Sunday, August 15, 2010

Homemade Nature Game

Remember the old nature game we made? Well, after ordering some game boards from Bare Books I decided to reinvent the game a bit. You'll have to just trust us that this game is awesome and the game board is beautiful. Unfortunately it decided to rain and pour on us today, so much for going outside and playing the game and taking lovely sunny photos.

We actually ordered 4-5 board games for a few different games we had in mind, and I did a whole lot of thinking and planning before setting to work on this game board.

Those circles are all hand punched from various colored cardstock we had in the scrapbooking stash. We used a 1 inch punch on it. Then, after deciding the game path and laying them all down for a trial run on it, I modge podged them down. I'm not a fan of modge podge because my incredibly sensitive head hates the smell of it, but I wanted to seal the top of the game path because I know this game will be used outside more then inside. The downside is after 48 hours of drying we closed the game board up and some of those nice little modge podged circles stuck. I wasn't very happy about that. Next time I might use my Xyron sticker maker and use the laminator/sticker cartridge. One side laminates, the other side becomes a sticker. I really love that little machine!

After the tummy bug finally cleared out of our home I nipped up to the local scrapbooking shop and picked up some various rub-ons. I think I ended up with 3 different sets, one of which was that very clever saying. For $2 I couldn't pass it up, because I'm pretty sure it will be quite the adventure each time we play this game. The bird and thistle were in a different pack of rub-ons.

The thistles, Queen Anne's Lace, and butterfly were all separate I just grouped them together. The word Play, and the other flower were each in different sets. The words were $3 but work for two (or three) different games we have in mind. I really love those thistles.

The butterfly and Queen Anne's lace here were both in the thistle pack. That package of rub-ons was a really good deal! The word Explore came from the word package. I was amazed by the detail on that butterfly.

The leaves, dragon flies, and feathers all came in the same pack as the thistles. The brown flowers came in a different pack which also had a cute squirrel sitting on a stump which was our finish line. The start line is a little house which was in a packet of rub-ons we've had for yonks around this place.

We printed up game cards and did the feed it back through the printer to print on the other side and then we laminated them. There's a total of 40 game cards, and we're looking at making a few more up because 40 wasn't quiet enough to get all the way through the game using two dice. Each card said something different with 8 cards being "freebies". Which means some had "bad" things happening on them, like: "You got so excited following the animal tracks you ran ahead and forgot to stay with the group. You tripped on a large rock and lost 2 acorns. Move backwards to the nearest green marker on the board." Then there's a couple of "nice" ones like: "You remembered your sunscreen and shared it with the group. Receive 2 acorns and take another turn!" The idea of the game is honestly to have fun and expand our knowledge of the world around us, but I also wanted them to remember important things. Like wearing sunscreen and not disturbing that which we find. The buckets of brown beads represent baskets of acorns. There's a small story line to the game that hasn't been quite perfected yet, but the gist of it is that you are collecting acorns through the game to take to the squirrel who sits on the stump at the finish line. It's not all about who gets there first, but more about who has the most acorns. You receive acorns for correctly completing challenges on the cards. Things like, "Correctly identify 1 spider in 5 minutes. Receive 2 acorns for doing this without a field guide, 1 for doing it with a field guide."

Instead of using our large surplus of playing pieces we made some fun clay snails to use instead. They were a huge hit with the boys and I kept hearing "slurping" and "sliming" sounds while we played. In fact, Jayden suggested that we make others slip in the slime trails left behind by the snails. We all nixed the idea, and he was only slightly put out because at that moment his amazingly funny yellow snail donned a parachute and leapt to the finish line.. It was scolded and promptly put back on it's proper spot a matter of minutes later.

All in all the game was a total success. We've only had the opportunity to play it once and that was in the pitch black. We had a few cries of, "But I can't go outside I'm scared of the dark." So we altered it a bit at times. For indoor play we had one close their eyes and open a field guide that matched their card (bird, flower, mammal, etc.) and if they could identify one animal/thing on the page without reading the word they got the same points they would had they located it outside. Interestingly enough that spurred on the idea to make booster packs of cards for more specific areas. Places like the beach, forest, Arboretum, etc.

We're actually considering an Etsy style store here at the Pumpkin Patch to share some of the goodies you all rave about. We're really pleased with this game and we'd love to share it with others so you might see versions of this game in there, all though obtaining the game boards isn't as simple as you might think because Bare Books doesn't ship this far. We're actually considering selling the kits of instructions, game rules, and challenge cards. In the mean time we might hold a give-away for one full game and possibly the old Nature game that we will most likely not be using anymore.


Tracey said...

SOOOOOOOO awesome! Great job! You are a really neat person with all this stuff you do.

Deborah said...

How cute and colorful and creative! I love it!

Heather said...

Kendra the snails MAKE the game!! But I love the rest too. : )

Anonymous said...

Very cute and creative, Kendra!


Anonymous said...

LOVE, love, love this idea you came up with! Marvelously inventive, Kendra.

Lisa in Ft. Worth

Stephanie said...

Brilliant!! I would so purchase the instructions and cards from your etsy store. Oh, I hope you have them available soon. I would love for us to play this after it cools off here in Texas.

polwig said...

This is absolutely brilliant. I love the snails and the life lessons.

Anonymous said...

Let us know when you have it ready to whatever form! Love it!


Anonymous said...

heres an idea, but not sure if it will realy help. You could you have a stateside friend order them and then ship them to you? Just an idea...I love your games...the kangaroo is adorable. Leena