So 2017-18... another year has passed but what’s changed? Well, if we’re honest, quite a lot....


Where are we going?

Are we still going in to schools, yes, but more than ever before. Do we still do youth clubs and evening events, yes, but again more than we ever have. We are working in more areas with more different activities than we really imagined we would or could. We have more new schools asking us what we do and how can they work with us. We are approached by more events wanting family games based activities and have so many of our previous customers coming back to us asking for more work that is it very humbling and reassuring that we are doing the right things in the right way..  


Who are we?

Well we are still the same group of individuals but have grown our numbers recently. We now have our franchisees, Patrick & Barry, down south running their own areas in and around London. We have our friend Andonis running Imagination Gaming over in Cyprus to rave reviews and he has started at pace. We also have a number of other staff that help us at events and behind the scenes that are the hidden heroes of the company. These include but aren’t limited to Nicola, Jacqui, Emma, Kara, Amy and Ella. Thanks to all of you, it’s been a busy 12 months and without you it wouldn’t have been possible.  


What are we doing?

As with every year since we began, we’ve got that bit smarter over the last year and some of the work we’ve been doing behind the scenes is about to come to fruition. Aligning games to the UK curriculum, lesson plans for everything and creating partnerships with a range of individuals and companies has helped us to really hone what we do and fully understand what schools need and how we need to deliver our services to them.


What’s the result of this been in the last 12 months?

So last year we were busier than ever before and even though the previous year was a record breaking year for us, working with over 32,500 people directly, this year was something else.

After totalling up the numbers September 2017/2018 we have worked with approximately……


Children, young adults, teachers, class assistants, old people, families, inmates and many other I’m sure. It has been a joy, a pleasure and a privilege, if we are honest, we are just getting started!

So, from the entire team, to everyone that has helped or supported us in any way, we can’t wait to show you what we’ve got up our sleeves in the next 12 months and we'd like to say a very big...

Thank you!



Airecon 2019 Inter School Tournament

So, we have just spent a weekend away in Harrogate as part of the terrific Airecon Games Convention, a friendly open gaming event that's rapidly growing in popularity.

Accompanying us on our first day were 47 local school children, who along with their teachers, came to compete in our Inter-School Games Tournament.

A competition with something for everyone! We ensured we had a range of games that would appeal, irrespective of the sort of games you enjoy.

We had a super maths game “Savvy” where prediction and probability plus a bit of luck could earn you points to win the game. Do you play or do you pass and give the next player something to think about?

We had the wonderful word game Bananagrams Junior. Be the first to use all your letters in a connected word grid without a spelling mistake, proper noun or abbreviation?

We also included the fantastic and mesmerising shape game Polyssimo, to test patience and concentration. 

Our final game was Grabolo, a game to test those reflexes and perception. Who has the best eyes and the fastest hands?

The schools that took part were, Rossett Acre, Coppice Valley, Skelton Newby Hall, Woodfield Primary, Staveley Community and Kirk Hammerton all of which had selected a couple of teams to represent their school. Yes, there were prizes to be won but the aim of the day was to have lots of fun!

The competition was close but in the end this year’s winning team came from Rossett Acre School who came out on top and took the winning trophy. Max W from Rossett Acre took the title of highest scoring individual player. Congratulations young man!


The sea of smiles was a sure sign that everyone involved had a great time. Here's just some of the other teams: 

After such a fantastic day, we look forward to returning to Harrogate and working with the Rossett Acre teams and their friends soon...

... and of course if you would like more information on how to go about organising your very own Inter-School Games Tournament, get in touch!


Airecon 2020 Inter School Tournament

On the 13th March Imagination Gaming returned to Harrogate to take part in this year’s Airecon Games Convention, a friendly open gaming event.

Like previous years we were joined on day 1 by a selection of schools. We had Primary Schools attend all eager to take part in our Inter-School Games Tournament and for the first time ever some Secondary School pupils who took part in our Games Workshop.

The Primary School pupils supported by their wonderful teachers got to play lots of cool games, we had:

Jungle Speed, a fast and furious game of perception and reactions! One where you must rely on your keen sense of observation and quick reflexes.

Rat a Tat Cat, a game of suspense, strategy and anticipation. A fun numbers card game with cats and rats. You must have a good memory and careful observation is key!

City of Zombies, a fast, frantic and fun maths-by-stealth board game. Using maths skills to defeat the advancing horde of Zombies!

PDQ, The Pretty Darn Quick Word Game! Try to make a word out of the letters SMP. Sound SiMPle? How about PTR? Get the PicTuRe?

Finally we had Fruit Punch, a fun match-based math game where kids try to match fruit cards that add up to exactly 5. Be the first to whack the squeaky Banana and claim all the cards for your deck.

A competition with something for everyone!

The Schools taking part in this year's competition were, Colton Primary, Coppice Valley, Rossett Acre, Staveley Community and Kirk Hammerton all of which had selected a couple of teams to represent their school.

Yes, there were prizes to be won but the aim of the day was as always to have lots of fun and the photos with smiles galore are proof themselves that the day was a huge success.

The competition was close and during the afternoon our winning school changed several times but in the end (drum roll please……)

this year’s winning team came from…….


Our highest scoring individual player this year went to Harvey T from Coppice Valley Primary School. Well done buddy! 

Display your winning trophies with pride.


As for the Secondary School Pupils, a selection of Year 8, 9 and 10 students from Hanson Academy, Bradford joined us. They spent the morning playing a selection of older games and the afternoon they explored the event in all its glory. We even introduced them all to some of the incredible Games Companies.

What a fantastic first day to our Airecon 2020 experience.

We thank you all for your time spent with us and we hope you all liked your Goody Bags. This year every team went back to school with a selection of fun and challenging games.

Here’s a few of the teams that took part this year… we are missing a couple of schools due to photo consent, but you know who you are and thank you for taking part. Infact thank you to all teams for coming along, we had a wonderful time and look forward to seeing you again next year...

Put the date in your calendar Friday 5th March and tell all your neighbouring schools let’s see if we can make 2021 bigger than ever!


Animal Ailments - New Game Alert!

Check out Animal Ailments - a brand new game that we'll be using an awful lot over the next few months!

In this game, players take turns to mime or act without speaking (no noises allowed!!) The other players have to guess what you are miming. First you mime a green animal card and then a red ailments card...

Will you be a hedgehog who's a gaming addict or a gorilla with a wobbly tooth?! Anything is possible with Animal Ailments!

Click here to look at our events page to find our Animal Agents themed game workshops this summer -  a great range of games themed with animal antics!


Another Year and Still Learning!

Another year and still learning blog

A little later than usual we take a moment to look back at the year and reflect… 

Working in Mainstream and Special Schools, within Libraries, Youth Clubs, Women’s Institutes, with Fostering Groups at Game Conventions, the list is endless. We have had the joy of working with all ages from preschool children to adults. The appeal, growth and benefits to games becomes more and more evident not just in education but in life.  

This year we have seen more and more new faces and many schools/organisations return as repeat customers. It is always a delight to work with familiar faces and see the bigger picture, the complete journey from start to finish... That said whether a one off Games Day or a series of dates it is important to us that we really make a difference. 

...a brilliant experience which engaged all year groups and parents too.

Andrea Carr, Head Teacher, Angram Bank Primary School


In addition to mainstream schools, this year we have worked more than ever in special schools across the country. We have been described as having a great understanding of the needs of S.E.N. pupils... just take a look at our testimonials!

Where behaviour is an issue for example working in PRU’s carefully chosen games/resources have resulted in students wanting to stay back after school. This is a first but something we hope to see continue next year.

Having a vast catalogue of games helps us to work with all ages and all abilities and our activities are tailored to every organisation and their individual needs… No two days are the same here at Imagination Gaming and we are reaching out to more and more new areas so our location is varied too.



Last year saw us work as far north as West Lothian in Scotland and as far south as Swanley in Kent. We expect this area to continue to grow throughout the coming year especially in Scotland where we hope to make a big impact after winning several contracts there. 

COVID 19 will be a hurdle for us like many and towards the later part of this year resulted in some cancellations in our calendar. Our work in Italy (yes, Italy!), was also cancelled however we look forward to rebooking once we can..

Staying in the Mediterranean we cannot forget our colleagues in Cyprus as they continue their fantastic work. Engaging with more and more children and families, working with groups in the community and using games to break down social barriers alongside education. “Yiasou” Cyprus.

Imagination Gaming do truly amazing things.

Disengaged Learners Become Model Students by Amber, Teacher, Barnsley College


We have been working closely this year with some of our Global Game Companies and for the first time ever we have been able to offer a series of FREE Games Days. These free days have allowed us to showcase the benefits of games in education in a selection of schools nationwide. We still have a small number of days available should you be interested and a forward-thinking school open to discover new ways to engage and excite pupils. 

All in all last year was a great year, yes disruptions were felt due to COVID 19 from March onwards, however we can look back and appreciate another incredible year of growth.



So, a special thanks to everyone that has helped make this once again possible.

Thank you to the companies that work with us to promote their games and give schools the ability to tap into resources they would not normally see.

Thank you to the volunteers that support us at events, your hard work and passion for games never goes unnoticed.

Finally, a massive thank you to the families, children, teachers all of you out there that continue to support us, for believing in the service we provide and keeping us on our toes.  

Last year we worked with over 75,000 incredible individuals, a figure that we are immensely proud of.

Let us continue to create happiness as we hope to see you all again next year... let us play, learn and smile together!




Another Year In The Game!


Our end of year report card is in... and it's A*'s all round for Imagination Gaming!


It’s been another record-breaking year here at Imagination Gaming.  This year we have challenged, engaged and most definitely had lots of board game fun with over 70,000 Shining Stars …. WOW..

So as another year crosses the finish line and we reflect on our success in 2018/19 what is it that is driving that increase in interactions year on year?  No day is ever the same in Imagination Gaming’s world, what we can and do deliver changes daily but what always stays the same is our unwavering passion that games should be used in schools to enhance the curriculum and make learning fun and accessible to all.  This passion ensures we continue to grow at a rapid pace with new staff, new schools and new events filling up our calendar for 2019 and beyond.

The children are becoming more resilient...

Jodie Palmer, Y2 Teacher, Stocksbridge NI School, Sheffield

Our ongoing partnership with game companies has helped some schools who are feeling the budget cuts to participate in learning activities with us.  These days are valuable to the game companies and to schools in equal amounts and the uptake of these free days by schools and the willingness of the companies to fund more supports our “Lean to Play…Play to learn” ethos.

One Hundred and Thirty (yes 130!) Games were submitted to be judged by us and our panel at our Internationally Acclaimed Imagination Gaming Game Awards this year, another incredible accolade for us. Through play testing with families, children and teachers these awards are a true independent mark of how well received a game is by its intended audience.  This number means we now have new themes, ideas and games from companies old and new to take with us when we engage with our bright sparks, ensuring we have the best range of games available for our all our customers.

On a national basis we continue to expand into more schools, more MATs, and more regions, with work in both Scotland and Ireland upcoming.  There is also more demand for our ongoing services from schools who have tried our stand-alone days and want/need more support for their students in terms of the curriculum and wider work to support learners develop their own character – including their resilience, confidence and independence.

... they are especially skilled at working with those outside the mainstream

Sian Lang, LSA, Grove House School Essex, S.E.N. 8 - 16 years

Internationally we have had interest from several more countries in starting Imagination Gaming in their territories.  To maintain this interest and establish collaborations we continue to book events as public speakers; discussing and imparting the importance of what we do to those who interact with us and we in turn are always fascinated by understanding how schools’ function in other countries and the different ways they look to engage young people. 

Looking forward to 2019/20 we are hoping to have a presence at more of the major social events that happen across the UK.  We plan to continue increasing the number of smaller events and activities that happen too, e.g. local fairs, old people’s homes, youth group events and other social gatherings that would like to engage its members. The number of different events/days that we now offer means that no matter what the age, ability or subject, we have something to offer.

Visitors of all ages were engaged with a variety of games... ... a lot of fun was had by all!

Clare Harris, Charity Manager, Emily Harris Foundation

In Summary 2018/19 has indeed been record breaking, we are expanding our team, growing our interactions and games to play.  Going into 2019/20 we are more eager and excited than ever. Imagine what the next 12 months will bring when you Learn to Play then Play to Learn....

Certificates All Round!



Back to School for Imagination Gaming!

Over the last couple of weeks, we've been back in schools again and it's been an absolute joy to see all those familiar faces after a good long break. So...what have we been up to and where have we been?

We've been back at some fantastic schools around Sheffield and Barnsley:

  • Arbourthorne Community Primary School
  • St Theresa's VA Catholic Primary School
  • Joseph Locke Primary School

For this new school year, we've dedicated ourselves in finding the best, shiny new games to build up a variety of skills for something a bit different in the classroom. We're also working hard behind the scenes on some rather exciting new activities and days! Watch this space and all will be revealed in due course...

So... onto the fun part. The games! Here are a few of the fantastic companies we've worked with to bring you a tailored experience in the classroom this week!

  • Thames & Kosmos - this company have an absolutely huge range of games including our newbies Lagoonies, Monster Trap and Jungle Party!
  • Tactic Games UK - after meeting these guys in Harrogate, we've been able to bring you the likes of Dragonia, Word Rush and X Tiles!
  • John Adams Games - another company with an endless range of fantastic games, including Linkee, Othello and Rubik's Race!

If you didn't get the chance to play any of these games this week, don't panic! We'll be regularly swapping and changing so you too will have the chance to play - we have so much to show you!

If you're interested in a games day in your school, drop us an email at and we'll be happy to help and answer any questions you may have.



Barnsley Town Centre Collaboration Inter-School Tournament

Barely into the new school year and yet another Inter-School Tournament to shout about, this time with primary schools from the Barnsley Town Centre Collaboration!

This time we were in a very familiar area, with lots of the schools involved with Imagination Gaming on a regular basis, with teams from Shawlands, Joseph Locke, Burton Road, Summer Lane, Holy Rood and our wonderful hosts for the day Keresforth Primary.

Excellent day, good tutors, enjoyable games, a must have for all schools!

Holy Rood Catholic Primary School


The day began with a selection of games perfect for welcoming new players, such as Team 3 above for communication and teamwork, and Yogi below for sheer silliness and laughter! Both are great examples of very different games that you can teach anyone and get started in seconds, for maximum fun.



I enjoyed this day because you got to compete with other schools and try out new games, especially Zeus On The Loose

Emily, Keresforth Primary School


After everyone had arrived and was settled in it was time to learn the games they would play in the tournament. As always everyone studied intently, before heading off into their teams to practice and share tips and strategies ready for the competition later. 


The games they'd be battling over this time were, Zeus On The Loose, Savvy, Concept Kids Animals (above) and Doodle Rush (below). A mix of old and new that would require a range of skills to succeed at, yet easily accesible by all the children. Maths, communication, description and risk assessment were all on show, along with the strategy required to know how and when to use these skills to their utmost!

I thought the tournament was fantastic. The kids loved it while still flexing their brain muscles. There are always fun new games in with the classics... I even bought one for school! Excellent!

Mr. Clayton, Joseph Locke Primary School


...all great but I enjoyed working as a team in the morning, and I love Savvy!

Effie from Shawlands


So Who Won?!

Massive congratulations to Emily from the host school Keresforth, who managed more individual points in the tournament than anyone else. Well done Emily! Here she is with her trophy, but was it enough to help her team to the overall trophy...?


Congratulations go to .... BURTON ROAD PRIMARY

Here's the team that managed the most points between them, clear winners on the day and well done to Abigail, Oliver, Jacob and Tianna who all managed great individual scores to contribute to a fantastic win! Well done.


Well done also to all our teams for taking part and making it such a fun day for everyone. Here they all are with their certificates and smiles!











Again congratulations to everyone who took part, and especially to Keresforth Primary School for hosting another brilliant inter-school games tournament for the Barnsley Town Centre Collaboration... we can't wait for the next one!


Breeze Leeds Events Summer 2016

Great News!

Hot of the press, we can finally confirm the dates for this Summer's upcoming Breeze events... and this year we will be appearing at all but one of them (sorry Yeadon!)... WOW!

All these events take place at parks large and small across the city of leeds, starting in the last week of July. They come thick and fast after that until the end of August, so there's plenty to choose from, but of course we expect to see you coming to as many as you can!

This year we can confirm we'll be bringing not only a great box of games for you to try, but also Rory Story Cubes creative writing challenge and a Summer Reading Challenge linked, Roald Dahl Quiz too!

There'll be more details appearing here and on our events calendar, but for now here's a list of the dates and locations of every mini-Breeze and Breeze on Tour event... so get planning!

*** Please Note: All the following Mini Breeze events are from 1pm - 5pm this year, except  the MASSIVE .Breeze On Tour events (BOT) which are from 12pm - 5pm


Date - Event

23/07/2016 - Kippax MB
28/07/2016 - Queenswood Drive
29/07/2016 - Rothwell MB
30/07/2016 - Nunroyd Park MB
01/08/2016 - Hyde Park MB
02/08/2016 - Bramley MB
03/08/2016 - Wortley Rec MB
04/08/2016 - Calverley Park MB
05/08/2016 - Morley MB
06/08/2016 - Bedquilts Rec, Adel
08/08/2016 - Garforth MB

10/08/2016 - Roundhay BOT
11/08/2016 - Roundhay BOT

12/08/2016 - Gildersome MB
*13/08/2016 - Yeadon MB (No Imagination Gaming here - Sorry!)
15/08/2016 - East Ards MB

17/08/2016 - Cross Flatts BOT
18/08/2016 - Cross Flatts BOT

19/08/2016 - Tinshill Top MB
22/08/2016 - Middleton MB
23/08/2016 - Armley MB
25/08/2016 - Swinnow MB
26/08/2016 - Hunslet Club MB

Keep your eyes peeled for more information about the event's here and on our FaceBook page, and we hope to see you all in Leeds this Summer!

You can check out the Breeze Leeds website for more info too... with everything about Breeze On Tour right here!



Cedarbank, A Special, Special School


Imagination Gaming were recently asked to go to Scotland as part of their national maths week.

The schools there had been invited to consider new options and initiatives available to them to help with their maths learning, funded through the Scottish Government, and as part of their search they discovered us.

They were one of a tiny handful of schools to have been successful in their bid.


Our suggestion for the week was to run a series of days of games based learning to not only help reinforce the maths curriculum but to also help these young people with their social skills. Then, once this is done, finish the work with a tournament that would bring children together from special schools across the region for a day of competitive yet fun games.

Over the course of the first two days we worked across the entire school, covering a broad range of ages and abilities working in groups both large and small and in the process we got through a large number of games both old and new.


Whilst children were taught the rules, tactics and the basic skills needed when playing games, the staff were taught how to vary and change the games to suit the players.

How to cope with any issues that arise, changing rules to make it easier or more challenging or how to alter a game so that difficulties found in behaviours can be dealt with. This was popular across the board with everyone seeing and experiencing the benefits that this sort of gaming brings and how effective games are in a school setting.   

The final day was the tournament so we had several schools bring teams along to compete for their school. We used several games, changing the rules a little for each, so that everyone could be fully involved and participate. It was so rewarding and fulfilling to see so many people gaming together, with smiles, handshakes and conversations aplenty.

In the end, Saint Kentigerns returned home victorious with their trophy and young Katie, from Linlithgow, walked away as the top player on the day. 

It has been a wonderful few days meeting lots of great individuals, young and old, and having left a big games pack for the school, we know we have left something that the school will continue to use for the next several months. 

Here’s to the next year, looking forward to it already…..



Children's University Tournaments Arrive!

As I type we have just completed the first of three games tournament's as part of our on-going Games compendium project with Sheffield Children's University... and it was brilliant!

Today's event concentrated on Key Stage 2 pupils (7 - 11yr olds) from 10 schools across Sheffield, and in the coming weeks we have events for Key Stage 1 (5 - 7 yr olds) and Key Stage 3 (11 - 14 yr olds) pupils too!

It all started back in November when we delivered our own, specially tailored, boxes of games to schools across Sheffield who are members of the Children's University. The idea was to give them the ability too realise the social and educational benefits of this type of activity and the opportunity to set up their own games clubs.

As further motivation we set up these inter-school games tournaments to giive them something to look forward to and extra reason (if they needed it!) to get on with the games.

Today proved to be a fantastic event and was thoroughly enjoyed by pupils, teachers and the Imagination Gaming team too, so we can't wait for the next tournaments and we'll make sure to tell you all about them, the competition involved and of course all the winners on our blog in a couple of weeks time!


Dungeons & Dragons: A path back to reality

Wizards of the coast & DND: Escaping the real world to find a path back to reality

As a child, the real world was a pretty frightening place to me. With little confidence and admittedly a ‘late developer’ in academic terms, I struggled to fit in. My progression was slow, i had few friends and didn’t have the drive to become more. This picture is neither unique or even uncommon and so it is for many young people today. There are many younger children and young adults that are filled with fear and their way of dealing with the world and others is to lash out.

Sometimes escaping this world is a great way of not only giving things a new perspective but to also deal with some of the problems you face and find others with similar interests and outlooks. 

Dungeons & Dragons was for me this outlet. Being introduced when I was 12 years old, back in the early eighties, this allowed me to imagine a world without the dirty, cold pavements where I lived, the life of little hope or enjoyment, but of a world where anything was possible. Filled with incredible landscapes, the highest mountains and the deepest dungeons,  characters, both noble and evil with backgrounds and histories of their own, all within reach via a series of books. My appetite for reading increased dramatically, the range and type of books also. My ability to work out and calculate, my basic maths reasoning, saw a similar increase and change in my desire to learn. Most importantly it began to put me in touch with other children with similar outlooks, giving me new friendship circles, confidence in social situations, an ability to express myself via the roleplay elements.

This is why a game such as this is so valuable nowadays and why it not only continues to be relevant but is more popular than ever. There are more children than ever before with social and emotional issues that cannot be dealt with via electronic means and a need for activities and interests that brings them back into the real world with hunger, desire and self belief are needed more than ever. 

We use the game at a range of different organisations and venues to attempt to give some of the children there this outlook. We look to empower them against the social constraints they find themselves within and give them a means to deal with moral issues, their anxieties and relationships through the game and its world.

A great example of this are within many of the secure care centres and young offender institutes where we work. Most if not all found there are not bad people, just individuals that have made mistakes and continue to do so. Not only have we got some of the children involved in the game but also have them volunteering to stay after school to play the game with us, something which for the staff at these venues seems unimaginable. Staying to take part in an activity away from phones and pads, highly social, involving teamwork and critical thinking skills and most importantly laughing and leaving their troubles behind for a while. 

Through Wizards of the Coast’s program of supporting activities such as this we were able to have books sent to the school so that these activities can continue without us and they can be used on an ongoing basis to give the young people and outlet for their imaginations. 

If you have any thoughts or questions about how we use the game, or if we could come in to your school or organisation, please contact us at

We would love to hear from you…..thank you and don’t underestimate what games such as these can do to help nowadays.


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!


Saturday, September 17th, 10am - 3pm

Saturday, October 15th, 10am - 3pm

Saturday, November 19th, 10am - 3pm

Saturday, December 17th, 10am - 3pm



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* 



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


Emmanuel Junior Academy Inter-School Tournament


Our latest IST, inter-school tournament was held last week at Emmanuel Junior Academy in Sheffield. The 3rd tournament in just 3 weeks, this was a chance for Year 6 students and a few Year 7 students to shine, after the success of the infant tournament held for schools in the same area just a week before.

We were ready for 8 teams of four students representing 4 different school, but this time, rather than competing for their own little team, everyones points went towards a school total for a little added spice... which team would be victorious today?!


Of course it's not all about the winning (apparently!), and as always the morning session was focussed around students getting comfortable in their new surroundings and learning to play games they had never seen before. Remember lots of children come to these days perhaps never ever having played a board game before, so getting everyone on the same playing field is crucial... but easily done.


At this tournament we had invited some children we knew would find this particular environment challenging and, while it took them a little time to find their feet, once they did they were flying so to speak. To see such a range of children manage to be able to sit in a new environment, with new challenges and pupils they had never met before, and excel is simply a fantastic feeling... and by the end of the day the smiles were universal.

Thanks for a brilliant day

Samantha Bell, Westfield School, Sheffield

The games used required a mix of skills to conquer, meaning that there would always be something to suit everybody. From maths skills, to logic, memory and even drawing and shape handling, there was a chance for everyone to shine and challenge themselves, and perhaps taste a bit of success and failure in equal measure... both good for the soul!

We played Doodle Rush from Brain Games, Take It Easy from Burley Games, Ubongo from Kosmos, Brix from CoiledSpring and BlueOrange and Lost and Found.


As always, the teams were competing for a trophy to take back to their school by each pupil contributing points from all the games they played against children from the other schools, but as always there was a trophy for the highest individual scorer too!...


So... WHO WON?! Well you can see our individual Champion at the bottom but first here's all the teams, proudly holding their certificates of achievement below, see if you can spot the trophies!

Firstly here's Emmanuel Academy, fantastic host's and a credit to their school...


Next up the Y7 students and staff from Westfield School who competed fantastically well...


Another brilliant team here from Mosborough Primary school...


But here they are... our latest winners... Brook House Junior School.... Yeahhhhh!!!!!...


And last... but definitely most impressively, the Individual Highest Points Scorer of the day, leading her team to victory was... SOPHIE. Big well done Sophie!



Essen 2017 - Game and Company Highlights

Well Essen is over for another year, but things aren't all bad! We had a fantastic time chatting to our friends in the companies we know well and making friends with new ones. There were so many exciting new games on show, (a few of which we'll tell you about at a later date) but there were definitely some that are worthy of a mention!

Dream Catchers - Play Nation Studios

Dream Catchers is a cooperative casual game where players are dream catchers - they visit children in their sleep to collect sweet dreams and remove nightmares to help them sleep for the night! This one is for the older kids, but is great to introduce cooperative play and definitely has strategic elements to it!

Worm Party - Queen Games

In Worm Party, players attempt to escape the nibbles of Charly the chicken by hiding their wormlike fingers below the proper mounds. This one looked like fun and was definitely great for dexterity building! 

Coaster Park - Pandasaurus Games

In Coaster Park, you are tasked with building the biggest, baddest roller coasters. To do this, you must assemble a killer crew to help you outbid and outsmart your fellow builders to gain the choicest track pieces. But don’t forget about physics! This one is another great one for dexterity and really brings something different to the table.

Queendomino - Blue Orange Games

From the creators of the extremely popular Kingdomino, here comes Queendomino! This is a game completely independent from Kingdomino, while offering a choice of more complex challenges. Two to four players can play Queendomino independently, but also in connection with Kingdomino, allowing for games with 7x7 grids for four players, or for up to six players if you stick to 5x5 grids! As with Kingdomino, a great tile placement game with strategic elements!

We have plenty more to share with you, but we don't want to give too much away too this space!

Did you attend Essen this year? What were your highlights from the show?



Essen Spiel 2014 - Launching our 2015 Game Awards

This weekend Imagination Gaming is in Germany for Essen Spiel 2014. This is one of, if not 'the', largest  annual gaming convention in the world. Every year we spend four very hectic days looking for the newest and most excting games to add to our collection for use in our game events, and where possible, to make some very hard to get games available to you through our store!

It is also an opportunity for us to start talking about next years Imagination Gaming Family & Education Game Awards! It is here where we usually begin to collect interest and submissions even though the 2015 awards are still 8 months away, and this year we expect to find some real gems.



Financial Literacy - It's a Breeze!

Yet another new adventure is in the making... and while its going to be lots of fun, competition and prizes, we'll be surreptitiously tackling some financial literacy as we go!

This time we're back in in Leeds, where we will again be working with the fabulous Breeze team who provide a huge range of activities across a massive area for young people throughout the city.

Imagination Gaming have provided a range of regular workshops and schemes for Breeze events for many years. The Friday and Saturday Night Projects, along with Backyard Breeze, have been eve present in youth clubs, leisure centres andd community centres around Leeds providing evening entertainment and support, while each Summer we've taken the games to parks and festivals with Breeze On Tour and Mini-Breeze to make the most of fun in the sun!

More recently we've also supported their Skate Light Project with regular visits to the community centre to compliment opening of the new Skate Park.

Now we've been asked to come up with something to tackle financial literacy skills in a similar environment. Of course we've plentyof games that can help we use them throughout the year in our maths days for schools, but this requires something a bit more special. There'll be a regular weekly session for a couple of months, with running competition and challenges galore... it's sure to be plenty of fun.

So, better stop typing and get the thinking hat back on... apparently we start next week!


Greenfield Primary 7th Inter-School Tournament Needs BIGGER Venue!

Greenfield Primary’s 7th Inter-School Games Tournament found a new location!

With so many Barnsley Schools wanting to take part we found ourselves in need of a bigger venue. An obvious choice was Kirkbalk Academy who very kindly agreed to act as host for the day. Not only did they provide a fantastic venue, we were also supported by 6 of their students and they made amazing mentors, so special thanks goes to: Dylan Atkinson, Lewis Graham, Emily Davey, Lewis Burrell, Cassie Wilson and Georgie-Leigh Marsden.

It was a fantastic day...

Mr. Hardy, Hoyland Common, Barnsley

Find out which schools took part and the final results below!


What Happened:

As always we used a variety of different of games which required lots of focus and skills Our pupils had to be quick and able to process things visually at a fast pace! The games played were; Rings Up, Crabz, Doodle Rush, Pass the Bomb and Whoosh

The morning was spent practising the games in schools teams, plenty of encouragement, lots of discussion about the rules and tactics. Dinner time was spent chilling out, during which they enjoyed some 3D jigsaws.

But of course... afternoon was competition time and the atmosphere was electric, the children and adults taking part had oodles of fun!

At the end of the tournament we had prize-giving, with certificates for everyone and trophies for the winning school and highest scoring individual player. . 


The Final Result!:

·         Winners            Hoyland Common                              

·         Second             Birdwell Primary 

·         Third                 High View Primary 

·        Fourth (joint)     Greenfield Primary & Tankersley St Peters 

.         Fifth                  Jump Primary

.         Sixth                 The Mill Academy

.         Seventh            Joseph Locke

.         Eighth               Hoyland Springwood


Congratulations to Hoyland Common for coming out on top again this year. Mr Hardy, Hoyland Commons' Play and Sports Leader said "It was a fantastic day and we are super proud of our team for coming out on top but we got a lot more out of the day than just a winners medal"

Well done Kate Berridge from Hoyland Common on winning the trophy for the highest scoring individual. You were on fire!

We have to say all pupils that took part were fantastic and a real credit to their school. The interaction between children and staff involved was enthusiastic and positive and they all thoroughly deserved their Certificates.

Inter-School Tournaments are a great alternative to sporting events and give those children who are not as interested in sport something to represent their school in. We like to think of them as a “Mind Sport Activity” We simply cannot wait for the next!... it could be at your school...


Why should you take part in an Imagination Gaming Tournament?

·        Our Tournaments are a great way of bringing different schools and backgrounds together.

·        Test your brains to problem solve and be the quickest!

·        Make new friends and take on new challenges.

·        Win trophies and certificates for you and your school!


For more information about School Tournaments and how you and your school can get involved, click here:

 ...Imagination Gaming Inter-school-tournaments...



IG Game Awards 2016 Have Arrived!

The Imagination Gaming Family & Education Game Awards 2016...

...are here!

That's right, it's back, as big and as bright as ever. (We know because it says so here... IG Awards!)

The awards are now in their 4th year and we just can't wait to see this year's games and give everyone else a chance to not only see them as well, but actually play them!

Like last year we will be accepting entries from companies (and individuals) large and small, from all over the world, over the coming months in a bid to find what's new and great out there for you to have a go at. As always we expect to see a wide range of games for all ages and we're sure to find plenty that we'll be adding to the Imagination Gaming box of tricks, ready for our schools and events nationwide.

A handy reminder of some of the categories... and what gold, silver and bronze looks like.


Games new to us since last year's awards have a chance to be recognised in 5 categories with Gold, Silver and Bronze awards going to the cream of the crop. There are also 2 more categories in which we will bestow recognition on 3 games that have been stand-out hits in our work in schools and education, and 3 games that have had families visiting our workshops constantly coming back for more!

Our 'Hall of  Fame' badges, or should that be 'Hall of Game'? Here there's no first, second, third, just a great set of games.


You'll be able to see all the games as they enter the process in our dedicated section of the website, IG Awards here, and of course we'll mentioning them on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages... so make sure you're following along and having your say too!

We will be accepting entries until the 29th April this year, but the earlier they arrive the more chance we have to get familiar with them, with the judging process in full swing through May. Again we will be assembling a panel to make the final decision on most of the awards, representing a cross-section of the Imagination Gaming audience of gamers and educators in equal measure to find the games that have something for everyone.

Of course there will also be UK Games Expo 2016... a chance for the public to play and vote on the submissions we receive in our Family Zone. This runs from the 4th to the 6th of June and this year we will be in the NEC itself... wooooo!!!! This means more space, more games, more everything really, a fantastic opportunity for everyone to play these great games and showcase the games on a big stage.

Of course, once we have recovered from the mayhem and madness of UK Games Expo, we will set about announcing the winners to the world! So just one question remains... are you game?!


All the information you need about the awards, categories, games, judging and past winners can be found in our awards section here.

If you would like to submit a game for judging, please see our submissions page here and contact us directly at


IG Game Awards Launched

This week we have officially launched our 2015 Imagination Gaming Family & Education awards!

These awards are open to games from companies and individuals worldwide as we look to find the best of this years new games for families and education, as well as celebrate some of the 'classics' that we have been using to great effect in schools and events throughout the years.

You can read more on our awards 2015 launch blog here, but even better we now have a beautiful new area of the website designated just to this annual event. Visit the awards website section here for everything including categories, news, submission details, judging and of course... the games!

The process will include pplenty of social media activity with announcements, releases and competitions for all our followers to get involved with, and we hope that includes you too, so make sure to follow us for the most up to date information.

As with the previous year's competitions, this will be an exciting (and demanding!) few months culminating in a our massive Family Zone at UK Games Expo where we will take all the games submitted to this years awards to demonstrate to the games industry and its followers. That usually means 100 new games to llearn on top of what we already take with us... an unrivalled menu of games for anyone visiting to enjoy!

All in all this is a fantastic period for us and all our fans to enjoy accessing a world of games that is pretty hard to come by anywhere else... we hope you enjoy it too.

The IG Awards Website...

The Blog....



Imagination Gaming & Science?!

We pride ourselves on giving the best possible service, and definitely the most fun! Saying this however, we want to make what we do even more exciting and engaging than ever before.

Without giving away too much information just yet, we're currently looking at expanding our services to make what we do even more beneficial. Our friends at Thames and Kosmos have some of the best science based activities and puzzle around and we were very lucky to get our hands on some!

I wonder what we'll come up this space!


Imagination Gaming Expands Into The Wilds Of South-East England

Imagination Gaming 'south-east' kicks-off at Freemantles School


As a new member of the IG team, I have been looking forward to my first day running games – and on Wednesday 7th February, Freemantles School in Woking couldn’t have been a better place to start!


Freemantles is a school for students with complex social communication needs, may of whom also have autism. I spent the day working with pupils aged between 10-18 running a games day with groups with between 5 and at one stage 20 people plus adults in the same classroom.



I used a range of games, allowing the students some freedom of choice and guiding them when necessary. It was great to see everyone working so well together and watching children enjoying themselves, sometimes making up rules using the games as a starting point. Highlights of the day included Zeus on the Loose and Kingdomino.


Upon seeing Katamino, another big hit, one child commented that Tetris was a boardgame as well as a computer game!



The staff were helpful and friendly, getting stuck into the games too. Their hard work and obvious good relationships with the students helped the day go so well. What a great start to my career as a professional games player – many thanks to all at Freemantles for making me feel so welcome!



Imagination Gaming south-east is now well and truly underway and looking for more bookings across Kent, Surrey, Sussex and further afield. Get in touch to organise your games day or enquire as to how we can help deliver a boardgames experience tailored to you.


Barry Pollard, Imagination Gaming 'South-East' !

Contact me at if you are in the area, or the nationwide office at and we'll get straight back to you!


Imagination Gaming Games of the Year 2020 Announced!

 The 2020 Imagination Gaming Award Winners have been announced and we have had so much fun discovering and playing the vast quantity of new titles. It seems year on year we have more and more entries, making the Gold Award and our coveted seal of approval even more prestigious.

Read on to discover some featured winners, discover the full list of winners in each category, and of course this years BIGGY!

Well it has been an unusual several months to say the least, but we have done our utmost to make the most of it and to find new ways to engage families and children… to show them what’s new this year to engage their minds and spark their imaginations. Family, fun and education are what we are all about and our awards were set up to find and celebrate the best games in their field from all over the world. Many of the categories represent our work in schools and we are looking for those games that can teach literacy, maths, cross curricular subjects and problem solving skills in a fun, creative and imaginative way as well as those that are just wonderful family fun.  This year we have been spoiled with over 150 games entered into the awards across our 10 awards categories from some of the most exciting games designers and publishers out there.

We thought we had seen it all in terms of games but we are constantly surprised and inspired by the games that arrive at the office for us to try out in schools and to test out with our family judging teams.

It would take several pages to mention all the great games we have seen but we would like to share some of our team’s personal favourites and some stories from the awards and before that offer a huge thank you to the huge number of families that took part in our games review teams across the summer. Thank you so very much for writing feedback and reviews on all of the games we received this year.

Literacy is dear to our hearts so we were very excited to see the games in this category. Alice In Wordland from Drawlab Games (Literacy – Gold), is a beautiful little game of clever word play with a fantastic theme and presentation. Letter Jam from Czech Games (Literacy - Shortlisted) has us thinking of all sorts of opportunities to take into school and engage children in a wonderfully clever word game.

Alice In WordlandLetter Jam

Maths made easy was what we were hoping for and that is what we got however choosing from these games was anything but easy!  Formula from Formula Games (Maths - Shortlisted) and Lampogo 3 from Lightning Maths (Maths - Shortlisted) both represented a classic number game formula well, whereas   6 Nimmt from VR Distribution (Maths - Seal of Approval) and Pat Pat Lions from Everxplor (Maths - Seal of Approval) demonstrated a different approach to engaging those maths skills that all young people need. The winner this year was another great and clever little game, Secret Code 13+4 from HABA (Maths - Winner) that proved extremely popular with all that played.

FormulaLampogo 3

6 NimmtPatPatLionsSecret 13+4

Cross Curriculum this year saw a staggering range of games tackling all sorts of subjects from environmental issues to music. The Diversity Deck range from Mantenant (Cross Curricular - Seal of Approval) are a great way to highlight issues we face on a day to day basis and Lord of the Chords from Lord of the Chords (Cross Curricular - Seal of Approval) is an incredible game that teaches music theory and really goes in to incredible depth whilst still remaining a clever game at heart. The winner in this category went to a game aimed at younger players and families this year. Dentaday from LOGIS (Cross Curricular - Winner) is all about eating healthy and cleaning those teeth and its simple yet engaging games play and colourful art work made it a big hit. 

Problem solving as a category has become such an intriguing category now, the games in there are so good at engaging young people and challenging them and yet have the coolest look and appearance that deciding between them is so tough. We hope it isn’t too long before activities such as these are an essential part of school life as the difference they can make to some is huge. Take a look at Feed Me from Gen42 Games (Problem Solving - Shortlisted) and Firemaster from Peasoup Games (Problem Solving - Shortlisted) from two very different but simply wonderful puzzle based games that are ‘go to’ games in schools for the kids! 

Feed MeFiremaster Book

Family games this year have so many titles in there, whether for families with younger children or the family plus category for those families with older children and young adults, that it's easy to forget how lucky we are to have such resources at our fingertips. If we think back a decade the difference now in the range is simply huge and the presentation and quality of the games available is just a thing of beauty to behold. Debtzilla from Capital Gains (Family Plus - Shortlisted) and Drago Tuku from LOGIS (Family - Shortlisted) and two examples of two such games.

If we are being very honest, Young Einsteins is always a hard category for us to choose from.  Our little ones are not so little anymore but when they were, we remember long afternoons playing ‘baby’ games that made us want to cry with boredom so we were delighted to see the new generation of littlies games that adults can actually enjoy playing too. LOGIS, HABA and Djeco games all had numerous titles that all deserved a mention and it is a shame we cannot. Unicorn GLitterluck from HABA (Young Einsteins – Seal of Approval), Foto Fish from LOGIS (Young Einsteins – Shortlisted) and Little Action from Djeco are examples of these. All deserving of a win but unfortunately, not this year! 

Unicorn Glitterluck - Cloud StackingLittle Action

That leads us to the big one, the biggest winner this fact...

The BIGGY…  The Best Imagination Gaming Game of the Year!

Colour Brain from Big Potato was the ‘Best Imagination Gaming Game of the Year’ after much deliberation between the team and the families that helped us. Popular with every family we were able to show it to or to send to for playtesting this was also a BIG hit in all of the schools we were able to take it into including those schools that focus on behavioral issues. In every case this game was a hit and had everyone laughing and thinking in equal measure!

Congratulations Big Potato Games!

One last mention again has to go to all of the families involved in the Games Review Scheme which we ran across the summer. In total nearly 100 families got involved and they helped enormously… They made a real difference and allowed us to get the games out there to a bigger audience even with all of the problems COVID has thrown at us.

So, Thanks again to all the judges, the families, the IG Team and of course the wonderful Games Designers and Publishers whose support and participation have again made our awards such a great success. Thank you to each and every one of you!  


The full list of winners can be found on our Imagination Gaming Website Award Winners Page, Click Below


See you again in the Autumn for the start of the 2021 Awards!





Imagination Gaming Go To Essen, 2017

Internationale Spieltage SPIEL, or otherwise known as the Essen game fair is talking place from 26th - 29th October, and gamers from all over the world are getting ready to see what this year's show has to offer... including us!

So...what is it? The event is held in Essen, Germany and it's the world's biggest consumer fair for gaming. People travel far and wide for the event, which is held over 8 different halls. (If you've ever been to the UK Games Expo, think of that, but eight times as big!) As you can guess, it's always a very popular event and is also very beneficial for gamers and companies in the field.

Four days of fun, meeting friends, playing and testing thousands of games and novelties together with gamers from all over the world. 

As fun and awe-inspiring as the event is, we don't just sit around for four days playing games, (although we do try out a fair few!) The main reason for us being there is the chance to catch up with our favourite companies and to see what exciting projects they're working hard on and in turn, what new games and activites we can bring to you in schools and in the many events we run each year. It's also a great way for us to know about new games for our Imagination Gaming Awards held each year.

Our schedule is filling up nicely, meeting up with the likes of:

  • Lucrum Games (Red7)
  • Gigamic (Katamino, Imagidice, Quoridor)
  • Lifestyle Boardgames (Macroscope)
  • Haba
  • Mosigra (MindMaze, Nightmarium)

Plus many more!

So, a very exciting time for us! We'll have more information to splash about after the event, so watch this space!



Inter-School Tournament at Huddersfield Libraries!

This week, we held an Inter-School Tournament, but instead of holding it in our usual Primary School setting, we ran the event at Huddersfield Library!

So...what happened at our Tournament? 

We split up our 2 school participants into teams, who'd compete for the most points in rounds of different games. A special thanks to all the staff for keeping an eye out and looking after our teams!

Our wonderful school teams who participated, named by the children themselves, and their results were:

1st - Springer Girls, Spring Grove Junior, Infant and Nursery School

2nd - Gaming Girls and Wizard Winners, Lowerhouses CE JI & EY School

3rd - Imagination Dabs, Spring Grove Junior, Infant and Nursery School

Once the introductions were complete, it was time to get down to business...

We used a variety of different games which required strategy, problem solving and some quick thinking to really get those brains in gear!

  • Rainbow 35 - a fast paced mathematical game in finding correct numbers!
  • Storyline Scary Tales - create to spookiest tale imaginable to win points.
  • Monster Trap - trap monsters by working together to control movements!
  • Top That - observe what is missing but think quickly...
  • Rings Up! - fast paced observation game!
  • Dobble - be the first to match icons with other players cards.

A huge congratulations to the winners of the day, Spring Grove and overall winner Jennifer Nguyen! They grabbed themselves a trophies to show off at their school with pride. Well done!

All teams were amazing participants and team players, and we couldn't be more proud of everyone. Thanks for making the day a great one!

Why should you take part in an Imagination Gaming Tournament?

  • Our Tournaments are a great way of bringing different schools and backgrounds together.
  • Test your brains to problem solve and be the quickest!
  • Make new friends and take on new challenges.
  • Win trophies and certificates for you and your school!

For more information about School Tournaments and how you and your school can get involved, click here.


Inter-School Tournament at Keresforth Primary!

Last week, we held an Inter-School Tournament at Keresforth Primary!

So...what happened at our Tournament? 

We split up our school participants into teams, who'd compete for the most points in rounds of different games. A special thanks to all the staff for keeping an eye out and looking after our teams!

Our wonderful school teams who participated this week and the results were:

1st - Gawber Primary

2nd - Keresforth Primary 

3rd - Summer Lane Primary 

4th -  Joseph Locke Primary (2)

5th - Wilthorpe Primary/Burton Road Primary

6th - Holy Rood Primary

7th - Shawlands Primary

8th - Joseph Locke Primary (1)



Once the introductions were complete, it was time to get down to business...

We used a variety of different games which required strategy, problem solving and some quick thinking to really get those brains in gear!

  • Rainbow 35 - a fast paced mathematical game in finding correct numbers!
  • Anomia - Flip cards until symbols on two players’ cards match. Matching players must race to give an example of the category on their opponent’s card. 
  • Rat-A-Tat-Cat - A game of suspense, strategy, and anticipation. Get rid of the high cards (rats) and go for the low cards (cats). Sneak a peek, draw two, or swap cards for an added twist! A low score wins the game. (A poker face helps!)
  • Zeus on the Loose - Play cards strategically, adding numbers as you climb up the mythic mountain. Grab Zeus when the total reaches a multiple of 10.



A huge congratulations to the winners of the day, Gawber Primary School and overall winner Charlie Senior! They grabbed themselves a trophies to show off at their school with pride. Well done!

All teams were amazing participants and team players, and we couldn't be more proud of everyone. Thanks for making the day a great one!



Why should you take part in an Imagination Gaming Tournament?

  • Our Tournaments are a great way of bringing different schools and backgrounds together.
  • Test your brains to problem solve and be the quickest!
  • Make new friends and take on new challenges.
  • Win trophies and certificates for you and your school!

For more information about School Tournaments and how you and your school can get involved, click here.




Inter-School Tournament at Royston St John's

Last week, we held an Inter-School Tournament at Royston St. John's! This one was the 3rd SMAT tournament - last year's winners were West Meadows Primary. 

So...what happened at our Tournament? 

We split up our school participants into teams, who'd compete for the most points in rounds of different games. A special thanks to all the staff for keeping an eye out and looking after our teams!

Our wonderful school teams who participated this week and the results were:

1st - Royston St. John's

2nd - Mill Academy & West Meadows

3rd - St. Mary's

4th - Queen's Road Academy

5th - All Saints Academy

6th - Darton Primary

Once the introductions were complete, it was time to get down to business...

We used a variety of different games which required strategy, problem solving and some quick thinking to really get those brains in gear!

  • Rainbow 35 - a fast paced mathematical game in finding correct numbers!
  • Chattabox - a shout-out word game where players need to be the first to shout out answers to different topic questions.
  • Think Words - another speedy game of matching words and categories - all in 10 seconds!
  • Ubongo - a fast geometric puzzle game where players solve a puzzle of interlocking shapes. The quicker it's solved, the more gems you gain!

The tournament ended with a three way play off for the individual winner between:

Hannah - St. Mary's

Oliver - Royston St. John's

Isabel - Royston St. John

A huge congratulations to the winners of the day, Royston St. John's and overall winner, Isabel! They grabbed themselves a trophy to show off at their school with pride. Well done!

All teams were amazing participants and team players and we couldn't be more proud of everyone. Thanks for making the day a great one!

Why should you take part in an Imagination Gaming Tournament?

  • Our Tournaments are a great way of bringing different schools and backgrounds together.
  • Test your brains to problem solve and be the quickest!
  • Make new friends and take on new challenges.
  • Win trophies and certificates for you and your school!

For more information about School Tournaments and how you and your school can get involved, click here.


Inter-School Tournament at St Mary's, Maltby!

This week, we held an Inter-School Tournament at St. Mary's, Maltby!

So...what happened at our Tournament? 

We split up our school participants into teams, who'd compete for the most points in rounds of different games. A special thanks to all the staff for keeping an eye out and looking after our teams!

Our wonderful school teams who participated this week were:

  • St Mary's, Herringthorpe
  • St Mary's, Maltby
  • St Joseph's, Dinnington
  • St Patrick's, Harworth

Once the introductions were complete, it was time to get down to business...

We used a variety of different games which required strategy, problem solving and some quick thinking to really get those brains in gear!

  • Rainbow 35 - a fast paced mathematical game in finding correct numbers!
  • Animal Auction - a game of placing bids to win collections of cards. Who will bid the highest?
  • Dragonia - a game to test motor skills (be careful not to wake the dragon!)
  • Fast Flip - a quick observation game - be the first to find the correct number/fruit!
  • Skiwampus - mathematical problem solving
  • Rings Up! - fast paced observation game!
  • Macroscope - can you guess what the image will be when certain parts are revealed at a time?

A huge congratulations to the winners of the day, St Patrick's, Harworth! They grabbed themselves a trophy to show off at their school with pride. Well done!

All teams were amazing participants and team players and we couldn't be more proud of everyone. Thanks for making the day a great one!



Why should you take part in an Imagination Gaming Tournament?

  • Our Tournaments are a great way of bringing different schools and backgrounds together.
  • Test your brains to problem solve and be the quickest!
  • Make new friends and take on new challenges.
  • Win trophies and certificates for you and your school!

For more information about School Tournaments and how you and your school can get involved, click here.


Inter-School Tournaments a Winner!

Over the last 12 months we have had the opportunity to do something new in schools. Inter-School Games Tournaments. And they've proved a massive success...

We've always known that kids (and grownups!) love a bit of healthy competition. That's one of the reasons our school games days and programmes are so successful. The engagement of competitive fun on a level playing field for all means that we can get all kinds of students and teachers navigating educational and social barriers, whilst having a great time. It's easy to do that in a single school (though 5 years ago we wouldn't necessarily have said that) but how to make it something that can easily be introduced to neighbouring schools to help integrate wider communities. I suppose the fact that we even tried it was a sign of how far we'd come.

We have had the opportunity to try this out in a few different scenarios... and it has been an instant hit... we now have schools involved in regular, Inter-School competition, and always eagerly anticipating the next one!


Earlier in the year, thanks to our association with the fantastic Sheffield arm of the Children's University, we were able to start something new with a large number of schools in that area. Essentially, each school were given a box of games specifically designed for the key stage appropriate to them, a gruelling training session* (fun gaming with coffee and biscuits that is!), and some of our own quick-play instructions to help them along. Back at school they introduced regular games clubs and got ready for their age group's inter-school tournament, each of which was a resounding success.

Across the county in Barnsley, with the help of some very impressed headteachers, we also now have plenty of schools involved in various interschool tournaments. The games have become an integral part of many of their school days, not just in clubs, but in the classroom and in family learning worshops too. They are always eagerly anticipating the next tournament and it's truly fantastic to see all the different schools having something to get excited about together, that they can benefit from individually every day too.

Each tournament has involved presentations of trophies, certificates and prizes, and the teachers have a great day too. Split between several schools, the cost becomes almost negligible making it that much more valuable and accesible and best of all, if you host the day, you don't have to pay anything at all!

There'll be plenty more info and examples of Inter-School tournaments appearing soon, but if you want to get ahead of the game and make the first move you can ask for more details right now. You'll find our contact details right here!



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



Kirk Balk Academy Inter-school Tournament 2019

So another great tournament and another great day.

Today our tournament took place at a Secondary School, Kirk Balk Academy with 6 of their feeder schools in attendance. We had Greenfield who arranged the competition, Tankersley St Peter’s, West Meadows, Birdwell, Hoyland Springwood and Jump Primary. 

Some familiar faces... staff and children appeared along with many new ones.

The games for the day included, Jungle Speed, City of Zombies, PDQ and Katamino. Games catering for maths, literacy, shape and reflex and coordination, something for everyone!

A morning of practice, strategy and cooperative learning soon turned into an afternoon of positive pressure, and extreme thinking skills. The children competed against both each other securing points not only for themselves but for their team.

The atmosphere was one of concentration and focus but always in an air of sportsmanship and fair play. Supporting teachers from each school were all fantastic, with enthusiasm and smiles in abundance, acting as judges on each of the tables and answering any rules questions that arose. This gave those teachers an opportunity to see first hand how the games work and how much children engage and focus. 

A big thank you for contributing in such a positive way. 

It was also nice over the dinner break to take the opportunity to try out some of the new problem solving games from this years awards. We gave children  a great sneak peek into some of the new activities we have in store in the new academic year.


Today’s competition we saw Jump Primary come out on top, they returned back to school with both trophies… Winning School and Highest Scoring Individual Player WELL DONE ADAM C.


The feedback has been most delightful with everyone saying how much they had enjoyed themselves, how they enjoyed meeting new friends and pushing themselves with some high level thinking. A huge thank you to Kirk Balk Academy for agreeing to host on behalf on Greenfield Primary. Another fantastic day and congratulations to all that took part.

Here’s to the next one...!




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!


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!



Klask: Simple games solving complex problems…

The reputation of games nowadays is that of the coolest of hobbies. With stunning artwork, clever mechanics and infinity more players than ever before, it’s a great time to be a gamer in this hobby.

However, sometimes games aren’t as accessible as we might imagine for some. There are many within society for whom artwork can be off putting, maybe not wanting to ‘like it’ for a fear of what others might think.

The clever game mechanics will make most of us smile with glee but again there are some who just aren’t used to playing games and the thought of having to learn new rules, however simple, can be daunting, reminding them of school, an environment that fills them with fear and dread.

For those vulnerable people within society we need something quick, engaging and ultimately ‘familiar’ Klask is one of our ‘go to’ games to solve this problem. The first thing they do when they walk in the room is ask ‘What on earth is that?’. Within five minutes they are playing, laughing, then playing again. Within ten minutes they are wanting to teach their friends and classmates. 

From the moment the smiles appear on their faces we know we are heading in the right direction. From there we can take them on a journey in to games which for many of them will be their first. We couldn’t possibly try some of the games at the start of the session, their confidence levels and low self-esteem wouldn’t allow it, but the smiles that Klask helped raise, the fun it provides and the ease at which it helps break down the social barriers between the players means that anything is now possible. 

A simple game helping solve a very complex problem under difficult circumstances. Thanks to everyone at Klask for making a little difference in people’s lives who need it the most.

If you would like to know more about our work in schools and education or have any thoughts or questions we’d love to hear from you.


Local Recognition for Imagination Gaming

No matter how far we travel, or how more well-known Imagination Gaming becomes, it's always nice to get some local recognition! 

Got a mention in the local paper recently. Its always nice when you get a little recognition but it is certainly not a one man band. We have been in to an awful lot of schools over the last decade and worked with some amazing teachers and children alike.

However, I couldn't have come this far without my partner in crime, Chris Standley, my nagging conscience Nicola Gray and a host of people who've helped out at Expo and other events throughout the years.

Big thank you to all those who have helped and volunteered their time in various ways along the way, volunteering at events, singing our praises to new customers or even just some timely advice... it has all been very much appreciated!



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!)


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!



New and upcoming from Imagination Gaming!

Over the next few months, there will be a lot of rather exciting things happening over here at the Imagination Gaming HQ! In order to make sure we engage more with the online community, we’ll be creating a number of blog posts to share with you, giving you a closer look at the games we use and the people who make them. As well as this, we’ll dive into the depths of the web to bring you some interesting articles and videos that we think will benefit our gaming friends and education professionals. We might even throw in a few gaming competitions, where there will be some great gaming prizes up for grabs; watch this space! Here is a breakdown of what you can expect to see from us on different days of the week in the near future.

We will be researching and keeping our eyes peeled for some interesting articles that may be of interest to schools, parents and children alike. When we see something we absolutely must share with you, we will post these on Monday’s. These articles will appeal to wide audiences so don’t worry about being left in the dark.

Wednesday means one thing; midweek blog! These will include write ups of events and conventions we attend, as well as giving our expertise in the games we use in education and those you can play at home. You may even see the odd interview with game creators and distributors, which is even exciting for us! We’ll include lists of top games in Literacy and Numeracy from the 2016 Imagination Gaming Family and Education Awards and those we think would work great for EAL and SEN children. There will definitely be something of interest for everyone so feel free to share them.

Every Friday we will post a game review, explaining the ins and out of gameplay and our own personal experiences of playing. We have a very long list of games that we use in different settings and we have so much to share with you. Ever wanted to know how to really play a game of Take It Easy, or want to know the highest score we got in Quiddler? We aim to please!

At the weekend, we’ll post our recently trialled Name the Game posts and challenges. These are just for fun but will wake up your brain on those lazy weekend days!

If there’s anything you’d like to see, why not let us know? We’ll do our best to include information about any specific games and to let you know about the most suitable games out there that will benefit your setting. Keep a look out for our next post!


New from HOT Sports and Toys

We had a great time at this year's UK Games Expo and met loads of our friends at a variety of companies, new and old! We met the team at HOT Sports and games and had a demonstration of some of their range, including Qango and Virus! Here's a bit more info about these games, which we have available to play!


Qango is an abstract, strategic boardgame for 2 players that plays quickly and can be explained very quickly! Players place their discs on a square multicolored board and try to either get 3 of their discs in one group of the same colour, 4 discs in a square shape, or 5 discs in a horizontal, vertical or diagonal row to immediately win the game. Players place one disc at a time and aren't limited in how to place the disc after the first move. The game includes 2 boards: a beginner board with 6x6 squares and an advanced board with 7x7 squares to really up you game!


Gang-Up! is a criminally fun cardgame. Your aim is to try it out as a criminal to gain the highest possible status. Sometimes together, sometimes by arresting the other players! How will you get on? This one is suitable for 3 to 5 players.


New from John Adams!


Over the last few weeks, we've begun to use a range of games from John Adams, a company who stocks a huge range of fun family games as well as science and craft kits! Here, we've picked out a few of our favourites for you to feast your eyes on... you may have even spotted these games if you've been to our events recently! Which have you tried?


This one is a super simple, shouty-outy quiz game. It's nice and easy in the fact that it only takes 2 minutes to learn, but it's one of those games that you can enjoy for hours on end with a high replayability factor! The game is played by simply answering the four questions on a card and spotting the link between the answers faster than the other teams. When you're the first to get an answer correct you win a letter, and the first to spell 'Linkee' is the winner of the game!


If you prefer games that really make you think, then this is the one for you. Othello takes a minute to learn but mastering it isn't as easy! With abstract strategy and a little bit of luck, you can beat your friends and impress new ones! To play the game, you trap and capture your opponent by placing your disks on the board. "Sandwich" at least one of your opponents pieces to turn their disk to your colour. However, look out...your opponent will try to do the same to you! The lead can change with the flip of a disk!

Think Words

This one is a fast paced category word game that challenges players to think quickly! The way you play this one is simple. You choose a category card and press the timer to start. The first player has ten seconds to say a word matching the category, press the correct letter on the wheel and reset the time for the next player. The game will get more and more difficult as the letters get used and the pressure will mount! If you can't think of a word, then your out. A really good game to get your brain into gear and for helping with vocabulary too!

Rubik's Race

Based on the good old fashioned Rubik's Cube, here is Rubik's Race! This one is the ultimate face to face challenge and it's pretty simple to get your head around (although it might take a while to solve!) Each player slides their tiles trying to recreate the Rubik's pattern and to be the first to drop the divider frame on their completed side of the board. This one may take a bit of patience, but as with the original Rubik's cube, it'll be very satisfying when completed!

There are many more fabulous John Adams games that we'll be using more of over the coming weeks, so keep a look out! Which of these great games have you tried so far?


New From Tactic Games!

We met up with Tactic Games in Harrogate last month and we now have 3 brand new games to test out at our events! You may have even played them already if you've attended any of our library sessions around Sheffield, Rochdale and Kirklees across the summer!


The dragon has fallen asleep whilst protecting its golden eggs. The lizards are trying to steal the golden eggs. Take it in turn by using the pinchers to remove the lizards, without the eggs falling, which is easier said than done. Whoever has the least amount of eggs at the end of the game is the winner!

Word Rush

Place nine letter cards on the game board, turn a category card and set the timer in motion. You have to come up with words using one if the letters, but the longer you take, the more time the next player will have. 

X Tiles

Try to get rid of all your tiles by placing them on the table! Just remember the X-Tiles do not behave as you might expect... Comes with a set of unique X-shaped colour tiles. This is a simple but captivating game for the whole family!