It’s officially the first day of fall. I don’t have any idea where my summer went, but it’s indoor volleyball season again so I’m not too upset. And for some unknown reason, I play volleyball with a lot of teachers and on numerous occasions I’ve suggested games to use in their classroom. I try to pick games that I think are fun but have some element of learning in it – but really, I think any game that forces you to think ahead a turn or two can provide an extremely valuable life lesson, but I’m pretty sure that they need to validate their game-playing with a stronger argument than that. My most recent educational find is A-BEE-C Match Game, invented by Matt Nuccio for Endless Games.
A-BEE-C is a dice and matching game for kids who are old enough to know not to swallow dice, but are still mastering letter recognition, reading and spelling. There are 22 letter dice in the game and a bunch of cards with 3-letter words. Make 2 teams, give them each half the dice and then lay three cards out. One team uses the bee cup to roll their dice and using the letters rolled, they start to spell out the word/item on each card. If they can spell the whole word they get to keep the card, if not the other team rolls their dice and tries to complete the word and capture the card. Personally I like that it isn’t just about matching but it’s also got that “am I going to have a lucky roll?” feel to it. First team to collect 7 cards wins. To make it a little more challenging, use post-its to cover up the written word on the cards to make it more of a spelling game and less of a letter-recognition game.
Now, because this isn’t an article for Games for Educators (which I also write for), I asked Matt Nuccio how he came up with the game. His PG-13ish answer:
“I was sitting in a bar downing Ketel drinks with [Brian Turtle, of Endless Games], when it crossed my mind that we might be able to make a game by capitalizing on this literacy thing that’s become a fad around world because of that Gutenberg dude…not the “Hey Mahoney” Police Academy Gutenberg, but the Johannes Gutenberg printing press German inventor guy. Anyway, the next thing I remember I woke up the next morning in an alley wearing a yellow and black striped shirt that read “just BEE you”, dice in my hand, and a cocktail napkin with the instructions written on it. I look over at Brain and he had poorly painted his flask to look like a bumble bee.”
Doubt it’s the truth – but I like it. If inventing was only that easy!
A-BEE-C Match Game Stats:
~$17 at Amazon and a few mom & pop shops
2 or more players, always played in 2 teams
Time needed to play really depends on the skills of the players
Ages 5 and Up