STEM Activity: Rainy Day Games, Reinvented!

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STEM Activities

STEM Activity: Rainy Day Games, Reinvented!

Design an innovative game that has never been seen or played before!

Materials Needed

  • Cardboard
  • Game pieces (from old or broken games, such as dice, chips or pawns)
  • Markers
  • Scissors
  • Science-type materials (circuits, magnets, slime, etc.)
  • Tape

At-Home Instructions

  1. Design a game from scratch or adapt one that already exists (e.g., ball games, video games, board games, conversation games, etc.) — stretch your imagination and consider the possibilities.
  2. Consider using STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) to enhance your game:
    1. Might slime play a role if players lose (or win) the game?
    2. Could magnets be used to move the pieces?
    3. Do the players need to invent solutions to challenges?
    4. Might you take apart a mechanical toy and use its springs for a surprise at the end of the game?
  3. After choosing the type of game you would like to create, design a prototype (a model) and have a few different people try playing it.
  4. Ask players to help you think of ways to make the game even more fun and then adapt it.

Educators: Use this activity in the classroom with these modifications!

Have children work in teams to create games based on the content being covered in class (e.g., learning about plants in science). Challenge them to integrate two or three concepts or facts into their game. Have teams brainstorm the possibilities and then start to design. Be sure to follow the Rules of Brainstorming: don’t judge ideas, strive for novelty and quantity, and piggyback off the ideas of others.

What Are We Learning?

In this activity, kids use their imaginations to invent new types of games, allowing them to practice the important skill of brainstorming! By incorporating STEM materials such as circuits and magnets, kids are able to improve the games they already love. Realizing that things don’t have to be the way they are and can get better with a little ingenuity is an invaluable skill that kids can use in all areas of life. 

Inspiration

National Inventors Hall of Fame® Inductee Milton Bradley invented the Checkered Game of Life to lift the mood of the nation during the Civil War. His most well-known game, it sold 40,000 copies in its first year. Today, the game’s contemporary version, The Game of Life, has become one of Hasbro’s most iconic board games.

Looking for more STEM activities?

Discover more fun and educational science activities by visiting our blog or by visiting our Camp Invention Facebook page!

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