Libraries

Summer Reading Challenge 2019 Announced!

The countdown has started... 5,4,3,2,1, BLAST OFF!!!

The annual Summer Reading Challenge has been launched into orbit,  and we've got some fantastic ideas lined up for libraries ... and schools too!

Previous years have seen a galaxy of themes that have been stellar for games, such as 'the Olympics', 'Animal Antics' and 'Mischief Makers'... but this year's theme has us flying to the moon and reaching for the stars!

If you haven't already guessed, this years theme is.... 'SPACE CHASE'. So , that means we will soaring into libraries with a cargo load of games that will send you to infinity ... and beyond! (OK enough of the space puns!).

The Summer Reading Challenge 2019 theme is Space Chase, an out-of-this-world adventure inspired by the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. Children taking part in the Challenge will join our super space family, The Rockets, for a thrilling mission to track down books nabbed by mischievous aliens!

 

So what's happening?

Well, I.S.T. is the name of the game this year. No, not Inter-galactic Space Travel... Inter-School Tournament!

To help boost awareness and participation in this years Summer Reading Challenge, we'll be hosting Inter-School Tournaments with a 'Space Race' theme... in libraries!

We've found hosting inter-school tournaments in libraries are a fantastic way to both get children excited and interested in their local library, but also a great way for libraries to get face-to-face with local schools, introduce the Summer Reading Challenge and send them away with the motivation to get all the local children and their families back into the library throughout the summer.

The tournaments involve teams of children from local schools coming together for an exciting day out, making friends, having fun, and maybe even winning the ultimate prize...

We spend the morning learning and playing games together, and then in the afternoon the children compete on different tables, in a friendly and competitive atmosphere, to earn points for their teams, and for themselves. Everyone who takes part collects a certificate to celebrate their efforts, and of course there are trophies available too!

Not sure... check out our most recent IST's here, including a fantastic Tournament with Kirklees Libraries, and discover more about our exactly what an Inter School Tournament is too.

Of course we will be visiting libraries throughout the holidays and term time, with open gaming sessions for families of all ages to come and have a go at a massive range of games too, as we have done for the last decade, the tournaments and pre-summer activities are just the perfect way to promote another exciting Summer Reading Challenge to as many children in your area as possible.

So whether you are a library or a school interested in having some game based, SRC focused tournaments or workshops... open up communications with us now! Space travel, aliens, galactic invasions and inter-planetary adventures are coming your to a galaxy near you soon!

 

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Kirklees Inter-school Tournament at Dewsbury Library

So, one week on from our event at Rawthorpe Library, it was Dewsbury Library's turn to play host, in the latest of our Inter-School Tournaments in Kirklees Libraries. This time we had a whopping 7 new schools come to try their hand at Imagination Gaming!

An open plan library, we set up in the children's area for the day, and rather than interrupt regular proceedings, library visitors and staff remarked on what a wonderful atmosphere it created, plenty of energy, laughter and plain old good fun!

A really enjoyable day. All of the children loved it... ...lots of opportunities for reasoning and problem solving.

From the local area we welcomed Paradise, Westmoor, Boothroyd, Carlton, Thornhill, Eastborough and St. Paulinus Primary Schools, each bringing 4 eager and intrigued children and staff, all of whom had never experienced Imagination Gaming.

 

Lets Play!

After a few games for the early arrivals, introductions were done and we quickly set to concentrating on the games for today's tournament, with a few new ones to last week. This week we concentrated on Savvy, Storyline, Wildlife Rescue and Shaperise.

One main feature of a lot of the games we use, is the ability to teach the games quickly and simply, this does not however mean they are easy. Often games with just a few choices to make can leave much more room for invention and creativity!

Savvy is an incredibly simple looking game but very effective. Players simply eveluate the likelyhood on whether or not the next card will be higher or lower, whilst carefully managing the result of getting it right, wrong, or whether not to play at all. 

Shaperise is a real challenge for the memory. We use it in lots of different ways but today it was up to the players to try and memorise a prescribed pattern of up to 10 different blocks and then reproduce that image as quickly and as accurately as they can. This was a really tricky one!

Wildlife Safari (shown here as Botswana) is a strategy challenge, and a classic we continue to use because of how good it is! The aim is to lay your cards to try and control the value of the animals, so that when the game ends, the animals you have collected are worth the most points. Something for the strategists... and the slightly devious!

Finally we used Storyline, both the fairy tales and the scary tales versions. This one is a little bit more random as you try and influence the story's narrator to choose your plot twists... but that's the fun. A brilliant story-telling game.

 

The Competition

So, once everyone had a chance to study the games, hone their skills and share any tactics with their team-mates, we took a well-earned break to recharge, and then headed into the tournament.

Now all the children were split from their teams and each of them joined a table of 3 other pupils, all from different schools. (NB It would be easy to assume that this may be a daunting prospect for some children, perhaps it is testimony to the way the tournaments are structured that this has never been an issue)

They then competed at each of the 4 games they had learnt, all vying to accumulate points for their teams and for themselves... which they all did admirably!

 

 So Who Won?!

Well this weeks individual highest points scorer was... Matthew Lofthouse, from Thornhill Junior School. Here he is with his certificate and trophy!

 

As for the winning team... congratulations go to... Paradise Primary! Here they are looking suitably chuffed with themselves!!!!

Big well dones also go to all our other teams

Carlton Junior

Boothroyd Primary

Westmoor Primary

Eastborough Primary

St. Paulinus

Thornhill Junior

 

We had lots of interesting feedback from the children and staff, but in particular I love this quote from one of the children...

My day was fun but I really wanted to win... I lost 3, but I won 1! YAY! Today was cool because it was competitive, just as it was fun.

I think it says it all!

Did this sound good to you? Well get in touch to see how we can sprinkle a little Imagination Gaming in your direction soon!

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Kirklees Inter-school Tournament at Rawthorpe Library

Yep, 2019 has only just begun and its time for more Inter-School Tournaments, with today's being the first of 3 in 10 days!!!

Today's games marathon wasn't held in a school, but at Rawthorpe Library in Kirklees. All part of our efforts not only to bring games to more communities and schools, but also to promote the libraries to schools, and demonstrate another good use for these centres of the community.

This venue was smaller and featured just 3 teams, as opposed to next weeks extravaganza at Dewsbury library with room for a whopping 8 teams from primary schools in the area... but that's next week... what happened today?!

Well, pupils in years 5 and 6 from 3 schools, Hillside primary, Our Lady Of Lourdes Catholic School and Netherhall Learning Campus, turned up for therir first ever taste of Imagination Gaming and were thrown straight into it!

As always, the morning focussed on getting to learn plenty of new games, all with different themes and styles, gaining confidence, developing skills and honing the required tactics for each challenge. On arrival  we experimented with some puzzles and activities, and when comfortable, together we all set about trying lots of different games, knowing that we would choose a selection to form the basis of the afternoon's competition.

All the teams were impressive in their drive to experiment and succeed with the games, easily overcoming any trepidation or 'fears of the unknown'! The games covered a range of skills too, and would challenge their numeracy, literacy, memory, logic and strategic thinking, whilst always being easily accessible. A game doesn't have to be complicated to learn, to be challenging to be good at!

 

So what happened?!

Today we chose 5 games for the tournament - Quoridor, Wildlife Safari (Botswana), Froggy, Word Bits and eternal favourite Zeus On The Loose! 

The teams were split so each table had one representative from each school on it, and then moved around the games scoring points to add to their own personal tally and the teams total of course. Competition was fierce, after all, trophies were at stake!!!

 

So who won?

It was certainly close in the team competition, but there was a stand out winner in the individual battle. With a fantastic 19.5 points earned out of 20 for his team, massive congratulations and his very own trophy went to... Amarion, from Netherhall Learning Campus. An astonishing score across the board. Well done young man!

Congratulations in the team event went to 'The Protagonists' from the victorious Hillside Primary School. It was the one of the narrowest margins of victory I've ever seen in a brilliantly close battle, but very well deserved.

Congratulations also to 'The Gamers' from Our Lady of Lourdes'...

... and also to Netherhall Learning Campus.

All students were a credit to their schools and had some fantastic things to say about the day...#

 

Another succesful day, and we look forward to next weeks tournament... will you be taking part in one soon? Contact us to find out how!

 

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Summer Reading Challenge 2018 - Mischief Makers

2018 Summer Reading Challenge - Mischief Makers        

Do you want to get up to some mischief this summer holiday?! Are you feeling those sneaky urges rising?!

Then why don’t you head down to your local library this summer and take part in their Mischief Makers summer challenge? Imagination Gaming will be there with a range of the craftiest, most devious, cunning and sneaky games you can imagine, where you’ll have to trick your opponents, bring out your bluffing skills and act like a real life Dennis the Menace as you challenge both yourself and your opponents in games of chance and skill.

We have so many games, from across the world, that will allow you to test all of these skills in the nicest, friendliest and fun way.

Here's a quick peek at some of the newest games below we have for you this year, such as Catch-A-Roo, Baffled, Shaperise and of course many, many more!

 

If there are any games or type of games you’d like us to bring then just drop us an email to interest@imaginationgaming.co.uk or, better still, like us on Facebook and drop us a message on there?

Take a look on our What’s On page to find out when we will be near a library near you soon.

https://imaginationgaming.co.uk/events

If we aren’t near your local library, have them get in touch with us on the email above and lets see what we can make happen!

 

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Summer Reading Challenge 2017 - Theme Announced

The theme for this year's Summer Reading Challenge has been announced by The Reading Agency...

It's official, 2017 will be the year of the Animal Agents!
 
Extra specially, the event will be supported by original artwork from celebrated illustrator Tony Ross, the man behind Horrid Henry and many other fabulous looking children's books.
 
As always we have some exciting plans for this with a huge range of new-for-2017 games, and popular favourites to suit the theme, and you can guarantee there'll be a some added extras to make our sessions Animal-tastic!
 
Which are your favourite Animal flavoured games?!
 
Look out for venues and dates later in the year...
 
Not sure what the SRC is, this will fill you in and you can see what we did last year. - click here
And you can read more from The Reading Agency website - click here
 
 

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Ecclesfield Library Dates Extended!

Great news... yet more games sessions confirmed for Ecclesfield Library!

Yes that's right, turn out has been steadily growing over the recent monthly games days we have been hosting at Ecclesfield Library in Sheffield, and we can confirm more dates have been added. This means we will be running these free, drop-in workshops for all the family until at least June 2017.

For more details on times and dates, you will find it all here... Ecclesfield Library Blog

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International Games Day @ Your Library

Ever heard of International Games Day @ Your Library?

Amazingly, somehow, we hadn't.... until now! If  you're wondering it's the 19th of November... that's next Saturday!

Granted it started on the other side of the planet (!), but it's in it's 9th year now and there seems to be plenty of places you can get involved in the UK too now... 

We'll be doing our bit, visiting 3 different libraries across Sheffield with a whole host of our new and classic games, and for the first time we''ll be unveiling games from our all new 12 Days Of Gaming promotion too!

All the events are free to attend, and as usual there will be something for everyone. Check out the times and places we'll be on our Events page right here...

You can get an idea of what the history of the event is and all the locations you can get involved this year (including in the UK), on the ILG@YL official website here , so if you can't join us in Sheffield, we of course encourage you to get involved wherever you can!

Of course, with our events being in Sheffield, it's yet another opportunity to get more Children's University credits too, as we are an official Learning Destination!

We hope to see you there

 

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Ecclesfield Library Dates Confirmed

Like to plan ahead?!

After the success of August's monthly games session at Ecclesfield Library in Sheffield, we can happily confirm the next 7 dates... diaries at the ready.

Each of the following is a Saturday and sessions are planned to run from 10am - 3pm. Each one is drop-in, so come along when you can, bring a friend and join in. Dates and event poster below...

*NEW UPDATE!!!* More monthly dates have been confirmed below... we will now be running these sessions until June at least. Great stuff!

2016:

Saturday, September 17th, 10am - 3pm

Saturday, October 15th, 10am - 3pm

Saturday, November 19th, 10am - 3pm

Saturday, December 17th, 10am - 3pm

 

2017:

Saturday, January 14th, 10am - 3pm

Saturday, February 18th, 10am - 3pm

Saturday, March 18th, 10am - 3pm

 *NEW* Saturday, April 15th, 10am - 3pm *NEW* 

 *NEW* Saturday, May 20th, 10am - 3pm *NEW* 

 *NEW* Saturday, June 17th, 10am - 3pm *NEW* 

 

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Monthly Games Day at Ecclesfield Library

Great news if you're in the Sheffield area (or even if you're not but you don't mind travelling!)...

We are happy to announce some regular games sessions, one Saturday each month for the next 8 months, and free to attend!

Thanks to some great work and support from Ecclesfield Library, and some Big Lotttery funding, we'll be there for the first session next Saturday, the 20th August, from 10am to 3pm. We have pencilled in the third Saturday of each following month for now and these dates will be absolutely confirmed soon.

For now here's some details and get yourself along!... (and don't forget your Sheffield Children's University Passport to Learning if you want some credits too!)

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SHAKEspeare's Stories in Sheffield Libraries 2016

'Romeo & Juliet'

Natalya - Age 8 - Eccleshall Library

 

'To Try To Be King'

Emma - Age 12 - Crystal Peaks Library

 

'ABC and The Short Life Alien'

Julia - Age 10 - Stocksbridge Library

 

'The Apple Of Fate'

Sayad - Age 12 - Darnall Library

 

'The Time Juliet Found The Magic Mirror'

Emma - Age 7 - Crystal Peaks Library

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Summer Reading Challenge 2016

Each summer in association with the Reading Agency, libraries and schools nationwide take part in the Summer Reading Challenge.

The SRC is an annual event dedicated to encouraging children, particularly 4 - 11 yr olds, to continue reading throughout the summer holidays. This can be a period where their interest and thus their reading development can take a significant turn, one which is not necessarily easily reversed when they go back to school in September.

Every year there is a new theme, with recent years focusing on Space, the Olympics, Dinosaurs and Mythical Maze. Each one has a large suggested reading list of associated books to complement the topic, and specially chosen as content to particularly excite and intrigue.

As part of our ongoing relationship with libraries in numerous areas, we are asked to provide games sessions and activities to support the current theme and this year is no exception...

 

2016 The Big Friendly Read

This year's theme is The Big Friendly Read. As the name implies, the focus is on a Roald Dahl style of imagination and story-telling, but there is a wide spectrum of titles on the 2016 reading list... and of course, we have a specific activity to suit!...

 

'ROLLED DAHL!' with Imagination Gaming

celebrating the work of Roald Dahl with games and story-telling for the Summer Reading Challenge 2016

As part of our ever popular games sessions, Imagination Gaming are offering a new activity session to support and promote this year's Summer Reading Challenge and specifically the theme of the work of Roald Dahl. The sessions are anticipated to run across a series of locations and offer both creative and competitive activities to suit everyone.

  • 'ROLLED Dahl'  - A Roald Dahl themed story-writing activity using story cubes, with the opportunity to have prizes for the winners and chosen stories featured on our website.
  • A range of our ever popular games to pick up and play, focusing on imagination and adventure in the spirit of the theme.
  • A Roald Dahl themed BrainBox 10 minute challenge and leaderboard!

This games session is available to both libraries and schools as part of Imagination Gaming's popular games workshops, full of exciting card and board games with a cool twist for all ages. This offers a range of inspirational activities for children and families to participate in at a level to suit everyone.

Note: Games and 'ROLLED Dahl' is typically suitable for 8 and up, 5 and up if accompanied by an adult depending on ability.

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SHAKEspeare's Stories - Classes in Kirklees Libraries

As part of this year's Shakespeare Week celebrations, we took our specifically created 'SHAKEspeare's Stories' (click to read more) to Kirklees for a week.

Here we worked with the library service to host a series of primary school classes from the area, in the libraries, and challenge them to some themed story writing challenges and a bit of gaming too.

Each half-day session involved splitting one class into 2 groups for a bit of each to learn something new, have a bit of fun... and also a bit of competition!

 

Word Bits and Snake Oil, just two of the games we did aside from the story writing

 

By the end of the week we had hundreds of story sheets, all very different and unique, and containg some thrilling ideas and fantastic tales.

Every one of the completed stories is being put into a huge presentation book within each participating library so that the children can bring their friends and families to see there story, as well as it being available to all visitors with an interest.

On top of that we picked a couple of stories out from each class to show here on the website... more notoriety! That and a little prize for the winners of some Rory's Story Cubes sets to keep and continue making crazy stories with.

For once we weren't necessarily looking for the neatest, or the best spelling and punctuation ,(but we still expect them to try of course!) but more a spark of imagination or inspiration that made us take notice. On the day lots of these ideas started very interesting conversations and took us to very strange and intriguing places, but you can only fit so much onto one sheet of A4!

So here's some of our favourites... for lots of different reasons!

Upperthong Junior & Infants

Mrs Piatt's Y6 class

1st Place

2nd Place

Marsden Primary School

Mrs Adamson's Y6 class

1st Place

2nd Place

Mrs Wood's Y6 Class

1st Place

2nd Place

Holmfirth Junior & Infants

Y5 Class

1st Place

2nd Place

Mrs Stables' Y3 class _ TBC

1st Place

2nd Place

 

Mr Warrener's Y6 class _ TBC

1st Place

2nd Place

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New Activity for Shakespeare Week Rolling Out!

We have a fantastic new activity and competition, designed specifically to support upcoming Shakespeare Week and creatively engage young readers. 'SHAKEspeare Stories' gives players an opportunity to choose a creatively abridged plot-line from one of his famous tales of their choice, and recreate the story with characters and a setting randomly generated by 'shaking the story', with a new range of the worldwide phenomenon that is Rory's Story Cubes.

 

'SHAKEspeare Stories' with Imagination Gaming

Before Christmas we were approached by Sheffield Libraries to see if we had any activities to help support and promote Shakespeare Week 2016. We replied with a resounding - 'ERM?!...' ! 

I must confess this was a new one on me, even with everything we have done in schools for years and a son of school age myself,  it was something I hadn't come across before, but it's a big thing. Shakespeare Week is a national, annual celebration that aims to give primary school children a fun, engaging and inspirational first encounter with the man and his work. Thousands of schools, families and organisations took part last year and the number contnues to grow.

In 2016 it's the 400 year celebration!

Back to the conversation with Sheffield Libraries - I think it went, 'Sure, no problem, give us a couple of days... we'll get back to you ASAP!' If you know us, you'll know we love a challenge, usually us giving them to you. We do pride ourselves on coming up with fresh ideas though, and this was, well, an opportunity shall we say.

It's relatively easy to come up with ideas that contain the relevant content, but making it appealing, accesible and understandable to the your audience, that's the crucial bit. If an activity doesn't hit those 3 markers you're going to struggle. The biggest perceived barrier between Shakespeare and todays generations is undoubtedly the language. As I recall there's plenty of mirth and festivities and not an awful lot of L.O.L and smiley face icons!

 

So we came up with 'SHAKEspeare Stories'

Regardless of the language used, the stories of Shakespeare are rich in plot and timeless. We simply needed to be able to get these across simply so that newcomers to Shakespeare could quickly appreciate them and realise they were still relevant in todays world, and then inspire them with an opportunity to get creative with Shakespeare as the starting point.

So we went back to an old favourite, the mighty Rory's Story Cubes and our previous story challenges. These simple story cubes have taken the world by storm in recent years and are great for developing communication and creativity from a young age. We use them regularly in our literacy games days and workshops in schools and libraries nationwide to great effect.

With 'SHAKEspeare Stories' we have found a fun way of introducing Shakespeare and getting players to write their own stories based on a similar theme. We provide participants with a menu of extremely abridged versions of his more famous works, just 2 or 3 sentences that get the essence of the story across and no more. This enables players to quickly recognise the basis of each story and from that they can decide the basic arc of their tale. They can then 'SHAKE' the story cubes and introduce random elements to their story, knitting them together however their imagination sees fit.

 

For example!

Imagine taking the plot-line Romeo and Juliet: A young couple fall in love, their friends and family try to keep them apart but they continue to meet whenever and wherever they can. They manage to escape together but there is a sad ending when something unfortunate happens to both of them.

Players then write their own short version including the content on the dice they rolled, which include characters, animals, objects, emotions and settings. What if Romeo was a lonely tortoise and Juliet is a beautiful fish?!!... and the events and emotions and other characters on the dice they have been given would help form the rest of their very own story.

There are also sets of themed Story Cubes that would be authors can use to give their story a specific feel, such as mythic, enchanted, prehistoric... or even set in space!

 

What else?!

In addition, in larger projects, young Shakespearians will be invited to submit their short stories and have them exhibited on Imagination Gaming's website and shared by the libraries, promoting their success and the event itself... and there will be prizes for the judges favourites too!

This is an excellent and easily accessible way for newcomers to Shakespeare, old and young alike, to get creative, have fun, and begin to appreciate the fantastic story-lines at the heart of his work and their timeless appeal... and dig a little deeper.

This will be available as part of Imagination Gaming's popular games workshops, full of exciting card and board games with a cool twist for all ages.This offers a range of inspirational activities for children and families to participate in at a level to suit everyone.

 

If this or any of our other activities inspire you, contact us here and we'll see how we can help you too!

 

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