Danger trap; a boardgame to teach safety through role play
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DangerTrap is a fun, innovative and essential game to be used as a tool in teaching children of all ages how to detect, avoid and escape dangerous situations. It is either played on a table size or floor size game board in which the players move around a path of travel determined by the number that is rolled on a die. Cards with role play situations, factual questions and situation questions are used in game play to meet the objectives of the game, teaching safety. A “trap” area is used to signify inappropriate responses. If the child responded in the same inappropriate way in real life, the child would be in danger. One of the more unique parts of this game is that it makes use of role play, which has been found to be an effective and powerful teaching tool. For the purpose of this game, role play means a short act written out to be performed by the adult causing free flowing interaction by the child. It is important that an adult guide the child(ren) through the game play so that the role play is effective.

Lascano, Kimberly (Los Angeles, CA, US)
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International Classes:
A63F3/00; A63F3/04; (IPC1-7): A63F3/00
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Primary Examiner:
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Kimberly, Lascano G. (4368 Eagle Rock Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, 90041, US)

What I claim as my invention is:

1. A method of playing a board game either table size or floor size, which with the help of an adult, teaches children how to detect, avoid, and escape dangerous situations and who to tell if the situation was unavoidable, specifically by use of role play and comprising the steps of: providing a playing area which has 3 alternating colored spaces, and a central area indicated by bars, called the “Trap”; providing a plurality of game pieces for movement around the playing area (only for the table size); providing a chance device for determining the number of spaces to move; providing cards that have dangerous situations in a role play format; providing cards that have dangerous situations and important information in a factual format; proving cards that have dangerous situations in a situational format; providing cards that have non-dangerous situations in factual, situation and role play format; providing a variety of small objects called props to be used with the role play cards; starting the game by each player rolling the die and moving to the respective space from the start space; the adult choosing the appropriate card and either reading or acting the card out with the player; the player moving to the “Trap” if unable to respond appropriately until his or her next turn; player returning to space if appropriately responds to the same card, during next turn after all other players have moved; declaring a player as a winner when the finish space is reached.



[0001] This invention relates to a game that is fun, yet children will learn to detect, avoid and escape dangerous situations. It also teaches children what to do and who to tell if an unavoidable situation occurs, including but not limited to abductions, molestation, accidental injury or poisoning, rape, and getting lost.

[0002] The game makes use of role play, which has a highly significant impact on learning. The use of role play in education has been long used and thoroughly researched (Van Ments, Morry; 1983). Use of role play has proved to be a powerful learning tool (Chesler, Mark and Fox, Robert; 1966). It allows children to put themselves in situations they have never experienced. It also allows children an opportunity to practice certain behaviors, or in this case reactions to certain situations which are created to simulate real dangers. Given simulated dangerous situations, role play allows children to practice reactions and gain a sense of control; it empowers children. The role play aspect in DangerTrap, which is a short act written out to outline potentially dangerous situations, performed by an adult with free flowing interaction by the child, serves to teach and empower children regarding these dangerous situations.

[0003] We have seen through countless media accounts that most children that have been abducted or molested were taught not to go with strangers and not to talk with strangers. However, this is not enough. First, a person who intends harm on a child will not represent him or herself as a stranger; attempting to confuse the child. Secondly, many abductions and molestation's are within the family. The Department of Justice estimates that 354,100 family abductions occur each year. They report that approximately 4,600 short-term non-family abductions are reported each year. Approximately 438,200 children are lost or missing each year (Federal Register; Mar. 8, 1999).

[0004] By using role play, already proven effective, this game will increase children's ability to detect, avoid and escape danger far beyond telling children about the dangers. Children also have the opportunity to experience success in detecting, avoiding and escaping dangerous situations without really experiencing the danger through the use of role play.

[0005] DangerTrap makes use of a game or playing board with a specific path of travel, a chance device, colored game pieces, cards color coded to coincide with the game board with specific information on each card to help children detect and avoid dangerous situations and small objects called props to help facilitate the role play. One set of cards include situations that a child must respond to as True or False or chose the best answer of a multiple choice question. Another set of cards include factual questions for the child to address such as; what school do you attend? what is your fathers full name? The third set of cards include role play situation, in which an adult acts out the role play situations on the card, engaging the child in the role play for a free flowing response.

[0006] There are few games with the intent to teach detection and avoidance of dangerous situations. What I found to exist deal with a particular danger (Traffic safety: U.S. Pat. No. 4,953,871, bus safety; U.S. Pat. No. 4,731,026, and U.S. Pat. No. 5,722,658; industrial safety) or simply ask questions about what to do in particular situations as in U.S. Pat. No. 5,826,877. U.S. Pat. No. 5,071,134 addresses the one issue of drug and alcohol use by using question and statement cards only. U.S. Pat. No. 6,120,296 teaches safety by use of questions and answers only.

[0007] There are few games that teach child safety in a variety of locations, as in U.S. Pat. No. 5,826,877, wherein the board is divided into 6 regions; a bus stop and neighborhood, school, a playground, a fire department and a shopping mall. While this game involves more aspects to a child's safety, it is still limited to specific places. Further this game as well as the others mentioned is limited to questions regarding safety, where the player is to answer the question. In DangerTrap, role-play is the primary teaching tool. The present invention (DangerTrap) goes well beyond the “teachings” that parents usually do about not talking to or going with strangers and well beyond the previous games that merely ask questions and make statements about one particular danger, as in the art sited above. The limitations to the usual parental teachings and the previous game(s) are that generally a stranger that intends harm on a child will do anything and everything to mask the fact that he/she is a stranger and/or distract the child with an emergency that they forget what to do or what not to do. Intellectually, the child knows not to talk with or go with a stranger. But in reality, as we have seen on the countless stories of children being abducted, they were “taught” not to go with strangers, but they went anyway. Through practice of hundreds of role plays within this game, children will be able to bridge the gap between what is being taught and reality. Role play allows real life situations to be explored without the real danger.

[0008] There are also non-dangerous, not-threatening role play situations mingled in the cards so that the player must think about the situation and respond accordingly, rather than answer or respond in the manner of expecting all questions and role play to represent a danger.

[0009] Some prior art make use of cards with questions and answers as in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,071,134 and 6,120,296 to name a couple. It is obvious that games would make use of cards in game play and that they would be color coded to the path of travel. However, it is new and different that the cards are used to teach safety, detection and avoidance of potentially dangerous situations, including but not limited to situations leading to abduction, molestation, rape, accidental injury and poisoning. It is also new and different to use cards with role play as it is used and defined in DangerTrap to teach safety.

[0010] U.S. Pat. No. 5,826,877 makes use of an area called “the principal” which is used if an question is answered wrong. There are other games which use this type of “penalty area”, however what is new and different is that upon going to the “trap” in DangerTrap, the adult playing with the children helps the player realize an appropriate answer and that same role-play or question is repeated during his next turn. Upon an appropriate answer, the player gets out of the trap and returns to his previous space. Thus, in this game, the trap area is utilized to represent that the child is in danger. An example of this would be in a role play situation that a child would go with a stranger who is looking for his lost dog. The child would place his playing piece in the “Trap” until his next turn, where he would have a chance to respond to the same situation again after the adult helped him realize a better way to respond.

[0011] In relation to games which make use of role-play, some exist, but they do not make use of role-play in a manner to teach child safety. U.S. Pat. No. 4,932,667 makes use of playing a role of a performing artist, purpose being to judge the player on verbal and acting skills of his/her performance. This differs vastly from DangerTrap in that the player in DangerTrap is not judged for his/her acting skills. DangerTraps purpose is to give the player a chance to practice avoiding, detecting, and getting out of potentially dangerous situations. U.S. Pat. No. 6,019,371 makes slight use of role-play in that the player role-plays a CEO of his won company, the purpose of which has nothing to do with that of safety as in DangerTrap. U.S. Pat. No. 5,413,488 makes slight use of role-play by way of a structure of a fire engine, which is the invention. The Child role-plays being a fireman. Again, this does not have the same purpose as DangerTraps safety purpose. U.S. Pat. No. 5,607,160 makes use of acting by drawing an “act” card which is to challenge the players knowledge and talent in theatrical situations. It does not have the purpose of teaching safety as does the present invention of DangerTrap.

[0012] To help facilitate the role play, certain objects are included for use; to be called “Props”. Examples of these props are: pictures of a dog, baby and cat, fake $100 bill, police or fire badge, pair of glasses, medicine bottle, and other such items. These are to be used with the role play if the role play card suggests to use the prop. For example, the role play of the stranger asking the child to help him find his lost dog, a picture of a dog would be shown to the child by the adult playing the “stranger”. The props help bring a sense of reality to the role play. This inventor has not found any prior art which makes use of objects for the purpose of giving a sense of reality to the role play or to teach a child safety.

[0013] While there are many games which make use of a gameboard, die, playing pieces, a path along the gameboard, fake money and penalty areas, these games do not make use of these items in the objective to teach children how to detect, avoid and get out of potentially dangerous situations particularly through the use of role-play.

[0014] Because the game has three facets of teaching (factual, situation, and role play), virtually all possible situations can be introduced to the child. When a child practices a variety of situations, he or she will be more able to deal with real situations successfully, if needed. With all of the dangers surrounding our children (and teens) the more awareness and practice in detection and avoidance a child has, the better the child can avoid any terrible situation. Thus, this game (invention) is essential and improves upon all prior art attempting to each safety by virtue of the role playing and the multitude of situations presented to the player.


[0015] This invention, DangerTrap, is a game that teaches and reinforces children to detect, avoid, and escape dangerous situations, which include, but not limited to, situations leading to abductions, molestation, getting lost, peer pressure and accidental injuries and poisonings. It is done through a fun, innovative approach. It surpasses previous attempts at teaching safety because it has the role play element, of which its effectiveness was discussed in the background of the invention. The role play element is what sets this game apart from all other attempts at teaching safety. Role play as it is used in DangerTrap is defined as a short act written out to be performed by the adult and causing free flowing interaction by the child in order to learn new behavior or have increase understanding regarding dangerous situations.

[0016] The game is fun, challenging and exciting. It can be played with one player and an adult or many players and an adult. An adult must guide the child(ren) through game play so that the role play is effective. It is able to accomadate most children age 4 -10. The game has questions and role plays that are neutral or “non traps” so the player has to distinguish dangerous situations from non-dangerous situations rather than answering in mode of expected answers.

[0017] The game is played, using a die to determine the number of spaces to advance on a game board with a specific path of travel. The adult then reads or acts out the card if it is a role play card. The player responds by answering the question or engaging in the role play. If the response is appropriate, the turn proceeds to the next player. If the answer is not appropriate, the child goes to a “trap” area and awaits his next turn. The adult helps the child understand an appropriate response so that he or she is prepared for the next turn, which will be the same question or role play. Play continues to the next player. The winner is determined by whoever reaches the finish space first.

[0018] This game provides children a means in which to actively participate in learning about dangerous situations, a “feeling” of experiencing dangerous situations and an experience of successfully detecting, avoiding and escaping those dangerTraps.


[0019] FIG. 1 is a view of the DangerTrap board game apparatus 10 which shows the playing path 12, the Trap 14, the start space 16, the finish space 18. It also shows the game pieces 20 and the chance device 22 in the form of a die.

[0020] FIG. 2A shows an example of the factual cards.

[0021] FIG. 2B shows an example of the situation cards.

[0022] FIG. 2C shows an example of the role play cards.

[0023] FIG. 3 shows a group of examples of props to be used in the role play cards. This is not an inclusive list or display of props to be included. Specifically pointed out are a police badge 30, a fireman badge 32, a picture of a dog 34, and a pair of glasses 36.


[0024] Referring to FIG. 1, the game board 10 has a simple path that goes around the board. It has 3 alternating color shapes which make up the spaces (for example blue, green and orange) 12. In the middle of the board is an area called the “Trap” 14 and is indicated with stripes over three different colored shapes, each color and shape is the same as is on the pathway.

[0025] The game board can be two sizes; table size and floor size. The floor size game uses the same colored patterned spaces 12 and the same central “Trap” area 14. The table size version uses game pieces 20 where as the floor size version uses the players as the game pieces.

[0026] A chance device 22 such as die is used to determine the number of spaces to move.

[0027] There are three sets of cards as seen in FIGS. 2A, 2B, and 2C. Each set is the color of one space on the game board. Each color represents whether the card is a factual 2A, a situational 2B, or a role play card 2C. Examples of each will follow at the end of this description.

[0028] To begin play, the first player rolls the die and moves that number of spaces from the start space 16. A card coordinated to the color of space and the age of the player, is read by the adult. If the player lands on the space the color of the role play cards FIG. 2C, the adult gets the necessary props FIG. 3 (if indicated on the card), reads the card and begins the role play. If the player lands on the space the color of the situation FIG. 2B or factual cards FIG. 2A, the adult reads the card to the player. In any case, the player responds. If the response is appropriate, the player remains on that space. If the response is inappropriate, the player must move to the “Trap” area 14. The adult should help the player understand an appropriate response. The adult can solicit help from the other players. The “trapped” player will have an opportunity to get out upon the next turn. The adult asks or role plays the same situation. If the player responds appropriately, the player returns to the previous space. Play continues to the next player. Play continues until one player reaches the finish space 18.

[0029] The following are examples of the cards included in the game.

[0030] Examples of factual cards (FIG. 2A):

[0031] What is your telephone Number?

[0032] What number do you call if there is an emergency?

[0033] What is your full name?

[0034] Examples of Situation cards (FIG. 2B):

[0035] You are at home alone with your mom. She fell and will not wake up. Press the number that you call to get help. 1


[0036] A Stranger is:

[0037] A. Nice

[0038] B. Ugly

[0039] C. Always bad

[0040] D. Someone that I do not know

[0041] Your little sister, brother, or cousin is sticking things into the electrical plug. You are always getting in trouble for bothering younger kids. What should you do?

[0042] A. Ignore it—it is not your business

[0043] B. Tell the child to stop touching it

[0044] C. Slap the child's hand

[0045] D. Tell an adult

[0046] A Stranger is:

[0047] A. Always a man

[0048] B. Always an adult

[0049] C. Always bad

[0050] D. None of the above

[0051] Examples of Role Play Cards (FIG. 2C):

[0052] Role Play

[0053] Props: fireman badge (32)

[0054] Adult gesture and emotion: helpful

[0055] Set up: You are at home. Your Dad is in the back yard. You are alone inside the house. I am someone that you do not know. I have a fireman badge on. I am knocking on your front door.

[0056] Dialogue: Open up. We hear that there is a poisonous leak in the houses in this neighborhood. I must check it out. See . . . here is my badge. Open up. If Child opens door-TRAPPED.

[0057] Role Play

[0058] Props: Dog picture (34)

[0059] Adult gesture and emotion: Frantic

[0060] Set up: You are at the park with your mom. She is talking with a friend. You are playing on the jungle gym. I am a person that you do not know.

[0061] Dialogue: Have you seen my dog? This is what he looks like. He just ran off. Oh, I hope he doesn't get hit by a car. Could you help me find him. My son will feel so sad if anything happened to him. Grab child's hand gently to persuade. Come on, we must hurry. If Child goes-TRAPPED.

[0062] Example of a Non-Trap Role Play Card (FIG. 2C):

[0063] Role Play

[0064] Props: Glasses (36)

[0065] Adult gesture and emotion: Old and frail. Place glasses on ground nearby.

[0066] Set up: You are at the mall with your aunt. Your aunt is glancing in a window while you are patiently waiting to get to the store you want to go. I am an old man (or woman) that you do not know.

[0067] Dialogue: Child, could you pick up my glasses. They fell right there, and I'm afraid if I bend over to get them, I'll never get back up. This is most likely not a danger trap. Your aunt is very close to you. If you did not pick up the glasses, you were being rude.

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