Saturday, May 26, 2007

Family Game Night preparation

This Friday, we're holding our second "annual" Family Game Night at Biggie's school.

We're aiming to take fewer games this year, to try to reduce the game explaining and to get people playing the same games a few times, so they can talk about them later. We've also co-ordinated a game drive with a friendly internet game shop with a specialisation in children's and family games, with a percentage of all sales to be credited to the school to buy some games (probably to use in the out-of-school-hours-care room).

We have a few changes from the session we ran last year.

Based on advice from a friend, we're trying an earlier start. Last year, we ran 6-8pm or so; this year, we are running 4.30-7.30. That way, we hope to get the after-school crowd as well as parents collecting their children after work, and people who prefer to go home first. I'm a little dubious about how this will work, but we'll give it a go. We may get more teachers coming along to check the games out, which would be great.

This year, too, we have no "grown-up helpers" - just me, Fraser and the kids. This will definitely make things difficult, but Fraser and I have had long discussions about the ethics of taking adults who we only know through playing games every so often into the school. He thinks I'm paranoid, I agree but think school will be too. And there's not time to get working-with-children police checks processed, although that might not be a bad idea if we are going to do any other events. It's not that I mistrust people, just that I think it's wise to be seen to follow protocols.

This year, too, we will be taking Otto. That's probably the biggest risk as far as time and availability, but with my mother's health that's really our only option. She'll be happy to play Blink or Make 'n' Break, though she may be less happy to share those games with others.

Games we're definitely taking (these are also on the fundraiser list, so people can try them out and then fill in an order form if they want them) are listed below. I chose them based on availability, price (to a small extent) and age range - we want to make sure we have all primary school age groups covered, as well as adults.

  • Animal upon Animal

  • Apples to Apples Jr

  • Blink

  • Bohnanza

  • Carcassonne

  • Cartagena

  • Dancing Eggs

  • Halli Galli

  • Hey! That's My Fish!

  • Incan Gold

  • M is for Mouse

  • Make 'n' Break

  • Marrakesh

  • O Zoo le Mio

  • Pick Picknic

  • Sherlock

  • Spooky Stairs

  • Ticket to Ride

I'm also tempted to take a couple of others - Formula De was a big hit last year, but it really requires an adult volunteer. Pirates' Cove is another great one to demonstrate as it is so easy to pick up. Otto always enjoys playing Catch the Match, even by herself, so that should come along. And a family actually asked me, "Will you be able to bring the Settlers of Catan?" (of course!)

So what is left to be done this week?

  • Work with Biggie to write a 'speech' for morning assembly on Tuesday. I won't be able to go, so she will have to advertise the event herself.

  • Confirm the fundraiser order form with the game vendor

  • Pack all games securely and make sure they are all there

  • Re-play a couple that I've not played recently

  • Work out which games Biggie can teach by herself, and practise her 'patter'

  • Resist the urge to add more & more games to the pile!!!

When we set up, this time, the priority will be to set up some self-sustaining games on the tables. Once we get those started, our job becomes a whole lot simpler.

Have a great week!


Gerald McD said...

Excellent! I recall your event last time. Sounds like you and Fraser have put a lot of thought and planning into this. I'm sure it will be successful. I also have no doubts that Biggie will do a great job explaining it at the assembly at school. What a wonderful family event!

gregor said...

You probably saw Giles' geeklist on games in schools?

He maps some games to the VELS, which might be interesting for teachers.

Teachers who are gamers would solve your need for police clearances for adult helpers -- know any?

Coldfoot said...

Interesting. As Gerald said, it does look like you've put a lot of thought into this. Good luck.

caradoc said...

Sounds like a great event Melissa! If I could make it down to give you a hand I certainly would.

The 'working with kids' thing is a big issue for schools! Does the school have any 'teacher aids, teachers or AFL trainees' who would volunteer to learn a game to give you guys a hand - it would be worth asking IMO!

Good luck with it Melissa - I think the earlier time will work out for you!



(Good games picked too!)