Okay, I know. It’s a dad joke and I’m not a dad. But I just couldn’t resist. I mean seriously, low hanging fruit anyone?
If your kids are like mine, they need a whole new level of entertaining during this Covid, global pandemic, plague thing. The same ol’ same ol’ toys and games just aren’t as interesting. So, have them MAKE something that’s more interesting.
How to Start: Brainstorm! What will be the focus of your game? Why not meteors? The Perseid meteor shower is peaking the week of August 10th, so use that event to your advantage! Then, research, research, research. What are meteors? What are the Perseids? How did they form? What strange facts can you find about them? How can you use this information in your bored game?
What to do next: Design! What will your game look like? Will there be an actual game board? How many players are required? What will the game pieces look like? How will players move through the game? Remember that as you develop your game, you can always re-adjust the design and the rules. Even the most experienced scientists change their path as they collect new evidence!
What we found: You can take as much or as little time to develop a game as you want. The game we developed took only about an hour, and was impressively complex. Although, we have yet to fully test it so I’m expecting a version 2.0. But… I was amazed at how focused my kiddo was when working on it. To be quite honest, I wasn’t even involved in the development. By the time I found out about it, it was almost complete!
Expand it: How can you bring in other content areas?
- Science: What other science areas interest you? What science topics are related and can be integrated into your game?
- Technology: What technology did you use to build your game? What other technologies could you have used? How would that change your game?
- Engineering: How can you incorporate the engineering design process into the development of your game?
- Arts: The game board, pieces, cards, etc. can be as intricate as you want. And the questions don’t have to be straight forward. Make rhymes, require the answer to be in a song… have fun with this!
- Math: Add calculations to your game. Astronomy can’t be done without math!
- Learn about Comets from NASA: https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/asteroids-comets-and-meteors/comets/in-depth/
- Earth and Sky has great information on the Perseid, and tons of other Earth and Astronomy topics: https://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/everything-you-need-to-know-perseid-meteor-shower
- Information from the Space Place on meteor showers: https://spaceplace.nasa.gov/meteor-shower/en/
- Perseid information from NASA: https://www.nasa.gov/topics/solarsystem/features/watchtheskies/perseid-meteor-shower-aug11-12.html
- American Meteor Society, obviously, has a lot of info: https://www.amsmeteors.org/home.html
- Education World has a great list of related resources: https://www.educationworld.com/a_lesson/lesson089.shtml
- Engineering design process according to NASA: https://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/best/edp.html
- Okay, I know these look like art idea just for littles, but there are amazing, fun and applicable ideas here for kiddos of all ages: https://artclasscurator.com/12-ways-to-integrate-science-and-art-activities/
- Some more art activity ideas from the Hirschhorn: https://hirshhorn.si.edu/explore/kids-at-home/?utm_source=General+list&utm_campaign=b87bcc43a1-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_04_09_03_00_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_31ee31173b-b87bcc43a1-132787333
- I found this, more extensive curriculum on game design: https://www.arteducators.org/learn-tools/articles/630-elementary-division-remote-learning and then search for “Game Design Challenge”