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New Games from Big Potato!

Our friends at Big Potato had a chat with us a couple of months ago and showed us a few of their new games. They were also very kind and sent us a few so we can show you just how good they are! We’ve already awarded The Chameleon a Family Silver Award in this year’s Imagination Gaming Awards, so let’s see what else they’ve got up their sleeve….

Qwordie

Qwordie is a cute little word game and what makes it even better is the platypus! The game is a quiz and word game blended into one. You use your letter tiles in the game to build the answers to simple quiz questions. Steal tiles, block your opponents and race to the finish line! We love this quick to play and easy to learn gem!

OK Play

According to Big Potato, 'OK is the world's most understood word, so makes the perfect name for the world's easiest to understand game' and we couldn't agree more! We think this game is a little bit like Connect 4 in the way that it plays, only that it's played on a flat surface instead! All you need to do to play is to choose a colour stack and proceed to put down tiles to try and get a line of 5 before your opponent does. That's all there is to it - a great and easy to play game, but you need a bit of strategy to win.

Rainbow Rage

This angry rainbow is in a mixed up mess and its your job to fix it! In Rainbow Rage, you really have to observe the colours of the rainbow carefully. You flip a card which will reveal a rainbow image with something not quite right...your job is to be the first to grab the colours that have switched places, so having a good knowledge of the colours of the rainbow may help you in this one! Watch out for traps, but observe carefully and you'll be victorious!

Colourbrain

Here's super new one which we really like! Do you know your colours? Probably. But do you know colours of things/object just from a few words? As simple as it seems, it can get a little tricky! In this game, you start will 11 colour cards and you have to choose the right colour to answer the questions. To get more points, you need to hope and pray the other players get the answer wrong. You really need to get your brain in gear for this one, but a great mental challenge!

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New Games from Cheatwell!

We're very lucky to have some great new games to try out from Cheatwell Games!

Chattabox

Chattabox is the wacky word game that will keep everyone talking for hours!

It's a helter-skelter race in which you must get rid of your cards by calling out answers to teasing topics. Once the topic has been announced you'll have to think quickly, calling out examples that start with the letters on your cards. Try not to panic - do your best to keep the momentum going whilst playing out the cards in your hand... but don't delay... pause too long or fail to play your cards and you'll pick up a penalty!

Caveman

Do you speak caveman? No? Well, here's your chance to learn!

Shout out one of the caveman words so that everyone knows what to look for next... it's a rapid race to get rid of your cards before your megalithic mates!

It's simply prehysterical!

Silly Safari

How exciting to be on safari, trying to spot all your favourite animals... but, hang on, one of them has wandered off!

Be the first to find the missing animal in this fun, frantic card game of matching and observation!

Lift Off

Are you ready for lift-off?

In this starburst of a space race, players place sets of cards to form launch pads. Get the right combination and you can blast off leaving your opponents stranded!

Buckle up and enjoy the ride!

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New Titles from Brain Games!

If you've been to any of our events lately or you joined us at the UK Games Expo back in June, you'll have probably seen us shouting about these games from our friends at Brain Games!

King Frog, Woo-Hoo! and Reef Route are the three brand new titles released at the Expo this year, and what's even better is that each game won at least one award in our Imagination Gaming Family and Education Awards this year! Here are the games in all their glory...

King Frog (Family Silver Award)

King Frog is a fast-paced game about frogs moving around the pond. Players try to stay in the game for as long as possible and to land on the right spot, because today the new King of the Frogs will be chosen. Spatial thinking, clever planning and a bit of luck make King Frog an engaging game for two to four players aged seven years and up. King Frog takes about 15 minutes to play. The game is artful, fun and develops strategic thinking, so it is a must-try for all young players. 

Click here to get a copy of the game!

 

 

Woo-Hoo! (Family Bronze Award, Young Einsteins Silver Award)

The moon is shining brightly and it’s a fragrant summer's evening in the park. The children have left and gone to sleep, but many of their toys have been left behind. Now, something is stirring. Four small garden gnomes have emerged from the foliage. They have gathered by their favorite elephant slide to admire the colorful toys that will soon be theirs. But first things first — it’s time to ride the slide!​

Woo-Hoo is an adorable roll and move game for two to four players aged three years and up and takes about 20 minutes to play. Woo-Hoo stands out with its trunk slide that little players can assemble themselves. This incredibly fun game helps kids learn counting and tactical skills.

Click here to get a copy of the game!

 

Reef Route (Young Einsteins Gold Award)

One moment, you’re a happy tropical fish, swimming with your friends in the beautiful coral reef, then suddenly a rip current picks you up and flings you far from the safety of your home. Taking in your new surroundings, you notice something approaching you from the distance... A group of sharks has appeared in your path! ​

Reef Route is a thrilling game about life in the ocean, in which players help small tropical fish travel to the reef and escape from predators. The game is for two to four players aged five years and up and takes about 15 minutes to play. The movements of the little fish teach kids to think strategically – after all, nobody wants to be eaten!

Click here to get a copy of the game!

 

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New Trophies!

Thought you might like to have a peek at these beauties!

Every time we do an inter-school tournament, which is pretty often these days, at least one of each of these trophies is handed out. And that's on top of all the certificates and any other prizes that may be up for grabs!

The shiny, reflective one goes to the student with the highest individual score on the day. We present it, the school and their mates can be impressed by it, and they can take it home to wow their family and friends permanently.

The  chunky one is for the winning team. Something solid they can display proudly at school to make sure everyone visiting can recognise their success.

Can you see your school celebrating with one of these?...

 

Why not host an interschool tournament yourselves, invite your local schools and get your hands on our new trophies too!...

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Our New Green Board Games Collection!

As we hinted a while back, our school activity plans are expanding and the drawing board is looking a little more full! We're very excited about our new activities, but there's a company that we really need to thank...

Our friends at Green Board Games have been absolutely amazing and have sent us a huge pack of games for our team members. Our team has expanded (more on this later!) so we're able to showcase these games all across the country in true Imagination Gaming style. 

Here's a few of our favourites so far...

BrainBox collection!

Of course, the BrainBox collection is definitely up there in our top 3... we've used these so many times over the years we've lost count! Thanks to Green Board Games, we now have a more extensive collection, including BrainBox Dinosaurs, Animals and Nature! The object of the game is to study a card for 10 seconds and then answer a question based on the roll of a die. If the question is answered correctly, the card is kept, and the person with the most number of cards after 5 or 10 minutes is the winner.

Jigsaw Alphabet/Numbers

A simple but fun and effective way for the younger ones to get their alphabet and numbers in the correct order! These are great as they can be used for an independent task as well as team building activities.

Fast Flags

Flags and countries seem to be a difficult one, but Fast Flags will get you learning the countries in no time! 

We've already begun to use the games in our school activites day to day and we can't wait to get started with our new activities! 

Watch this space...

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Reignhead Primary Inter-School Tournament

Today's Inter-School Tournament was for Y2 pupils and held at Reignhead Primary School, with 24 children from 3 different schools in the area. Next week, in the same area, will be an even bigger event with 5 schools each sending 2 key stage 2 teams to play... but that's next weeks story!

Our team's this time were from Reignhead, Beighton and Waterthorpe primary schools. Waterthorpe had already had their very own Imagination Gaming Games Day, and they came ready to show what they already knew, that our games were great fun to play together and competitively. The fact that they had continued to play the games we had left them was clearly evident, with impeccable manners and helpfulness, even though they knew there were trophies up for grabs... good thing I'd deliberately chosen games they'd never played before! Beighton and Reignhead were equally ready to prove themselves, and together everyone did a brilliant job of representing themselves and their schools.

 

 

Key Stage 1 tournaments are great fun. Of course they differ greatly in the games we play and the methods we use, but the concept is still the same. Bring your friends and team-mates, meet other children you wouldn't normally, play together, compete respectfully, learn something new and most importantly... have fun!

As always, the morning was about meeting the other children and teachers, and of course learning the games for the day, ready for the afternoon's competition. The schools had also made sure to get the most out of the day by including a small games pack for each team to take with them at the end. This meant that rather than just having a fantastically fun day, the schools involved were all getting some games to use every day... and some 'Games Wizards' ready to teach all their friends how to play them.

 

 

As the children were that bit younger, the challenge to them all was to stay focussed... and they did it superbly. We taught them 6 different games this morning, in a couple of hours of intense fun, and they knocked it out the park! 

Today's games were Folanimoes from Djeco, Lost and Found, 10 Up and Froggy from BrainBox and Green Board Games, Pass The Bomb from Gibson Games, and a very classic version of Hey! That's My Fish... (a long time Imagination Gaming favourite)! All of these games have previously featured in our Imagination Gaming Game of the Year awards or IGGY's.

 

 

Meet the teams... and the winners!

So, without further ado... congratulations go to everyone involved, with a big thanks to all the teachers too, and Reignhead for being fantastic hosts... but who got the trophies?!!!!

....Waterthorpe did! Here they are with their certificates and trophies, one for the winning team and one for the individual points scorer Harry, who helped lead his team to ultimate glory!

 

Well done to Beighton...

...and also a big congratulations to Reignhead too...

 

Who will win next time?! I feel sure there'll be plenty of competition and more teams joining us when we return.

So, one question remains. When will we be at your school? Get in touch and let's arrange something special just for you! Email us here or give us a call...

 

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Remote Learning Games Activities Are Here

Look! It's us, believe it or not, playing games with a whole class. Apart from our selected safe schools in lockdown, it's been a while. Okay, you can't see them, but they are there... somewhere!

Throughout lockdown we have played with lots of different ideas to interact with and deliver activities to our schools and families. Via our website with a collection of links to games and resources from our wonderful network of games companies around the world, involving over 50 families in our awards by sending games to review by post, and 2020's "CU Zoom" family games workshops, we've been nothing if not creative!

However the continued need for home-learning and socially distant activities has driven the need for us to make sure we can continue to support schools with the Imagination Gaming boost they still demand, especially after so much time without!

So.... we are now available online!

 

 

Of course that means things are different, but as we not only play games with groups around a tables in school, we also do plenty of front of class activities that we can replicate through remote learning channels.

This week we have been "in" Shawlands School in Barnsley, and what better way to explain what we did and its effects than ask the Headteacher, who sat in some of the sessions and even joined in himself! Here is what he had to say...

 

Shawlands School

We have taken part in some online 'virtual' Imagination Gaming sessions with our Y5 and 6 children who are working from home this morning. Using a webcam set up, Nigel led the children through around half a dozen different logic, maths and word-based puzzles which the children found very engaging and challenging.  Some of the most engaged children were those who have found the more traditional online lessons didn't suit them and the sessions gave them a chance to excel and build their self-esteem.

The sessions also allowed the children to interact and socialise in ways a traditional online lesson wouldn't have.  We'll be booking Nigel in for another session for the Y3s and 4s as soon as possible.

"Imagination Gaming, whether in school or done remotely, helps Shawlands deliver on the 6 Rs we aim to instil in our children...

RESILIENCE:  None of the puzzles and games rely on luck, and they always challenge children of all abilities.  Often the children who excel in academic subjects find the activities difficult which develops in them a resilience they can sometimes lack.  Often equally children who do not excel in academic subjects find themselves succeeding and enjoying the thrill of success among their peers.

RESOURCEFULNESS: All the activities require the children to be resourceful, thinking in different ways when the obvious solutions don't work.  Many of the physical activities require them to consider different ways to view and use the resources available.

REASONING: All the activities require reasoning at a deep level; when the first method doesn't work they are forced to consider why not, and to find solutions to the problems faced.  When they find a solution, the thrill on their faces is very real.

REFLECTIVE: Like with reasoning, they have to reflect on what went well and why, and more importantly what didn't work so well and why, so that future efforts can be more effective

RESPONSIBILITY: In paired and group work, the children have to take responsibility for their part in any successes and failures.  With many of the physical games an emphasis is placed on being responsible for the care and proper packing away of the pieces.

RESPECTFULNESS: The sessions help develop in children a mature and respectful attitude to both success and failure, and an ethos of being first not being the most important thing, where the more children succeed the better."

Mr. D. Thompson, Shawlands Primary School, Barnsley

 

We have already booked in more activities via Teams and Zoom for after half-term, and if you would like to take part and begin to access more of the types of activities children have been sorely missing to help support their education and well-being, don't hesitate to contact us now! We hope to See You Zoom!

 

 

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Rossett Acre Primary win a Bright Sparks Day!

Airecon 2019 was another successful event for the Imagination Gaming Team. Our Family Zone was kept busy with lots of families attending and taking time to learn and play some incredible games.

Following on from 2018 we decided to run another School Tournament and this year we had the pleasure of meeting and working with 47 local school children, who along with their teachers took part in our competition and had lots of fun!

Every child left with a huge smile on their face and an Imagination Gaming Certificate. We had trophies for the winning school and the individual winner.

Our main prize was an Imagination Gaming Games Day, and this prize went to Rossett Acre Primary School. Congratulations!

We had the pleasure of delivering this “Bright Sparks” Games Day recently involving 2 Year 4 Classes and our mixture of tabletop games had the children engaged from start to finish.

Utilising the electronic white boards found in schools we were able to also include, problem solving, puzzles, memory games and much, much more. Each class was split into two, giving everyone plenty of time to experience several different games, helping to teach each other as well as working together. We also had children working together in pairs to puzzle out the problems put before them.

 

Games can make a tremendous difference to learning, engagement and enthusiasm. Bringing excitement and wonder, they really do compliment the classroom.

A huge thank you to everyone at Rossett Acre for making Imagination Gaming so very welcome.

We hope to see you all real soon!

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Sheffield, We'll C U Zoom!

Book your Imagination Gaming, Sheffield C.U. Zoom Session HERE!... from the 10th of July...

Before we get going, the below is strictly for members of Sheffield Children's University, don't say we didn't tell you!!! You may still want to read on even if you're not though, it is interesting!

We can now announce the 6, hour long zoom sessions we have scheduled as part of this year's annual, Sheffield Children's University Festival of Fun! Details of when the sessions are and how to book are below - please make sure to read carefully, using only the link provided to ensure your application can be dealt with effectively!

(PS you will need your Sheffield CU Passport Number... if you don't have one, you can get a passport from your local library or contact Sheffield CU to arrange one. We'll wait for you but do it quickly!)

 

So What's It All About?!

Each year Imagination Gaming supports the Sheffield Children's University's fantastic, annual, Festival Of Fun with the latest games and activities in a series of workshops across the city. These provide an opportunity for students (and their families) to have fun, learn something new and of course gain extra credits in their Passports to Learning.

Obviously, this year, things are going to be a little different!...

But, good news! While we won't be able to deliver our usual brand of face-to-face games antics across the table, we have been working hard behind the scenes to come up with a way for people to still get a bit of Imagination Gaming fun into their Summer and continue to earn C.U. credits 

Each session will give participants an opportunity to take part in some group games with the other members, as well as ideas to take away and make their own and signpost to other Imagination Gaming resources too.

 

What Will We Be Doing?!

The sessions will be varied and are still being planned, but are likely to contain one main group game, book-ended at the start and end with some fun little puzzles, games or activities too! Playing live games over Zoom isn't the easiest thing but we are being careful with which activities we choose to make it work, make it simple and make it FUN!!!

Obviously we won't be able to share pieces, boards or decks of cards... but we're working round that. (EEK!) You may be asked to prepare some props to use at your end, but nothing more than household objects and the diversity of anything you choose will add to the fun! It may just be you need a pen and paper. We may also send you some instructions beforehand to get you ready to play... but again nothing difficult.

 

How To Get Involved...!

Well... you are definitely going to definitely need:

  • PC / Laptop, with a camera and a microphone!***
  • A Zoom account. A free account is fine to join in. Be prepared to set this up early and have some practice using it with your friends first!
  • We'd also recommend you being sat at a table
  • We'll contact you in good time if you need anything extra to help play along!

***Please be aware we recommend one 'player' and adult per pc / application! - If there are multiple participants on the same PC, they may need to participate as if one player. We are trying a mix of ideas here so that may not be ideal!

 

OK, sounds good. When?!

To give as many people as possible a chance to join in, we are initially restricting sessions to 1 per student, BUT, if there are gaps we will happily contact you again to see if you would like to do more.

When applying please ALWAYS choose a preferred first and second choice session. (if you feel you can do any, tell us and we'll make a separate note, but do not send a list of four or five please!)

Session 1 : Thursday 30th July, 11am

Session 2 : Thursday 30th July, 2pm

Session 3 : Tuesday 4th August, 11am

Session 4 : Tuesday 4th August, 2pm

Session 5: Friday 7th August, 11am

Session 6: Friday 7th August, 2pm

 

READY TO SIGN UP? Awesome...!

Please email your interest to chris@imaginationgaming.co.uk with the following information:***

  • Title the email "CU ZOOM INTEREST, Family Name:....." , and add your name in the subject line too. 
  • Clearly state your 1st and 2nd Choice dates and times ONLY (if you can do any, say that as well!)
  • Confirm four credentials - your Full Contact Name and Email, as well as the child's name and age.
  • Your child's Sheffield Children's University Passport Number. Without this we cannot consider you, but remember you go here to get one!

*** by applying you agree to the following as previously detailed!

  • All attendees are 8 years or older, no exceptions.
  • There will always be a responsible adult in accompaniment.
  • An understanding that this is a group activity - so play nice!!!

PS... A general note about safe-guarding. As part of the organisation of these sessions with the CU, and our ongoing status as a named Learning Destination, we have fulfilled not only our strict safe-guarding policies as per our normal face to face work in schools etc, but also put further standards in place as submitted to the Sheffield CU with regards to delivering these sessions online. We always play safe!

Please be aware we may get a lot of interest, so replies will be standard wherever possible. While we always welcome questions, please do not ask us to "bend" any of the rules we have mentioned, they are all there for good reason!

 

Then What?

We'll get back to you via email. The sooner you apply the better as once a session becomes full it will be removed from the above list. We will reply by the 20th July at the very latest, if not earlier depending on demand. It will give us more time to schedule groups and see what more, if anything is possible! We like more!

 

Until then, definitely do the following!...

  • Follow us on Facebook here, it's the easiest way to keep up to speed with the latest news and games! We love to hear your thoughts too!
  • Check out the hundred's of games coming into this years IGGY's, the Imagination Gaming Games of the Year awards. These are what we'd be playing in the libraries, but you can see them here and read reviews on our FB page!
  • Visit our newly updated Webstore for the latest and greatest games for the Summer and beyond. Search by themes and genres to find your favourites... FREE POSTAGE too!

 

Lastly...

We know it's been a weird time! We've missed doing what we normally do around the country, in schools and libraries, conventions and festivals, but things are still happening! Keep in touch, keep safe and keep playing...

... and as it says in the title, Sheffield, we'll C U Zoom!

 

 

*please note these initial sessions are for students of the Sheffield Children's University only (and their guardians). Anyone who lives and goes to school in Sheffield can easily join the amazing-ness of what the CU do, simply visit the Sheffield Children's University website here.

 

 

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SMAT Primary Inter-School Tournament

 

2019 continues to start with a bang at Imagination Gaming with yet more Inter-School Tournaments!

Following first time competitions with schools in Worksop and North of the border in Scotland, this October we have returned for our regular competition with the SMAT family of schools in Barnsley for yet another fantastic day of games.

A fantastic day that really allowed children to shine!

Mr. Silverwood, Headteacher, Elsecar Primary School

 

Our hosts this time were Royston St. John's primary school, and their team was joined by teams from Darton Primary, West Meadows, The Mill Academy, Queens Road Academy, St. Mary's, All Saints and Elsecar too... a fantastic 8 teams of children ready to have fun and do battle to be crowned the latest champions!

As always began the day with some fast, accessable games that would entertain and enthuse the teams as they arrived and got settled in.

Maki Stack (above), a team game that tests your communication and coordination skills and rely's on speed under pressure was a favourite again, as was the tricky puzzler Match Madness (below).

I liked meeting new people and I loved the game Get Packing...

Grace, Y6, The Mill Academy

Get Packing (above) was a brilliant new challenge even the adults were stumped by this one, and the ever popular Cobra Paw (below) was a hit yet again too.

Brilliant day with a great mix of different games...

Mrs. Baker, Queens Road Academy

Another current favourite, Farm Rescue (below), proved another great cooperative challenge for the team from St. Mary's as they tried to catch the wolf before he got to the animals!!!

 

Practice time!

Once everyone was settled it was time to learn the games that would feature in the day's tournament. All the children (and staff!) displayed fantastic listening skills as we demonstrated the games to everyone, before letting them go and practice them for themselves.

Each team worked through the four chosen games, helping their team-mates conquer the rules and then exchanging ideas and tactics as they played, with the goal of everyone on their team being as confident and ready as possible to take on the other schools come competition time.

The games of the day were, Pirate Gold, Concept Kids: Animals, Savvy and Doodle Rush, needing a mix of mathematical, communication, drawing and logic skills to succeed

I enjoyed the treasure chest game because I liked how even if you came last you would still get something to increase your points!

Holly, Y6, All Saints Academy

I enjoyed all the games, but my favourite was Concept Kids: Animals (above)...

Elnaz, St. Mary's

I liked  the drawing game because it's very fast and frantic...

Lucy, Y6, Royston St. Johns

Then the afternoon came and it was time to compete!

All the teams were split onto different tables, each with 4 players on, all from different schools. Each group then played each of the 4 games they had learnt, this time competing for points to put towards both their individual tallys, and their overall schools score.

Even with such glory at stake, it was wonderful to see all the children competing fairly, and helping each other if necessary, to ensure an exciting an welcoming competition for all.

I enjoyed seeing the children try out new games, support each other and interact with pupils from other schools. Great day out :) 

Miss Gracie, Darton Primary

 

SO WHO WON?!

Well our first congratulations go to Isla from the hosts, Royston St. John. A fantastic 18 points from a possible 20 was enough to take the prize (but only by half a point!).

Well done Isla!

 

Below, you can see all the teams that took part in the day, proudly holding their certificates... find out who the winning team were at the bottom!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

here's individual points winner ISLA with her trophy and the rest of the team from Royston St. Johns...

 

and the eventual WINNING TEAM..... ELSECAR PRIMARY!!!!

Here they are with their winning trophy!

 

Again, thank you to our wonderful hosts at Royston St. John's, and all the other children and staff for making today such a fabulous occasion!

 

If you would like to see an Inter-School Tournament in your schools area, get in touch and we'll make it happen...

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Sneak Preview! - UK Games Expo 2016

The Family Zone is Back...

...of course!!!!

UK Games Expo hits 10 years this June, and for the umpteenth year in a row we've got even more space. We must be doing something right. In fact preliminary plans look like we'll have pretty much the biggest demo area run by a single company. We're going to need it

Bits have been blurred to protect the innocent and we promise to use the space a bit more adventurously than this plan suggests, but it's all a bit hush-hush!

It may be 6 months away, but now Christmas is done and dusted we are cracking on with this years plans and we've already got something new up our sleeves. You'd expect no less I'd hope.

All the favourites from previous years will be there - hundreds of games, all 2016's Imagination Gaming Game Award submissions, the Creative Zone and Super-Size Gaming... and of course plenty more besides.

We'll let you in on this years new ideas in due course, but just to let you know the Family Zone will be back bigger and better this June, we hope you will be too. See you there?!

Remember the Family Zone is completely free to UK Games Expo ticket holders. You can find out more of what it's all about on the UKGE2016 website here and get your tickets booked quick!

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St. Annes Primary Inter-School Tournament, Sept 2019

The first Imagination Gaming Inter-School Tournament of the new academic year has already been and gone, with plenty more to come, and what a fantastic day it was!

Monday's event took place at St Anne's CE Primary School in Worksop, with teams from 5 other schools joining their host team for a day of fun and friendly competition. Having already worked with St. Annes to introduce games into the school day, their enthusiasm and recognition of the value of such activities as part of school life had them eager to host a tournament and show some of their family of schools what it was all about.

Fantastic Day! Many skills learnt from all games, social skills, maths, spelling etc. Great for Children to work with other schools.

Mrs Joy Blood, Dunham-on-Trent CE Primary

As everyone arrived in the morning, including teams from across the area (pictured bottom), the mood was set immediately with a range of quick fire games purposely to make everyone feel comfortable in the surroundings and get the energy pumping straight away! Games such as 3x4=Swat (above), and Maki Stack (below), are perfect for that, with simple rules and exciting gameplay to loosen everyone up while still challenging their brains.

I really liked everything about today because I met new people, played new games and we all had a great time.

Sienna (10 yrs), St. Augustines

Once everyone was settled in, it was time to learn some more games, likely to be in the days tournament. Together we looked at Zeus On The Loose, Pirate Gold, Doodle Rush, Bananagrams (My First) and Get Packing. 

All these games were deliberately chosen to provide different challenges that would each require different skills to master. As well as providing variation, this is also key to balancing the day for the participants, so if a particular skill isn't your strong point, there will be others that will be, providing the participants with both confidence and challenge throughout the day.

These games cover maths, reasoning, drawing, literacy and logic skills amongst others, and are a great example of how games can be engaging, exciting and educational all at the same time.

I liked the fun games we played because they were educational and enjoyable

Ewan (10 yrs), Sparken Hill Academy

Doodle Rush (below) for example, looks like a crazy race to draw and guess each others objects, but at the same time as challenging drawing skills it is a great conversation piece to discuss the defining characteristics of a given object and how we can describe something by simply focussing on it's key identifying properties...

I enjoyed seeing the children persevere with the games - they didn't give up. I particularly noticed this with the 'suitcase' game... I think I would've sat on the case to close it!

Mrs Catherine Kirkham, St. Annes CE Primary

After a mornings practice of all the games, with each team honing their skills and sharing strategies, it was time for the tournament...

Now all the students were split up and put on a table with 3 other students, all from different schools. It's amazing to watch how easily the children mixed, with a common objective in a competitive yet welcoming environment, they were ready to play.

Today we were able to all play a massive 5 different games, with each group moving around to the next game throughout the afternoon. Each time they collected points for both their team and themselves, which were constantly fed into the super-computer as the tournament progressed.

The games keep your brain active from beginning to end. They were really fast moving and this added to the excitement.

Mrs Yvonne Reeson, St. Peter's CE Gringley on the Hill

 

By the time the games were over, and the results were in, everyone had clearly had a fantastic day... but of course were eager to find out the results

So after all that...  WHO WON?!?! ... See all the teams below brandishing their well-earned certificates and some serious smiles, along with the winning team and highest individual scorer of the day and their new trophies!

 

The team from St. Peter's C of E Gringley on the Hill

 

The team from Sparken Hill...

 

Our wonderful hosts, St. Anne's C of E

 

Dunham On Trent C of E School...

 

and, yes, the eventual winners of the whole thing...  the team from...

St. Augustines C of E!!!

 

Finally - Well done Mia from the hosts St. Annes, as she took home the individual high scorer award... but only after a closely fought tie-break with Ewan! Great gamesmanship from both, but there can be only one!!!

 

As always a huge thank you to our hosts, and to all the staff and children that made this Inter-school tournament such a success. If you would like to see something like this at your school, or want to know about the many different ways that Imagination Gaming can Engage, Excite and Educate interest@imaginationgaming.co.ukyour children (and colleagues!)... get in touch now at interest@imaginationgaming.co.uk

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St. Theresa's Inter-School Tournaments - Locality C

On Friday the 7th June, St.Theresa's Catholic Primary hosted the first of 2 separate Imagination Gaming Inter-school Tournaments in a week!

As a school that uses Imagination Gaming's team to deliver activities in the classroom every single week, they were keen to show the schools in their local communities what it was all about. What better way than inviting them for a bit of co-operative and competitive fun with a games tournament!

Who came?

Todays event welcomed schools from Locality C in Sheffield, with teams from Phillimore, Oasis Don Valley, High Hazels Academy, Gleadless and of course St Theresa's. There were a couple of unavoidable last minute no-shows, but that didn't spoil anything, and there's always next time... but look at what they missed...

Very good games all using different skills. Interesting to see the children engaging, using strategies and being competitive with teamwork. Some games surprised the children when they thought they weren't good at them.

Mrs Bond, Phillimore Primary School

 

The Morning

As we waited for the teams to arrive and get settled, we played a few different games from this years Imagination Gaming Family and Education Game Awards, a great way to get comfortable in new surroundings.

Games such as the new cooperative memory game Farm Rescue from Brain Games, and the fast moving Cobra Paw (pictured above) all about quick thinking, observation and coordination were just 2 of the many popular pre-tournament tasters.

 

Get Ready

Once everyone was settled it was time to learn some games that they may face in the afternoons tournament. (Of course we chose some new games, we didnt want the experienced game players from St Theresa's to have any advantage!!!)

We spend the morning learning a few games as a group first, then taking those games back to our teams to practice together. It's at this point the teams can perfect their strategies and help each other be confident with the task ahead and share their ideas.

Again more new games when it came to the tournament! Along with the serious, we put in plenty of the silly too, including the brilliant Who Did It? from Asmodee UK (pictured above) ! Here competitors battle to pass the blame for their pets misdemeanours, but it takes a very good memory to make sure you don't end up with your foot in it, so to speak!

Q-Bitz from Green Board Games, above, is a fabulous puzzler, where players have to race to be the first to recreate a pattern using cubes, with challenges ranging from simple to downright devious!

Fletter, (and Fletter Fuse) from Red Knight Toy Group above, is another simple letter game which can easily be adapted ... so we used that too!

 

So What Happened?

Well some excellent gamesmanship happened, thats what! In the afternoon all the children were separated from their teams (and comfort zones) and put on a table with children from different schools for a carousel of competitive gaming.

It's fantastic to see just how they work together in this environment. A perfect mix of social integration as everyone battled to do their best, but still supported each other to succeed, even in combat!

We managed to get through 5 different games in the afternoon's competition... Mosquito, Fletter, Q-Bitz, Savvy and Who Did It. By the end the children had learnt and played games all day and their focus was truly remarkable... that's games done right for you!...

What a brilliant day!!! I think the games are absolutely fantastic. The kids loved playing them and so did I!

Jayne, Gleadless Primary School

 

But who won?!

Well, without further ado, here are your competitors and winners!

Firstly, massive congratulations to Evie for achieving the most individual points of any of todays players, a whopping 21 out of 25... amazing! Here she is on the left, with the rest of the team from Gleadless, and as you can see she was gob-smacked...!

 

Here's the host team from St. Theresa's...

 

The team from High Hazel's Academy...

 

The team from Oasis Don Valley...

 

and last... but certainly not least because they were the eventual...

TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONS!!!

Phillimore Primary

 

Congratulations indeed to all the schools that attended, both children and teachers for their enthusiasm, and extra thanks for all the wonderful comments we received... we'll leave you with this one.

I think it was good because we all met new people as well as being very competitive against other people. It was also a bit confusing in a good way because it made my brain jog or even sprint sometimes!

Evie (before she knew she had won!), Gleadless Primary School

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St. Theresa's Inter-School Tournaments - SCSP Diocese

Following the success of the previous weeks excitement, on Friday the 14th June, St.Theresa's Catholic Primary hosted the second of 2 separate Imagination Gaming Inter-school Tournaments in a week! This time it was the turn of the schools linked together in the SCSP Diocese.

As a school that uses Imagination Gaming's team to deliver activities in the classroom every single week, they were keen to show the schools in their local communities what it was all about. What better way than inviting them for a bit of co-operative and competitive fun with a games tournament!

Who came?

Todays event welcomed schools from Sheffield and beyond, with teams from  Emmaus, St. Wilfred's, St. Marie's, St. Patricks, St. John Fisher and of course St Theresa's. All the pupils were a mix of girls and boys from years 5 and 6, and all were ready to do battle for the trophies and coveted title of tournament champions!

 

Great games to get the children thinking. Fun, engaging, and competitive games for all.

A very good day.

Mr Fiddler, Y4/5, St. Patricks

 

The Morning

As we waited for the teams to arrive and get settled, we played a few different games from this years Imagination Gaming Family and Education Game Awards, a great way to get comfortable in new surroundings.

Games such as the new cooperative communication game Team 3 from Brain Games,(pictured above), and the hilarious Pigasus all about quick thinking and observation were just 2 of the many popular pre-tournament tasters.

 

Get Ready

Once everyone was settled it was time to learn some games that they may face in the afternoons tournament. (Of course we chose some new games, we didnt want the experienced game players from St Theresa's to have any advantage!!!)

We spend the morning learning a few games as a group first, then taking those games back to our teams to practice together. It's at this point the teams can perfect their strategies and help each other be confident with the task ahead and share their ideas.

Again more new games when it came to the tournament! Along with the serious, we put in plenty of the silly too, including Mosquito from Djeco (pictured above) ! Here competitors flip cards and race to react accordingly... whatever happens, the mosquito gets it! From the same company we also used Polyssimo Challenge, (pictured below), almost the exact opposite kind of game, as this thoughtful and logical game requires players to carefully examine shapes and not only piece them together to get the most in, but also strategically obstruct opponents from using their own.

 

My favourite thing was how the board games all needed you to use your brains (whilst being very fun)

Max, St. Wilfrid's

Amongst the 6 different games we ended up using in this tournament, there was also space for this Imagination Gaming classic favourite Zeus On The Loose from Gamewright and Coiledspring Games. A superb numbers game with beautifully themed cards that has been a stalwart of our curriculum and fun days since the first time we played it!

So What Happened?

Well some excellent gamesmanship happened, thats what! In the afternoon all the children were separated from their teams (and comfort zones) and put on a table with children from different schools for a carousel of competitive gaming.

It's fantastic to see just how they work together in this environment. A perfect mix of social integration as everyone battled to do their best, but still supported each other to succeed, even in combat!

 

But who won?!

Well, without further ado, here are your competitors and winners!

Firstly, massive congratulations to Laila from Emmaus for achieving the most individual points of any of todays players, a massive 22 out of 25... amazing! Well done you!...

 

Well done Laila, but who were the eventual overall team winners?!!! Well look at ALL these lovely teams below, and all will be revealed!

 

Firstly here's the team from St. Wilfrid's...

 

below is St. Theresa's

 

here's St. Maries...

 

and St. John Fisher...

 

Who else but Emmaus...

 

and last... but certainly not least because they were the eventual...

TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONS!!!
...St. Patrick's....

 

.... ERM!.... Unfortunately, St. Patrick's were unable to be here to accept their prize ( a photo permissions thing but go with it!...) but rest assured, they were over the moon and I'm sure they are still bragging about it now!!!!

 

Congratulations indeed to all the schools that attended, both children and teachers for their enthusiasm, and extra thanks for all the wonderful comments we received... we'll leave you with this one.

 

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Summer Reading Challenge 2016

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

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

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

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

 

2016 The Big Friendly Read

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

 

'ROLLED DAHL!' with Imagination Gaming

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

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

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

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

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

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Summer Reading Challenge 2017 - Theme Announced

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

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

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Summer Reading Challenge 2018 - Mischief Makers

2018 Summer Reading Challenge - Mischief Makers        

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

https://imaginationgaming.co.uk/events

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

 

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Summer Reading Challenge 2019 Announced!

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

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

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

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

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

 

So what's happening?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Summer Reading Challenge 2021 - Our Kind Of Play!

The annual Summer Reading Challenge is back... bigger... and WILDER!... and we can help

Each year we visit libraries across the land to deliver exciting, themed, table-top games events to help enhance the experience and help children engage even more in the adventure. With this year's theme announced as Wild World Heroes, we can't wait to delve into our box (tardis!) of crazy, fun and challenging games for families to have a go at!

There are 2 key additions to the SRC this year

  • They've teamed up with the WWF, for a nature themed challenge featuring, quote "amazing books, awesome rewards, and plenty of ideas for taking care of our environment."!
  • It's online too!... with additional resources there to enhance their offering.

Where does Imagination Gaming come in?

Put simply, YOUR library can talk to us about hosting themed games workshops, where we bring plenty of new and classic games to suit a variety of ages, abilities and interests, all with one goal in mind... promoting the library as a great place to be and reading as an exciting and infinite world to explore!

(Leap ahead to the bottom of the page to see an example of a fraction of the games we are talking about!)

Our games come from all over the world and include competitive and cooperative games that we use to engage learners and fun-seekers, and help to support and develop both social and curriculum skills too!

With them we can host welcoming and flexible drop-in sessions (or targeted workshops), designed to quickly and effortlessly get families and children playing together and enjoying the library... but don't just take our word for it, check out previous links and games below, and testimonials here, or just give us a shout.... We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Contact Us at interest@imaginationgaming.co.uk, or on our Get In Touch here!

 

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The 2018 Imagination Gaming Awards - A Dream Year!

“Winning is only half of it, having fun is the other half” once said the famous sports coach Andrew Phillips, and here at Imagination Gaming we couldn’t agree more.  The 2018 Imagination Gaming award winners have been announced and we have had so much fun finding out which games would get a bronze, silver or gold award and our coveted seal of approval.

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 spoilt with nearly 100 games entered into the awards across our 10 awards categories from some of the most exciting games designers and publishers out there.

This spring was like a mini Christmas every week as we opened box after box of exciting new games.  We thought we had seen a lot of family games but our minds have been blown by all the interesting new themes and game mechanics we have seen this year.  Long story short… We all have very long Christmas lists now!

We can’t possibly 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.

Literacy is dear to our hearts so we were very excited to see the games in this category.  Werewords from Bezier Games (Literacy – Gold, Family - Gold) grabbed our attention from the beginning; lovely graphics, clever game play, with a perfect app to accompany the card game.  Guess the secret word to save the village from the werewolves but secret roles may help or hinder the villager’s efforts.  Word Bits from The Green Board Game Company (Literacy – Silver, Family – Bronze) is a fast, frantic word game where a category and the letters from a number of dice set the scene for players to call out words that fit.  Playing this in school with a group of 10 year olds had us reeling… a word containing the letters F and R that is a game?  The children couldn’t yell “Fortnite” quick enough or loud enough!

Maths made easy was what we were hoping for and that is what we got times 2!  Alana’s Animals from Think Noodle (Maths -Silver, Family – Silver) and Chicken Out from Gibson’s Games (Maths – Gold, Family – Gold) were wonderful little card games that get kids doing maths without them even noticing and proves that great things do come in tiny packages!  Alana’s Animals wants you to count cute farm animals and apply basic maths concepts such as bigger than, this but not that and most/least whilst having a ball on the farm.  Multiple games to play with the card set that grows with ability mean that families will go back to this game again and again.  Chicken Out is a fab, kid twist on blackjack.  Add chicken cards to the row without going over 21 or chicken out for less but definite points; what children won’t go crazy for a little light gambling with chickens?!  Basic arithmetic skills are improved by this clever game.

Cross Curriculum saw us getting into a hot debate over a game of Vote Me! From Redwell Games (Cross Curric – Bronze, Family – Bronze).  We loved watching the families debate the merits of doughnut policing… We were laughing so hard we could barely vote!  Can You Hear Me? from Vision Works (Cross Curric – Silver, Family – Bronze) was another interesting game which our web developer guru was insanely good at!  A great PSHE tool, it turns out that watching Japanese anime makes you a super expert at decoding the wonderfully drawn cartoon characters emotions.  We were all in awe of his empathic prowess!

Choosing a game from the problem solving category was a conundrum (get it?) but Match Madness from Asmodee (Problem – Gold, Family – Gold) and 13 Ghosts from Artipia Games (Problem – Gold, Family – Gold) were stand out contenders for the IG team.  Match Madness looked good, had simple ‘arrange the blocks to match the picture’ game play but was devilishly addictive… They tried to make us go to rehab but we say No, No, No!  13 Ghosts must be the cleverest and spookiest deduction game on the market – the IG team were terrified at how good this game was.  Beautiful artwork supports the simple task of deducing which numbered ghost from 1 to 13 the other player is holding in their secret vault while they try to deduce yours.  So simple, so clever, so playable, again and again.

Family games are close to our hearts and we watched one of the team’s eight year old daughter swoon over one choice while her mum lost her heart to the other.  The little girls love was Quirk Legends from Emmerse Studios (Family – Silver).  A modern and wonderful take on Happy Families or Go Fish, this lovely little game gets you making the noises of creatures of legend to ask for the cards you need.  What noise does a unicorn make?  One little girl we played with thought long and hard before putting her hands to her head to make a horn and exclaiming sweetly… “Magic Horse!”.  Just perfect!  The grownups choice was That’s a Question by Czech Games Edition.  How well do you know your opponents? What questions can you predict their answers to?  Which questions will you choose? and What have squirrels got to do with it??  A family friendly, ethics questions game got the award administrator asking her IT obsessed other half “which would you miss more? touch screens or romantic evenings?” Needless to say we had much more fun watching him squirm that he had trying to answer that one!  We should also mention that the rule book is the funniest thing we have read in forever! Well done Czech games for making the rules almost as good as the game!

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 sit in a corner throwing breadcrumbs at ourselves so we were delighted to see the new generation of littlies games that adults can actually enjoy playing too.  Both choices are from HABA Games and we think they are great.  Tiny Park (Young Einsteins – Bronze, Family – Bronze) has a lovely, yatzee-style game mechanic, where picture dice rolls help you to build a tiny theme park.  Teaching children spatial, shape manipulation skills and enhancing their ability to predict and judge risk, Tiny Park is a lot of fun for grownups too.  Silly Shenanigans (Young Einsteins – Gold, Family – Silver) is a lovely little game about pixies who love toys.  Involving actually hiding glorious little wooden toys in a secret toy cave, this game asks children to use their memory to remember the toys hidden in the cave and use their deductive reasoning to decide if they need a given toy based on its colour and shape.  The children we played this with were so engaged with this game and we have to admit we love setting the scene for them, explaining about the naughty pixies who take the toys and hide them in the little cave and how they have to be clever and win them back! Sweet, fun and a bit smart too!

Last but not least we have to mention The BIGGY… When I Dream from Asmodee (Literacy – Gold, Family – Gold).  What can we say?  We could not have dreamt of a better game.  Beautiful artwork, a lovely three dimensional board, a blindfold and the dreamer’s imagination.  Players give clues to objects to the blind folded dreamer who guesses the object and then has to remember it to later include it in his dream.  Points are awarded for accuracy of guesses and accurate recollections but the dreams themselves are as fantastical and inventive as real life!  A wonderful night of family fun that we cannot recommend highly enough.

The full list of winners can be found on our Imagination Gaming Website Award Winners page and we would like to finish with a huge thank you to all the judges, the families visiting our Family Zone at the UK Games Expo, 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 all and see you again in the Autumn for the 2019 Awards!

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THE ECO HUB website launched by MAINTENANT Sustaining Now

MAINTENANT Sustaining Now, who we most recently know from their DIVERSITY DECK collection in our 2020 IGGY game awards, are announcing a new venture and a new website to go with it... so who better than to tell you about it than themselves!

Let's start with an introduction...

 

THE ECO HUB 

"Here at MAINTENANT Sustaining Now, we have been on an amazing journey reaching  families, schools and businesses and supporting them in their transition towards a  sustainable future. We believe that the key to real change is through education and as a  supporter and promoter of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s), we have been  championing UN SDG4.7 which requires all learners to acquire the knowledge and skills they  need to implement sustainable development in their future lives and careers.  

In particular, this became clearer and more focused once Teach the Future launched their  campaign last year and really highlighted the lack of Education for Sustainable Development  (ESD) in the UK curriculum and school system as a whole. See our blog post about it here.  Since creating our DIVERSITY DECK card collection, we have been developing some fantastic  resources on sustainability for schools. During the pandemic, we have had a rethink about  the best way to distribute them to the teachers and schools who need them. 

The next stage of our story will be to create a teacher hub to serve this purpose and be a  catalyst for the change that we want across society. "

 

 

With that in mind, here is their launch announcement blog to explain more and with contact details and referenced games at the bottom!

 

"THE ECO HUB 

So, our new website, THE ECO HUB, is soon to be launched. Having spoken to teachers in our work with schools, we have seen the growing desire for good quality, quick ideas to  incorporate ESD into their curricula. According to a recent survey by Teach the Future, 75%  of teachers don’t believe that they have received adequate training to teach students about  climate change. For a more sustainable and greener society, we want teachers to have the  confidence to deliver lessons which incorporate sustainability at every opportunity.  Although we agree that the UK national curriculum is sorely lacking and indeed failing our  children, there are many opportunities within the curriculum already where we can talk in a  more thoughtful way and introduce empathy to our environment, other people and society.  

We have always felt that because sustainability is such a universal concept, subjects and  topics already taught in schools can be introduced in slightly different ways to get across a  message of sustainability. For example, if you can introduce the ideas of magnets to  children, we can also talk about the Earth as a very large magnet and introduce the benefits  of our magnetic field; protecting us from the cosmos and making life here on Earth possible.  If we can let children in on the secret of how important the natural world is to their  everyday lives and give them the ability to see the interconnectivity of all of Earth’s systems  and our actions, then they will develop the empathy, resilience and skills they need to  protect our planet as they grow up and enter the work place, making positive choices and  decisions for the benefit for all of us. 

WHAT WE OFFER  

We don’t want to overwhelm teachers with lengthy, expensive courses and extra  qualifications that are only possible for one or two teachers within a school. Our brand-new  membership only ECO HUB will provide bitesize 5-10 min courses which become available 

on a regular basis enabling teachers to think about different topics and case studies in  different ways and provide resources and videos to help.  

Earth system education divides the planet into 7 spheres which are all interconnected and  rely on each other. This describes out environment and gives children the knowledge they  need to understand the changes which are happening to the Earth, our home. Science and  geography are the most obvious places to start with the ideas of sustainability, but we will  be offering cross curricular activities which can be used across the curriculum to enhance  

what is already being taught. For example, PSHE and History have a lot to teach us about  sustainability, especially when thinking about how we must be an inclusive and united  society to make a success of our future. 

We will have a series on inspiring people who have made a real difference to our future by  advocating for sustainability on our planet. They come from many backgrounds with  different nationalities which will promote the need for people and societies to work  together for the common aim of preserving the planet. 

In addition, we want to create a community of teachers swapping ideas and experiences.  The website will be for our users, so we will be working alongside them and taking on board  suggestions and feedback as we go. In addition, our “Positivity Corner” will be regularly  updated with inspiring stories from the news, plus other schools and businesses who are  taking the SDG’s on board and embedding them into their lives. 

We certainly don’t want to reinvent the wheel, as there are already some amazing resources  and lesson plans out there ready for teachers to use. Celebrating them and highlighting  them so that they can be easily found and used will be of real importance to us. Why wade  through the internet, when we have a growing library of tools and resources?! 

Our content is based on our belief that sustainable development is universal and touches  every aspect of our lives. We must be mindful of the consequences of our thoughts and  actions. The world is too interconnected and global and we need children who understand  and recognise this.  

 

 

THE SOFT LAUNCH – 19th April, 2021 

We are really excited about our launch, but it will only be successful if people know about it  and use it. We would really appreciate you following us on Twitter @THE_ECO_HUB and  retweeting our announcements and ideas.  

There will be an introductory offer as we get everything under way and add to the site, so  please do get involved at this early stage and help us improve for the future.  

We would love your comments and feedback about our ideas using this survey and we can  keep you up to date with the launch and how to find the website once up and running if you  leave us your details. 

Also, if you are an organisation or business and feel that you can support or collaborate with  us in any way, please get in touch with clare@maintenant.org.uk or  

lizzie@maintenant.org.uk and we would love to chat to you."

 

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The Imagination Gaming Game Awards 2017 Have Arrived!

This week, Imagination Gaming announce our 5th annual, global, hobby-game awards competition… and the introduction of a new, overall award... THE BIGGY!

 

The ‘IG Game Awards’ seek out the finest in family and educational games. Created by Nigel Scarfe and Chris Standley at Imagination Gaming, the awards are taking place for the fifth consecutive year with the final date for entries being Friday 28th of April 2017.

This year's awards are now accepting entries from companies world-wide, large and small, and focus on finding and promoting the very best educational and family orientated board, card and dice based table-top games available. The nominated entrants are used as a cornerstone of Imagination Gaming’s daily events and programmes for education nationwide, and are of special interest to those working in education and the relevant distribution channels.

Solely funded by Imagination Gaming and independently assessed by panels of experienced educational professionals and family game enthusiasts, the awards cover specific categories to recognise the benefits all ages can get from combining fun and skill development.

Categories include:

Best Maths Game
Best Literacy Game
Best Cross-Curriculum Game
Best Family Game, Excelled In Schools Award
Family Classic Award
UKGE Family Zone Players' Choice Award

***and new for 2017, the Best Imagination Gaming Game of the Year award - The 'BIGGY'***

The games considered however are not necessarily designed for education, and the previous year’s submissions have covered (and rewarded), a wide spectrum of games from table-top ‘geeky-gamer’ type games to skills focussed games for children and adults alike. These are exactly the games that Imagination Gaming uses to engage, enthuse, educate and to promote interaction with crucial social and curriculum based life skills. There is no substitute for great content, mechanics and design, and the awards recognise this.

This year’s awards are supported by a dedicated section of the website here, and social media conversation driving involvement throughout the process. The build-up and awards culminate in all the games featuring in Imagination Gaming’s 'hands on' Family Zone hall at this year’s UK Games Expo 2nd -4th of June.

As the nomination process unfolds entries will appear live on their website and be highlighted across social media, with the winners announced early June. All details including how to submit games too can be found via our awards section, with updates via Facebook and Twitter pages using #iggameawards.

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We're Going to AireCon 2018!

It's true! We'll be back at next year's AireCon Analog Gaming Festival held at Harrogate Convention Centre. We had so much fun last year that we wanted to come back with an even bigger and better presence. Here's what we've got in store...

First and foremost, we’ll have a great selection of family games. We’ll have our own games library filled with a mixture of old classics, what was popular with attendees last year, as well as some brand new one's we know you'll fall in love with! After recently returning home from Essen this year, we've got a lot to show you.  

The Friday will be a Tournament day! We're giving the chance for schools and attendees of the event to take part in some amazing tournaments with great prizes! More information will be released soon, but if you or your school are interested in spending a day in Harrogate with us to compete in our tournaments, then get in touch with us at interest@imaginationgaming.co.uk and we'll send you more information!

The Saturday and Sunday of the show will be the time where we can demonstrate and show off our great new range of games (this still applies to Friday too, as well as the tournaments!) You'll be able to play some brand new Award games for 2018 and give us your feedback, as well as a ton of skill builders and ones to really get your brain working!

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Tickets are available on the AireCon website here. There are discounted youth tickets and kids go FREE!

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to get in touch with us! interest@imaginationgaming.co.uk

 

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Wellbeing within schools, how can WE help?

So right now there is an urgent demand and pressure on schools and families to take into account the wellbeing of not only their children but of themselves. (*edit - we can now offer Imagination Gaming sessions remotely... see here!)

With lockdown and the associated isolation the regular daily interaction we take for granted became a thing of the past. Families and children have spent even more time on screens and less time interacting with peers and friends.

Online and screen based gaming is already linked to the following issues in both children and adults:

  • Obesity. 
  • Sleep problems. 
  • Problematic internet use. 
  • Negative effect on school performance.
  • Risky behaviors. 
  • Sexting and privacy and predators. 
  • Cyberbullying. 

So it is expected to see an increase in all of these issues as children return to school and with the pressure on teachers to catch up on lost time and work, games can provide a simple yet engaging way to help address some of the issues above by considering the areas below.

Clinical Psychologist Hazel Harrison put together five easy steps to promote well-being and we are looking in turn at how games can deliver these steps...

Be Yourself (Look at what you can do, not at what you can’t!)

Games are a great way to highlight individual strengths. Whilst some children may be good with words, others may be better with numbers and yet others with shapes. Understanding that everyone is different and we each have their own strengths is a great way of reinforcing the message of being yourself. 

 

Be Grateful (Highlight things we do right and not what we do wrong)

With more time spent on thinking I should look like this or behave like that it's hard to be grateful for who you are and what you have. Highlight what children have done right over the course of a game, ‘What about that move you made that defeated the monster!’ and have other players congratulate them.

 

Be Mindful (Focus on the now and what is real)

Sat with a group of friends laughing and challenging yourself over a game is a perfect way of focusing on the now rather than what might be. The right games require concentration and reaction to what others might do so no time to focus on other’s things and elsewhere. Repeat play will reinforce this mindset. 

 

Be Kind (How good does it feel when you help someone and see them smile?)

Helping to achieve a common goal and sharing in a win is great but helping someone else to achieve success can bring a different sort of reward and in its own way can reinforce friendships and develop the want in others to do the same for you.

 

Be Resilient (Losing is easy but winning takes effort, but boy it feels good)

One of the hardest skills to develop is coming back from a failure or set back in a positive light. Too quickly children will give up or ask for assistance, letting others do what they should do for themselves. Again games are the perfect vehicle to develop this mindset, with quick repeatable fun activities where achievements and progress can be measured in real time and allowing children to see for themselves the results of their efforts. 

 

So let’s look at some examples of games which can help to do this. From working with younger children, foundation ages, up to young adults.  

 

Younger children:/ Foundation Age

Woolfy (DJECO Games) ... here

Little Cooperation (DJECO Games) ...here

At this age we will focus on team play and winning and losing together, to share the thinking, the winning and losing together.

 

Key Stage 1

Dentaday (LOGIS Games) ...here

Curse of the Pirates Gold (HABA Games) ...here

As we get a little older we find games with a little more meaning and a bit of competition. Luck can play a big part but fun is still the key.

 

Lower Key Stage 2

Clever Fit (LOGIS Games) ...here

Matchify Range (PickyKwiky Games ) ...here

We are now getting to the age where thinking and skill becomes an important factor alongside the meaning. Fun however is still a central component. Children begin to understand how to win and improve their game play.

Matchify Orange

 

Upper Key Stage 2

Sussed Range (Games to Get Games) ...here

Lets Catch The Lion (EiSystem Games) ...here

As we reach the end of Primary School strategy and deeper meaning become more relevant and the hunger to learn more becomes much more evident. Games with simple rules yet hidden levels of skill become more popular as well as those with the ability to highlight an individual's traits. 

Sussed Emotional Intelligence

 

Key Stage 3

The Mind (Coiledspring Games) ...here

Bandido (HelvetIQ Games) ...here

By the time that Secondary School has been reached competition can sometimes get too much so a return to cooperative games is found to be very popular at this time. The deeper thinking and discussion of strategies is a great way of building relationships and understanding of others strengths.

So while there are lots of issues to contend with, there are also lots of simple, quick and elegant ways to help combat these using traditional tabletop games. Interactive, highly social and containing a range of thinking and curriculum based skills they are the perfect foil to the online generation whilst retaining a cool and fun feel irrespective of age.  

If you haven’t already, try them. Don’t be afraid of rules, there are countless videos explaining how to play them. If you are worried you won’t understand the games, don’t. There are children playing these right now, face your fear and give them a go! The difference and fun they can help bring your family is significant and it will help stave off those mental health issues that are far too easy to pick up nowadays.

 

Give it a go and if you are ever unsure or need that helping hand……..get in touch. 

That’s why we are here…….. interest@imaginationgaming.co.uk

 

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