Creative Thinking, Education, Games, K-12, Parenting

Your Winter Break Challenge!

Every time we are about to go on a lengthy break, I talk to my students about creative activities they can do if they happen to get bored. One that I usually recommend is to S.C.A.M.P.E.R. a board game.  They all nod in agreement that this is a good idea.

Then they all come back from break and shake their heads in confusion when I ask if anyone tried it.

I knew that my execution of this suggestion was the problem.  I never gave concrete examples.  Plus, my audience was a little limited.  Chances are that a child who is two days away from Winter Break does not see much likelihood of boredom during this much-anticipated time of freedom.

The other day I had the board game conversation with my 2nd graders, but I decided to take things a step further.

“What game could you combine with another game to make something new?” I asked the class.


“Umm.  What about if you combined Monopoly with another game?” I prodded.

“Like Jenga?” someone asked.

“Sure,” I said.  “Or Twister.  Wouldn’t that be fun to combine with another game?”

“Twister with Jenga!” someone shouted.  “You build the Jenga in the middle and the first person who knocks it over loses!”

Now they were getting excited.

“Or Candyland!” a little girl exclaimed.  “You could use the Candyland cards to play Twister!”

By the time they left, they had some solid ideas that might actually come to mind during a quiet moment in the next couple of weeks.  I felt encouraged by their enthusiasm, but still concerned that their brainstorming would quickly be forgotten.

Then I realized that the real victim of bored children isn’t the children; it’s the parents.  That’s when I decided that I would send the board game idea out to them, so they could have a handy suggestion sheet when the inevitable, “I’m bored!” complaint slams into their ears.  This would have the added bonus of getting some games recycled instead of tossed in the trash to make room for new ones.

So, I printed out a quick suggestion sheet on Canva, and will be e-mailing it to the parents tomorrow.  I’ve include the image below in case any of you want to use it.  Feel free to borrow and remix my remix if you like!

Your Winter Break Challenge