Thursday, 3 March 2011

Letter G: G is for Gruffalo: Build Your Own Gruffalo Board Game for Download

Board games.  Depending on your point of view they are either:
1) Good for teaching children to take turns, count, persevere and move towards a given goal, be good winners or losers and spend time interacting with others (who knows, maybe even including you!)
2)Brain numbingly boring for adults and something to be avoided unless under pain of death.
I'm definitely a 1 person, my OH is a 2 person - sometimes I wonder how we ever got together in the first place.  If you are also a pro board game person you may like this game for download based on the Gruffalo character created by Julia Donaldson.

It has been produced by a Special Needs teacher called Bev Evans and is hosted here on her website Communication4All which specialises in inclusive learning materials (it is also on the TES website should you have trouble downloading the pdf - you will need to be registered to download the file but it is free).
The idea of the game is that you throw a die and move around the game board (with the green squares). As you land on a numbered square you collect that piece of your gruffalo.  First person to collect all the pieces of their gruffalo wins.
This is the first time B has really come across a board game.  One reason is that A is a lousy loser and takes it as a personal attack when he doesn't win, that kind of thing will tend to make you find another activity.  Another reason is that it is difficult to find something that is universally appealing and doesn't require any skill so it can be used by a wide age range. This game appealed to all the kids - even R. We doctored a building brick so it became a die with numbers instead of spots and B sat on my lap but I have to say he didn't really get it.  He kept trying to grab the board, the coloured pieces, the counters, the die and in the end (because we persevered and kept playing) got bored and went and found something else to do.  R and A played it several times for the rest of the day.  Meanwhile B used the spare game pieces as a puzzle and made his own gruffalo several times so not a dead loss.
The only change I would make to the game is the game board.  In the original file it is A3 but since I have a standard printer it came out A4 and things were a bit cramped.  Also, we had to go round the board several times in order to collect the elusive final pieces; so I plan to remake the board as a circle instead of  a line.  Overall, a really good appealing resource and one that we will be using again.

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