Guest: Anne Mohr
How did Make Time for Kids get its name? I was looking for the best name to give “I’ve Got an Appointment” (IGAA), the educational card game that I am the author of. This game could have been another electronic game but I was witnessing that electronics were becoming babysitters for too many children. I thought they really enjoyed playing but what I have found was they play because they are bored. Children are losing the art of conversation as well. The name of the company gently reminds us to make time for kids because there truly is so much value in playing games. I am an example of the truth that a family that plays together stays together. We looked forward to playing games while I was growing up in a large family. We still do today. I didn’t have electronics back then and I was never bored a day in my life. We learned so many values all while having fun. This is a good lead in as to why “IGAA” will bring this to your family as well. I am so excited to share the countless hours I have played with children from 2 ½ years of age to 80+. We had so much fun exploring the many ways to play with these cards.
The biggest surprise to me was when an 8th grader was pacing by me looking at what I was doing. I was testing a new game version that I had been thinking about and playing 2 to 3 different hands. That is what I have to do when no one is available to play. My granddaughter and grandson at times help me test the new versions, but I was away on vacation. After the 3rd time he came past my table I asked him if he wanted to play. He said he had never seen cards like that before and was curious. He agreed to try and we played the 3 levels that were part of the original game and then played other versions. During the Deluxe version I noticed his intensity growing as he mastered the art of the game. I asked him, “on a scale of 1-10 what he thought” and this is what he said to me. “Are you kidding? You have my undivided attention. A 10”. He also loved the fact that he was beating the author at her own game. I laughed and told him that it is a game of chance and that he was lucky in making the most appointments. We played for an unbelievable 5 hours and the only reason he left was that he was called to dinner. Memories for both of us!
Another time while on vacation I sat in the game room and played with a 5 year old. She sat down and asked me to teach her one game after the other. After 8 games I asked her if she was going to remember how to play each of them and she nodded her head yes and said, “teach me another”. Her grandmother who was also with her said, “Yes she will, she is so smart.” I was amazed that she was like a little sponge.
I was volunteering at a Boys and Girls club in Florida a few years back and will always remember the child who sat alone and could not speak or hear. She watched us while we played the beginner game where you have to have the Season/Month card with color matching Day and Time cards to win the game and declare “I’ve Got an Appointment”. One of the boys decided to go watch a movie and while I was turned away for a moment the same little girl who was watching came over and sat down next to me. I asked her if she wanted to play, not knowing she couldn’t hear or speak. She nodded her head yes. Children started to tell me she couldn’t hear. I told them it was ok she could see. Another child came up to me and told me she couldn’t talk. I told them it was ok, she could see. Both children were surprised by my response because they were used to her just sitting alone. We began to play the game and I showed her an appointment that didn’t match and shook my head no. Then I showed her the correct matching all cards Season/Month Day and Time having the same color and nodded my head yes. After a few tries she finally got it and also made the appointment. So we clapped for her. I don’t know sign language but when she reached up and stroked my face, I knew it was a sign of appreciation. She had a smile on her face that lit the room. A teacher was watching us and she told me they didn’t even know her grade level. Bringing delight to this child who was just sitting there and became engaged is the reason I do what I do.
One last example I want to share with this awesome game and how it is developing a life of its own. I share with people not to underestimate the minds of their children; they are more advanced than we know. One day after hearing me tell many people day after day that you can become a Version Author, just by coming up with a different way to play, my own granddaughter who was 4 years old at the time said to me that she wanted to “PLAY MY WAY”. So I asked her to show me. So she told me to place the deck on the table and we would each draw a card. If we needed it, we would keep it. If not, we would offer it to the next player. If they didn’t need it, they would discard it. What a cute way to play! I never thought to give a discard to the next player. You see, all the cards are placed face up in front of each player so you can easily see if they need it. Then she goes on to say that the first person to get all 4 season appointments wins the game. Still shocked that this 4 year old came up with such a great version, let alone understood the concept of creating a game, I asked her what the rules were and she said the youngest player goes first and it has to be fun, that’s all. I learned a few things from this smart and loving little girl. Young children don’t like to hold cards in their hands, lovingly giving the next player the card you don’t need and they do, and lastly don’t underestimate even your own grandchildren. This created not only a new version but a “Jenna” style of games where you don’t have to hold the cards. From this idea I have created several versions of this style, some with my granddaughters help. Seniors also have a hard time holding the cards so they will benefit from this style of playing. So a new version with a new style was born.
So as you can see, there is great diversity in playing with this one card game where we have over 55 versions to date and still continuing to come up with more and more. The main focus of developing this game was to create an aid to teach the calendar concepts and time of day in a fun way. But I soon found that adults enjoy playing and creating versions as well. The game spans from easy to more intense with all the many ways to play. Some games are played with game boards of different surfaces. We have placemat games and binder games which can be personalized. Children as young as 2 ½ love to play the match game with the 12 Season/Month cards. The repetition of seeing these cards and discovering which card is their birthday month has delighted them so much. As they play they tell you again and again which card is their birthday card. So much fun! My 6 year old granddaughter can now proudly read the GoodNews/BadNews cards and is excited to now be able to play the Junior version. They learn many more concepts in this version. She wanted to read more of the cards so we came up with a version where each player gets 5 GoodNews/BadNews cards and they have to draw a matching card that is written on the card, ignoring the “ASK FOR” or “LOSE” statement. The first player to match up all their 5 cards wins the game. She added a way to show who wins the round. You will have to wait to read the rules to find out how. This co-created game is called “PRIORITY MAIL”. This one is not yet documented but will soon be in the GAMES folder in my DROPBOX. You can request free access to download the many versions and game surfaces in this folder by sending me an email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The value of the game becomes greater with each new version. Just think, you can pay upwards of $25 for a game board today and with this game, if you divide the many ways to play to date by the $15 standard price, it only costs $.27 a game. Where can you get so much fun for that price? Nowhere!
In closing, if you enjoyed this article you can follow the fun on Facebook: I’ve Got an Appointment” or IGAA LEARNING. Both have additional fun event posts showing time spent with playing this game. The IGAA game never gets old because, like I said, the game takes on a life of its own with the so many new innovative ways players continue to create. Join us in sharing and becoming part of this awesome game that your children can learn from and your family and friends will love to play.