I have enjoyed following the 'My Little Bookcase' blog this year, and The Little Book Adventure Project. The challenge for July was to play with your books, and I've kept the email in my inbox all month to remind me, as it was something I wanted to do. It's the last day of the month, but we finally fit it in :)
Please excuse the very ordinary photos, it was quite late (and dark) by the time we actually played the game, with the dull kitchen lighting. The kids and I talked about a few different ideas for making up games based on books. Sienna actually came up with a unique board game, that I haven't quite figured out how it works as yet, based on the movie 'Brave'. She had bears, arrows, Merida character pieces, all sorts that she made up. I'll try and photograph it another time. She's all fascinated by archery at the moment, but wants an old fashioned wooden bow, like Merida.
Anyhow, tangents aside, I ended up choosing the book 'Stuck' by Oliver Jeffers (we love his picture books - there are two (1, 2) that we don't have yet but they are on my list!) as the basis and inspiration for the game. In the book, a boy gets his kite stuck in a tree. He throws all sorts of things up there to try and dislodge his kite.
Eventually, the all sorts of things get stuck up there, including a cat, the milkman, the family car, a ship, a lighthouse, the kitchen sink, a whale, a house, a fire truck, some fire men, a couple of shoes, and some other random stuff. Not in that order. Eventually he goes and gets a small hand-saw, which results in him getting his kite back before bedtime.
I drew all the objects that get thrown into the tree, sketching them quickly based on the illustrations in the book. We cut each one out, and attached it with blu-tack to the kitchen wall. Then I wrote all the names of the objects on pieces of paper, and we put all of these in our billy tin. Sienna and I drew a big tree with chalk on one of the chalkboard doors that are in the kitchen.
The aim of the game is to get the 'saw', as whoever gets the saw, gets the kite out of the tree and wins the game. So, the first step was to blu-tack the red kite in the tree. We highlighted the kite and the handsaw by adding colour to those drawings, whereas every other object was a quickly sketched line-drawing.
Starting with the youngest player, each person closes their eyes (or their brother / sister can cover their eyes for them, which my kids preferred!) and picks a word out of the billy. They then find the object that the word refers to, and blu-tack it into the tree. And so it continues until the winner pulls out the 'saw' and gets the kite.
A bowl or jar would do, of course, but we have this billy tin just hanging around in the kitchen for random use. I bought it at the Andamooka op-shop when I was doing family photo sessions in Roxby Downs a couple of years ago. Perfect outback souvenir ;) Very Waltzing Matilda-ish!
The first time we played, Sienna won the kite on the second turn. Happily, the second time we played lasted quite awhile (as you can see) and a lot of the objects got thrown into the tree before someone won. Which was Sienna again, I think. The kids had fun with it, and also were inspired to make up more of their own games, both book / movie related (in Sienna's case) and predictably pirate-oriented (like Ash, of course). A much better use of their time than nagging me to use the ipad all afternoon!
These shots are from a recent commercial shoot, which was a fun mix of crafts, kids, nature and product photography, featuring the DirtGirlWorld scrapbooks from Leaf Journals. Sienna and my friend's little girl Abby were the girl models for the session.