Friday, April 30, 2010

The Truth about New York

E11 has been working so hard on this game. He's finally finished! As part of our study of The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge, E11 decided he wanted to make a game to learn things about NY. I had in mind a travel brochure, but I thought why not. Surely he put more effort into this game than I ever would have gotten on a travel brochure! Lesson to homeschooling moms: be open to a change of plans!

When I saw how excited the kids were about this project, I splurged and bought some game making materials from Bare Books. They sell blanks of lots of fun things including game boards and other game making supplies like money! The cost is very nominal, but you have to have a $25 minimum order. So, I stocked up.
I bought two game boards with squares around it and two blank ones waiting for creativity, two packs of blank money, and a couple of blank spirals for notebooking.
E11 did a great job on all the details of the game. He started by making up all the trivia questions- 20 for each deck (group and solo). Then he set about making game pieces. He chose NY landmarks, saved the images and put them in a paint program for resizing then into a word document for printing at one time. We used cardstock and then I laminated them. We used little plastic stands from a Pooh Candyland game (we don't set up all the characters anymore) and it works great. He chose the Statue of Liberty, the George Washington Bridge (of course), the state capital building, Niagara Falls, apples, and The Wilder Farm in Malone, NY. Very fun!

After making the trivia questions, he designed the board. He chose cities from around NY that would go onto a board like Monopoly. He had to adjust when he found out there are fewer spaces on our board. He grouped them by proximity and population. Pretty cool. I helped with the game board itself at his request. Sharpie markers to the rescue and some good handwriting and voila! Instant gameboard. We also used stickers we'd gotten from Bare Books and a local craft store.
These cards are the improvement cards- think hotels and houses from the Monopoly game. Once you get a city set and a building permit you can put improvements in your cities. Improvements are parks, campgrounds, and monuments. Pretty clever.
I plan to laminate these cards sets so they last a while and because they have pictures glued to them. It took some tweaking as they played. For example, they needed the second set of money because there wasn't enough in one set and they started with two die and realized that took you around the board way too fast. So, now they use one.
The property cards- names of cities with the list of rent and what rent costs with improvements.
E11 considered typing out all his cards, but preferred to do it this way in the end. He is planning to enter this game into the 4-H Fair so he may end up typing it for that.

He spent a lot of time typing out the direction sheet. It has two columns and carefully explains the game. I thought about putting them up in Scribd, but that might not be so exciting for you all. Just let me know if you'd like to see them and I'll post them. Great writing assignment for E11. It's not always easy to write good directions.

This was a lot of fun for E11 and a great way to review state geography and history. R9 has a game in mind but lost her motivation very quickly- I think this was due to watching all the gobs of work E11 was doing...she thought better of it! However, I think she can pull it out with my help. It's also a well thought out game.

I'm saving the game boards for a game I have in mind- on habitats. The first stop will be freshwater habitats.


Carpenters said...

He did such a good job! How creative!

Lori said...


Debbie said...

That's very cool--he did a great job! I'm going to show this to my son--he loves games, and I think he'd enjoy creating one.

Shonda said...

That is fantabulous!! Way to go E11!!

Samvach said...

Great job! We've made a few games with the game boards from Bare Books. It's amazing how creative children can be!


Anonymous said...

'Loved the finished game, E11! I can't wait to play it with you.

love, Grandma

Tracey said...

Where can I buy one? That is awesome. I saw these boards at the convention Friday but I resisted. I think I am rethinking that now.

I love the comment from grandma too.

Heather said...

Grandma is a big fan Tracey!

Diane said...

Fantastic job. The game looks great.

School for Us said...

Wow! He did do a wonderful job. And, it sounds like he was very self-motivated. I'm going to have to think about a game we can make. :-)