Hungry Minds Study Games: Introducing - the Study Games Box
Designed by a Child&Youth Worker to make Homework & Studying Fun & Effective; Contains 4 Games that ANY School Work Can be Plugged Into
Like most products, the Study Games Box, was developed organically to solve a problem. The problem being - Most kids do not like to study or do their homework.
But what if you make the work into a game? Will they enjoy it then? Yes!
I developed these games out of necessity to engage students ranging from 4-12 years old over the course of several years in my TESL, SSW, CYW career and have used them in China, Mexico, and here in North America.
They work for any subject: English, Math, Science, History, Social Studies, Music, a Second Language, Social Skills, Behaviour Skills - even to teach a child the fundamentals of a sport.
Here's How they Work:
This Box is packed with my 4 best games and everything needed to play them. They are simple but effective and easy to learn and use.
Step 1: Pick a Game
Step 2: Open a text book and write questions on the sticky notes provided (and for one game, answers too).
Step 3: Stick them to the back of the cards that come with the game.
Step 4: Shuffle and Play.
Step 5: Enjoy the way these games have students naturally think and answer questions while they play. You will be surprised how fast they pick up skills, simply because they want to advance through the game and win.
Step 6: When finished, remove the stick notes and stack them, then place them on the Study Game Saver. (A folding question saver that allows you to use these notes again and again. So you can re-use them or recycle them, or both.)
Theme and Characters
I chose these characters because of how they complimented the games and age group. Most kids gravitate towards animal characters and I like that animals can appeal to students of all cultures. Inclusion is important to me, in large part due to my social service career background, and I made an intentional decision to create game pieces that both male and female students could relate to. Thus, double sided game tokens with male and female sides for all characters were created and are included for every game. We kept the universal theme by not editing hair style etc, but instead by only adding fuller lips, and longer eyelashes to create noticeably feminine characteristics but without being stereotypically different from the male characters.
Over the years I've tried Velcro, Erasable Markers, etc. and Stick Notes works better than all of them, time and time again. They are inexpensive and reusable.
The questions can easily be transferred from one game to another, or saved for another day of review.
As I got more serious about taking this product to market, my girlfriend gave me the great idea of: Instead of including a board game, why not make the box turn into one?
It took some trial and error, but finally I found a design of an easy to carry, handled box, that turns into a two level board game and back again. The sides can also be adjusted easily to angle out, so that players can see clearly into the game, and enjoy the graphics throughout.
ISLAND ADVENTURE EDITION
Game 1.) Elephants Never Forget. . .Well Sometimes
A mix of two things: a classic memory game and the old expression - an elephant never forgets.
(Note the Elephant, was given rosy cheeks instead of fuller lips, as they can't be seen under the trunk.)
Brief How to Play Game 1 Video
Game 2.) Fly SNAP
Inspired from the traditional game, categories, with a fun twist and incorporation of frogs and flies. Designed with the option of playing two ways, and can be used to review 1 to 4 subjects or skills at a time.
Brief How to Play Game 2 Video
Game 3.) Ocean Chase
Inspired from a few board games from my childhood, this is a fast-paced game of questions and answers; sink or swim. Fish must answer correctly to avoid being eaten.
Brief How to Play Game 3 Video
Game 4.) Island Escape
A beautiful and exciting two-level board game that uses all sides of the box to create a fun Island in which monkeys must answer questions to pass obstacles and "bosses" on their way to retrieve a gem from booby-trapped ruins and make it out of the jungle back to the beach.
Start from the beach and pass the crab boss, climb down the waterfall and creep past the bat cave. Try not to trip the booby-traps and grab a gem. Swing past the crocodile, back up the waterfall, and past the gorilla king, and you're safe. Or are you?
Very proud of this board game. It took a few prototypes, and some discussions with the Manufacturer, but I came up with a box that turns into a two level board game, with adjustable angled sides that allow for the players to really appreciate the great graphic work inside. Works very well. Scroll to "Evolution of the Game Box", for pictures of the process, and check out "Evolution of Hungry Minds Logo" and "Evolution of Game Pieces" while you're there.
How to Play Game 4 Video
Also Included in the STUDY GAMES Box
● 1 Die (Hungry Mind ™ Pink)
● 6 Pencils (Black, 3 inches, with eraser)
● Hungry Mind Study Games Official Blank Work Pad
● 8 Neon Stick Note Pads - In 4 Neon Colors:
(Game 1: Pink, Game 2: Green, Game 3: Blue, Game 4: Orange)
● Electric Timer
(so you can adjust the time limit to what suits the game or student)
● Sticky Tack pack
(great for engaging groups by sticking questions and game pieces to walls - Classroom tested!)
● "Hungry Mind" Large Eraser
● 4 "Sack Lunches" with "Hungry Mind" Logo
(black, draw string bags to hold each games' pieces Ready 2 Go)
● 3 Stickers with our "Hungry Mind" on them
(In 3 Colors - Hungry Mind neon Pink, Black, White)
(great for mirrors, binders, helmets, skate/snow/surf boards or anywhere)
● Study Question Saver - Save the sticky notes with your written questions/answers in this compact folder. This will come in handy. The Study Saver holds at least 20 Games worth of sticky notes.
(see below: first picture of outside of closing folder, followed by picture of inside folder)
Other Notable Features of this Product
Environmental Materials such as Recycled Paper Products and Water Based Ink are considered at each step in the manufacture.
The Study Games Box is a Patent Pending product, filed Feb. 20, 2013.
Hungry Minds Study Games Inc. is a Nationally Registered Business with Incorporated Status.
Love the video, music, voice over or artwork? Links below:
Special Thanks to the Designers & Artists who brought this project to Life:
Nataliia - Company Logo, Product Logo, Graphic Art on Box, All Game Pieces Including: Whale & Fly Characters, Cards, Mats, Tokens
Alex - Graphics: Main Characters; Elephant, Frog, Fish, Monkey
RodrigoAndrade - Motion Graphics, Video & Music/Voice/Video Sync
Cory - Background Music for Video
Cara Lee - Voiceover
Thanks to my girlfriend as well:
For the great ideas, and for believing in me.
Hungry for more?
Read below for The Evolution of the Study Games.
First laminated prototype games. Worked great, kept them coming.
The Evolution of the Study Box
This 4th game included was originally going to be a regular game board, but once my girlfriend thought of the idea of a box that becomes a game board the design process really started. The picture below includes the original rough sketch for the game board in the notepad, as well as the first prototype. I'm not much of an artist so the graphic sheet is mainly made of clip art. I'm also not much of a computer person, so I had to print the pictures out, cut them out by hand, tape them on a sheet, and then color photo copy them to be glued on thicker material before cutting it into a box. Some familiarity with photo-shop probably could have saved a lot of work, but sometimes slow and steady is all you need.
Once at the prototype stage, it was apparent right away that the sides of the box would need to angle out for the graphics to be seen clearly, as you can see below. The side graphics are a big part of the game, plus they look great, so that was the next step.
Here is my diagram for the first prototype, which did not work.
I figured out this second prototype by looking through some boxes at home for inspiration, and taking an idea from a pizza box and a shoe box lead me to a much better prototype. It works very well and the manufactures are able to make it mass produced for a good price with less cardboard being used.
The two-storey/level board game was not part of the original plan, but with some adjustments it naturally evolved and brought it to a whole new level. You can't see in the photo, but there is a support piece that keeps the top level standing. The manufactured version will have two supports.
The idea I adopted from a shoe box is these sliding wings that allow for the sides to be angled out while playing, and then angled back in when the box is closed again.
Finally, it all comes together. Just imagine this on professional durable cardboard with professional graphics inside. What kid wouldn't like that?
The Evolution of the Hungry Minds Logo
As you can see, the "Hungry Mind" was inspired by a grub, in that young minds are hungry for entertainment and, at times, knowledge. I pictured a grub-like brain eating what ever it could, and our game piece graphic designer, Nataliia, (check out "Special Thanks to" above) brought the vision to life.
It took some adjustments, and some brand colors were changed up. I read a lot about what types of things should go into a logo and we wanted it to be eye-catching, unique and fresh while representing company values such as: inclusion (purple, generally a unisex colour), environmental concern/fresh outlook (green) and the "light bulb moment" or "spark" of a new idea (yellow/orange). These later evolved to a strong/bright pink, black and white to include these concepts and for style (green was left out as we like to think that will speak for itself with materials used), and we were really happy with the outcome. The eye of the "Hungry Mind" evolved to be more aggressive throughout this process as well as we wanted to show the "Hunger" and "Engagement" of students, and also because from my experience working with kids, I feel they will gravitate towards a more exciting and interactive image.
Thank you for reading.
Risks and challenges
The ideal situation was to have this product produced in North America, in order to keep it local, contribute to job creation and the economy. After doing extensive research and weighing options, it was found that it was simply not feasible to do this at this stage in the game.
I will not compromise on the values of this company just because the product would be manufactured overseas. In addition to considerations for environmental impact, workers rights are being discussed with the manufacturer to ensure that our products are produced in a fair and safe facility.
2) Global Distribution
The reality of shipping a product overseas to and from any country is that both the business and the consumer will have to pay for it. it's just more expensive the longer a product has to travel.
So I took to the Internet, and again was reminded of what a great age it is for business start ups. B2B is a term for business to business, and there are a number of businesses that are made specifically for helping other businesses with new innovations (for a small profit of their own of course). There are global order fulfillment companies that have exactly what I was looking for (warehouses worldwide, concern for environmental impact in packaging, and user friendly integration) and do it very well. This really helps with shipping costs for customers, as it shrinks the distance between the warehouse and customers, which shrikes cost for them. I have this set up and ready to go, and I am happy to include all countries on the kickstarter mailing list as a result, for reasonable prices, not much more than it would be for those of us living in North America.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (24 days)