Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The great Australian trivia board game project

For the past four weeks, the homework in Aidan's extension class has been to invent a board game with an Australian trivia component. Let's just say this has project has had its good and bad moments. It's too big a task for Aidan to complete alone (unlike, say, the more conventional homework of independent reading and writing a list of spelling words) so parental assistance has been required fairly frequently.

Chris and I have been playing to our strengths to help him out. Chris is the big picture guy. Aidan had a good idea, Chris helped him to invent the game that would include the idea. All three of us have chucked in a lot of trivia questions. And now, with the project due on Friday, we are down to the finer details.

Here's where I come in. (Helping Aidan to) choose the right colour poster board and what to decorate it with are my jobs. I had a good idea but it didn't quite come off. I bought a couple of Steve Parish calendars (at 75% markdown price each!) and we planned to cut out the large pictures and glue them on the board as a background to the printed squares of the board game. They were a little bit too big so we had to resort to the thumbnail sketches on the back arranged in mosaic style. These are a little bit too small so the board still looks a little bit bare. Tomorrow's job is to see if we can improve the border in any way or whether we just decide that plain and uncluttered is the way to go. Plain and uncluttered sounds better right now.

We are still colouring in the squares on the board itself (there is a convict track, a free settler track and a bushranger track to choose from as the game progresses) which might take some time. We're using watercolour pencils. I'm doing a trial run on one of the draft board layouts to see if painting over the colouring in makes it look better or worse.

And the trivia question cards still need to be printed up and checked for spelling. Chris will take care of the printing, I'm the spelling queen so that's my job (although I will get Aidan to check that as well since spelling is one of his strengths also).

Tomorrow Aidan is not going to school because he's going to an all day science workshop at one of the big private schools further north of us. We won't get home till after 5pm tomorrow. So I can see tomorrow night being the ten year old's (and tired mother's) equivalent of an allnighter before a Uni assignment is due to be submitted.

Things could have been worse, though. Because this extension class includes kids from Years 3, 4 and 5, there is one poor mother with two kids in the class so they have to come up with two games. I saw her last night at a meeting at school. She looked a bit frazzled. I'm not surprised.

I will try to put up some pictures of the game when it's finally finished. It's called Settler Life. A great team effort from all involved.

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