousins. 

I also want to show you these little darlings. I made these owl bean bag babies. I got tired of trying to find all the various bean bags we've had over the years.For one, they were dull and unfun. These are as cute as they can be. We most recently took these to a friend's house for a Bean Bag Toss Game. Warning. Don't let their cuteness fool you. They can be used as missiles.

My last little "Game On" Shout Out is to Classic Bingo (with a twist) These are so simple to make. I used these with a variety of kids this year for Valentine's. I love that you can personalize them to fit any occasion.

Okey Dokey. I've given you a few of my favorite do-it-yourself, got it have it, and to- cute- pass up game ideas.

Go Get Your Game On!

I'm linking up to 5 Days of Creative Teaching!

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