Category: Game Rules

Educational Games in the Classroom – Pixy Cubes

Educational Games in the Classroom – Pixy Cubes

When using educational games as learning tools in and out of the classroom, we encourage teachers and parents to break the rules! With a little creativity, you can turn existing games into a classroom or homework activity that targets the lesson at hand.

Last year, we were fortunate to have  a teacher in Pennsylvania with over 20 years experience in elementary school education design lesson plans using our educational games. As a part of an ongoing series of posts, today we will be covering our creative storytelling game Tell Tale.

See previous post on Tell Tale

Pattern Building with Pixy Cubes

About the game:
Pixy Cubes is a versatile game that involves memory, speed and creativity, depending on how you play. The game contains 16 cubes with green, red, yellow, and blue sides—either as solids, half and half, or crescent shapes. Players use the cubes to complete patterns on the challenge and design cards, either in a race or by memory. It’s similar to Tangrams, but in 3D!

 

Pixy Cubes Educational pattern game

Grade Level Application:  Kindergarten

Skills: Math concepts, such as patterning, and attention to detail

Lesson Plan Suggestions:
Small Group: 4 children
# Of Games Required: 1 per group
Noise level: Low

Practice Patterns
Divide up the cubes so all players receive one of each cube pictured below. On a worksheet, there are 4 lines of patterns each with an outline of the next cube. They have to rotate their cubes to find which one fits the pattern and place it on the outline.

Practice Cooperative Play
Divide up the cubes so all players receive one of each cube (see picture above). Then have the students decide on a 16 cube Design Card to recreate the pattern of. Together they have to recreate the pattern using their cubes.

Grade Level Application:  4th

Skills:  Math concepts, such as repeated patterns

Lesson Plan Suggestions:
Small Group: 4 children
# Of Games Required: 2 per group
Noise level: Low

Practice Patterning With Mirror Images
Another activity for one student similar to Design Games is to use mirror images to extend the pattern. This pattern is two cubes high and eight cubes long. Students could use four Pixy Cubes to create one of the challenge card patterns. Then they are to extend the pattern with the second set of four cubes being a mirror image of the first four cubes.  The third set of four cubes will be a mirror image of the second set.  The fourth set will be a mirror image of the third set.

(Sets one and three are the same, and sets two and four are the same.)

Lesson Plan Suggestions:
Small Group: 4 children
# Of Games Required: 4 per group
Noise level: Low

Practice Patterning Using Tessellations
Another activity for one student similar to Design Games is to use mirror images to create a tessellation that is a 4×4 square using all 16 cubes.  Students could use four Pixy Cubes to create one of the challenge card patterns. Then they are to extend the pattern with the second set of four cubes being a mirror image of the first four cubes either to the left or the right. Then they are to place the remaining eight cubes below in a mirror image of the first eight cubes.  This will make a 4×4 cube square.

 

Grade Level Application:  3rd

PixyCubes_Cards&Pieces

Skills:  Math concepts, such as repeated patterns

Lesson Plan Suggestions:
Small Group: 6 children
# Of Games Required: 1 per group
Noise level: Moderate to low

Practice Attention To Detail
Speed Game with 6 players: Divide students into two groups of three students in each so there will be two games being played at the same time.  Each group gets six of the Challenge Cards and two sets of cubes as explained in the Speed Game.  Play begins in each group with two players and one observer who will rotate into the game in each of the rounds of play.  As soon as one of the players completes the pattern, the observer checks to see that it is correct.  If correct, the observer trades places with the first winner, scrambles the four cubes, and tries to beat the other player for second place.

  • 1st winner gets 3 points
  • 2nd winner gets 2 points
  • 3rd (last one to finish) gets 1 point

Play continues with the winner of the first round being the new observer, who will reenter the game when the second round has a winner. Players keep track of points. Play continues with winner of each round being the observer and re-entering the game as new winners happen. At the end of six rounds the one with the most points is the winner.

Educational Games in the Classroom – Tell Tale

Educational Games in the Classroom – Tell Tale

When using games as learning tools, we encourage teachers and parents to break the rules! With a little creativity, you can turn existing games into a classroom or homework activity that targets the lesson at hand.

Last year, we were fortunate to have  a teacher in Pennsylvania with over 20 years experience in elementary school education design lesson plans using our educational games. As a part of an ongoing series of posts, today we will be covering our creative storytelling game Tell Tale.

See the previous post in the series on Sumoku

 

Practicing Language Arts with Tell Tale

About the game:
Tell Tale is a storytelling tool consisting of 60 double-sided illustrated cards. Illustrations include characters, settings, objects and emotions. Players use the cards as prompts to build stories, either individually or collectively. Players may improvise and let chance lead their story, or plan it out.

 Educational Games Tell Tale

Grade Level Application:  Kindergarten

Skills:  Language and vocabulary development by thinking in sentences and using a variety of descriptive words, observing details especially facial expressions of emotions in people pictures.

Lesson Plan Suggestions
Classroom activity or Small Group: 4-6 children
# Of Games Required: 1 per group
Noise level: Moderate to low

Practice Language and Vocabulary development
Everyone is dealt 4 cards then after looking them over picks 2 to use. Using a story paper worksheet, draw a picture using those 2 images and then write or tell a sentence about what’s happening.

Practice Observing Details
Place 4 cards with facial expressions face-up in the center of the group. Have the students draw a picture with someone making one of those faces then write or tell a sentence about how that person feels and why.


Grade Level Application:  1st

Skills:  Language and vocabulary development by writing descriptive paragraphs

Lesson Plan Suggestions
Classroom activity or Small Group: 4-6 children
# Of Games Required: 1 per group
Noise level: Moderate to low

Practice Writing Descriptive Paragraphs
Each student takes a card and then chooses one side to write about. Using three or more sentences, they should describe what they see. Encourage them to be creative with this, i.e. “Who or what is in the picture?” “Where is this person/object?” “What is happening?”

 

Grade Level Application:  3rd

Skills:  Language and vocabulary development by creating stories (with a beginning, middle, and end) and using a variety of descriptive words, writing skills such as handwriting and using sequenced events in stories

Lesson Plan Suggestions
Classroom activity or Small Group: 4-6 children
# Of Games Required: 1 per group
Noise level: Moderate to low

Practice Writing Stories With Beginning, Middle, and End
Write a story.  Write a story by taking the top six cards from the stack.  Using either side of the cards, line them up in the order you want to use them in your story.  Write a story with a beginning, middle, and end.

Practice Writing a Cooperative Story
Continue a story.  Each child draws one card and uses it to begin a story.   As each child completes writing about the first card they place the story on top of a stack of stories to be continued.  They take the bottom story from the stack, get a new picture card, read what has been written, and continue the story by using ideas from their new picture card.  Several stories could be in progress at the same time.   A child may draw the same story at a later time.  This is alright as long as someone else has written on it since their earlier writing.

 

Spot it Tournament at Home

Spot it Tournament at Home

Spot it! is one of the most beloved Blue Orange games – a high-energy experience where players race to spot the matching image between two (or more!) cards. We regularly organize Spot it! tournaments when we go out to community events at game stores and trade shows, and everyone has a blast as they compete to be the Spot it champion! So, I thought it would be a great idea to share our resources with you, so you can run your very own Spot it! tournament at home. All you need to do is print out the two pdfs (the bracket) (the certificate) then grab a copy of Spot it! and 12-16 players to compete.

The Bracket

Spot it Trnmnt Bracket

Spot it Tournament Bracket (pdf)

First, divide your players into 4 groups. Write everyone’s name on the lines. Then you are ready to begin! The tournament will be played in 3 rounds. And you can play whatever version of Spot it! and game variants you’d like (it’s more fun if you switch it up each time!) but I recommend the the following:

Round 1

To start things out easy, begin the tournament with the Twins variant from Spot it Jr Animals. It’s one of the most straight forward variants, and a great way to get into the spirit of the tournament. It’s also one of the fastest ways to play, which will help round 1 not get bogged down by the number of players.

twins

Round 2

Once you have the winners from your each group, add their names to the round 2 spaces and choose your next way to play. Since there will be fewer players at this point, I’d choose a slightly longer variant – Triplet (a slightly more challenging variation of Twins). And it’s more fun for other players to watch, because the cards do not go by as quickly, making it’s easier to watch what is going on. You can either play in one group of all the remaining players or two groups of two. Either way, the top two players will advance to the final round.

TRIPLET

Round 3

Now that you have your 2 finalists, you should pick one of the longer variants (either the Well or the Tower). I prefer the Tower, because you can see the stack of remaining cards dwindle as the game goes on, which adds a dramatic flair to the conclusion of the tournament.

TOWER

Winner!

Spot it Certificate

Spot it Certificate (pdf)

When you have determined the winner, write their name on the Winner Certificate (print it out and date it ahead of time) and then it’s time to celebrate!!

Spot It Stories: New Ways to Play!

Spot It Stories: New Ways to Play!

Spot it!  is one of the most popular card games on the planet right now. It is a high speed matching game in which players race to find the same image on two cards. Playing the game is a great way of improving the brain’s processing speed while having good ‘ole fashioned fun (no tech required!). And it is such an irresistibly versatile game that people are coming up with new ways to play all the time. Last month, we told you about one of our secret variations called Ducks In A Row. In case you missed it, check out the article here.

We recently discovered another creative fan-made variation that involves combining the car

ds from Spot it! with the rules from the popular storytelling game Dixit Jinx. It’s called “Spot It Stories.” Here’s how to play:

3 x 3 grid of cards

Spot It Stories Rules

  1. Put nine Spot it! cards face-up in a 3 by 3 grid.
  2. The first player tells a short story (one or two sentences long) alluding to three icons on one of the face-up cards in the grid, without explicitly saying any of the names of the icons.
  3. One at a time, the other players then guess which card the storyteller is talking about by pointing at it.
  4. If you point to the correct card, you add that card face-down to your scoring pile.
  5. If you point to an incorrect card, the storyteller scores it instead. Players then continue guessing until either:
    1. The correct card is chosen.
    2. Three incorrect cards are chosen. In this case, the storyteller does not score any of the cards, and loses one additional card from their scoring pile, placing those cards in a separate discard pile.
  6. Fill in the empty space(s) from the remaining cards and pass  the storyteller role on to the next player (clockwise).
  7. Once the last card from the tin is placed on the table, the final round begins.
  8. The winner is the player with the most cards in their scoring pile at the end of the game.

For even more fun ways to play, check out these links to the official game rules:

Leave a comment below if you have your own ways of playing. We would love to hear from you!

Dragon Face Rules Explained

Dragon Face Rules Explained

Dragon Face plays similar to Chess and Checkers, but adds an exciting twist – captured pieces join the opposing team instead of being removed from the game!

Since Thierry Denoual created Dragon Face in 2011, we have had an overwhelmingly positive response from our community of players, but some have asked for clarifications regarding the rules. So, here is an updated version of the Dragon Face rules that will hopefully clarify any questions you have about the game. And if there is something we didn’t cover, please leave a reply at the bottom of the page and we will address it!

Dragon Face Logo

2 Players

Ages 8 to Adult

Contents:

  • Game Mat
  • Pieces
    • 2 Emperors
    • 12 Ambassadors
    • 14 Governors

The Game Mat:

The game mat is divided into 99 squares, consisting of the Territories and the Sacrifice Zone.

The Territories are the 63 inner squares, where most of the game’s action takes place.

The Sacrifice Zone is composed of the 36 border squares, where pieces are trapped when their move takes them outside the bounds of the Territories. (See: Playing the Game)

The Pieces:

The Emperor moves like the king piece in Chess, in any direction, one square at a time.

If your Emperor is captured, you lose the game.

Dragon Face Emporer

The Ambassador moves like the queen piece in Chess, as far as you want it to, along a straight line.

Dragon Face Ambassador

The Governor moves similar to the pawn in Chess. It can only move forward, one square at a time (straight or diagonally), and may only capture diagonally. The first time a Governor moves, you may move it two squares (in the same direction) rather than one.

Dragon Face Governor

IMPORTANT:

Pieces cannot move over other pieces except when capturing.

Pieces cannot change direction mid move.

Set Up:

Each player chooses an empire (light or dark) and flips all their pieces (1 Emperor, 6 Ambassadors, 7 Governors) to the corresponding side, and places them as pictured:

Dragon Face setup

Object of the Game:

Capture your opponent’s Emperor.

Playing the Game:

The player using the light colored pieces moves first. After this, take turns moving one piece at a time.

On your turn, you may move any of your pieces in the Territories, according to its description. (See: The Pieces)

Capturing pieces:

You may capture any of your opponent’s pieces that you can reach with one of your own pieces. To capture it, move your piece as normal (except for the Governor who can only capture diagonally), and place it in the square immediately on the other side of the piece you wish to capture. If the square behind that piece already has another piece in it, then it is protected and you may not capture it.

When you capture a piece, it is flipped over and immediately becomes part of your empire, and you can choose to move it on your next turn.

Capturing Summary:

  • Move your pieces as normal to capture.
  • The Governor can only capture diagonally.
  • There must be an available square on the other side of the piece you wish to capture.
  • Captured pieces are flipped and become part of your empire.

Immunity:

You may not capture a piece which was captured on your opponent’s previous turn. You must wait at least one turn to recapture any of your pieces.

The Sacrifice Zone:

Pieces can only enter the Sacrifice Zone when capturing another piece.

Once a piece enters the Sacrifice Zone, it is stuck there for the rest of the game.

The only exception to this rule is the Ambassador piece, which can return to the Territories if you reach (or cross over) your opponent’s back line with one of your Governors. At this point, you may choose to reactivate one of your Ambassadors in the Sacrifice Zone by placing the Governor that just reached your opponent’s back line underneath it. The Ambassador is now free to move back into the Territories on any of your future turns, but the Governor you used to activate it must remain in the Sacrifice Zone for the rest of the game.

Note: Pieces stuck in the Sacrifice Zone still prevent other pieces from moving into their square, which means that you cannot perform a capture move that would take your piece into an occupied square in the Sacrifice Zone.

Sacrifice Zone Summary:

  • If a Governor enters the Sacrifice Zone, it is trapped there for the rest of the game.
  • If an Ambassador enters the Sacrifice Zone, it is trapped there until you can free it by moving one of your Governors into your opponent’s back line.
  • An Emperor MAY NOT enter the Sacrifice Zone

IMPORTANT:

If you are able to capture your opponent’s Emperor on your next turn, you do NOT need to let them know. (No need to say, “Check!”)

Spot It Game Rules: Secret New Ways to Play Unveiled

Spot It Game Rules: Secret New Ways to Play Unveiled

When developing Spot it! Party, the latest expanded edition of the popular Spot It game, we toyed around with many new game rules. Of course, several variations (or mini-games as they’re called in the Spot It rule booklet) didn’t make the final cut, despite being a blast to play. As a blog exclusive, we want to share the one that came the closest to print! It’s called Ducks In A Row, and you’ll need the card holders that come in Spot It Party to play.

We know that many Spot It fans come up with their own ways to play or twist the rules. We would love to hear your ideas for Spot It game rules and share them on the blog! Please email marketing(at)blueorangegames(dot)com with your family’s way to play. Alright, let’s play!

Spot it! Party Game Rules – Ducks In A Row 

1. Preparing the game:

Depending on the number of players, take either 4 holders or 8 holders.

2 – 4 players: 4 holders 5 – 8 players: 8 holders

Line up 4 holders facing the same direction in a horizontal row. If you are playing with 8 holders, line up the other 4 holders in a horizontal row behind the first row. Example:

Spot It Game Rules

When playing with one row, everyone sits side by side facing the holders. When playing with two rows, one group sits on one side of the holders and the other group sits opposite them. It is okay if the sides are uneven by one player. Shuffle the cards and insert one card into each holder with the symbol side facing the players. Deal four cards face-down to each player. Place the rest of the cards in the tin and set aside.

2. Object of the game:

To be the first player to get rid of all your cards.

3. Playing the game:

At the same time, players flip over their stack of cards. Players try to spot a symbol that appears both on their top card and any one of the 4 cards in the holders facing them. If you spot it, call it out (example: “Magnet!”) and place your card face-up in front of the matching holder card. If another player finds a match between that same holder card and their own card, they place it in front of your card. Always look for matches with holder cards, not the cards in a line in front of them. Important: The number of cards in front of a holder cannot exceed the number of players on a side. Example: If there are 3 players, you cannot place a 4th card in front of a holder, but must look to another holder card for a match.

Spot It Game Rules

When playing with 4 people on a side, no more than 4 cards can be placed in a row on that side! If you are playing with 2 back to back rows of holder cards (and more than 4 players), both groups will be racing to get rid of their cards but half will be using one row of holder cards and the other half will be using the other row.

4. Winning the game

The first player to place their last card in front of a holder wins!