I love nature and encouraging people of all ages to go outside. Nature is an incredible resource for learning, health, and connection.
I’ve written about how important I think connecting to nature for parenting and learning in several previous posts:
Nature is one of the ten happiness helpers to use in creating your happiness action plan http://www.lisanalbone.com/2015/08/what-helps-us-be-happy/
Because of these posts, I learned about a nonprofit organization in the UK, Sensory Trust. Org, that has great programs and resources for creating accessible and engaging outdoor experiences.
Claire, from Sensory Trust, reached out to me to ask if I might be interested in trying out their card game gofindit, to see if I thought unschoolers might enjoy it. The game is designed to encourage people of all ages to engage with nature.
Here is what I found on the Sensory Trust Site about the organization:
Our aim is to make the outdoors accessible and enjoyable for all people, regardless of age, ability or social circumstance. Our work benefits young and older people, and people living with ill health or disabilities, together with their families and carers.
For over 25 years we’ve been cultivating an organisation that bridges disciplines, responds quickly to emerging trends, and remains focused on action. We’re proud to be custodians of such a positive and creative organisation.
Our work spans health and care environments, parks, schools, natural heritage and visitor destinations, and we are connected with like-minded organisations across the world. We work with the health, care and education sectors and with communities to change the way that places are designed and to bring nature-based experiences into the lives of people who need them most.
Key themes this year are using nature and the outdoors to:
Support people living with dementia, theirfamilies and carers, to maintain healthyand independent living.
Re-engage marginalised people with their local heritage and communities.
Support the development, wellbeing and learning of children with disabilities.
Here is what they had to say about the game:
gofindit is an instant natural treasure hunt that invites you to use all your senses. It is a simple, fun card game that can be played anywhere… down on the farm, at a picnic in the park, on a walk in the woods, at the beach… wherever.
It can be played by children and adults alike and no two games will be the same. The scavenger hunt game consists of 33 uniquely designed cards in a small drawstring bag which represent different sensations and sensory characteristics you can find outdoors in nature.
After taking a look at the Sensory Trust site, I decided I would love to try gofindit.
Discosure: Claire sent me a game, free of charge. When companies or people ask me to promote their products, my first response is to investigate the organization. Unless I feel like there is a good fit with my values and their mission, I won’t even consider it. Life is too short to waste time on product promotion unless the product is worthwhile. I think this game is a keeper and the mission serves the greater good. So, that said, here is the review!
It was so fun to get a box in the mail from the UK!!! I immediately thought – Oh I have to know where they got these printed, I have game ideas!!!
Here is a picture of what I found when I opened the package- A fabric bag holds the game cards and two cards with instructions for 3 different ways to play the game: gofindit fast, for gofindit first, or gofindit fantastic fit. The game can easily be modified to allow for time or ability constraints.
And as it says right on the cards, “ or play it your way, make up your own rules and gofindit!” Perfect for creative unschoolers.
I decided to field test the game with two different age groups.
While sitting in the backyard with two mom’s nursing their youngest children while their older tikes played, I showed them the game and asked for feedback. The loved the look and feel of the cards and the adaptability. They noted it wouldn’t work to hand the fame to a group of non readers. They liked the different game ideas and started coming up with their own ways they would use the cards – “like now, we need to be sitting to nurse, but we could show the kids a card and explain if needed, while they run off to find the item and bring it back to us.” Or on a hike, you know when the kids start to get a bit tired of walking, you could pull out the game and keep finding things along the trail,”
Or what a great thing to keep with you in your backpack and pull it out when you need a diversion, or when you are waiting.
Would you buy it? Yes! Perfect stocking stuffer, family gift, or birthday present
Next, I took the game to the group of homeschoolers that live in my neighborhood who play outside together in the court in front of my home. That day the group consisted of 6 kids from ages 8-14. I showed them the game and asked them if they wanted to test it out. Sure!
They sat down, read the directions out loud to each other, and decided to play the gofindit first version, where you shuffle the deck, turn one card over, and then race off to see who can find an item first. They played and raced around the neighborhood for about twenty minutes before bringing the cards back to me.
“That was fun! Can we play again sometime?”
So, yes, Claire, I did enjoy testing it out and think many unschoolers, homeschoolers, and families of all ages would enjoy playing gofindit as another way to enjoy the great outdoors. you can find the game at the SensoryTrustshop.org where they ship worldwide or on Amazon.com for $10 plus shipping.