Title:
Method of playing an educational board game
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention is a means of playing an educational board game. Topics for children to which this means of play can be applied include safety around dogs, street-proofing, accident prevention, manners and dog obedience training. The game comprises a game board and playing markers, a numbered spinning device to define movement around the board and sets of instructional cards. By way of messages on the game board, activities described on the various instructional cards and various means of reward and penalty set out in the rules, several learning and teaching strategies are employed so that players are amused and learning concurrently. These strategies include modelling, conditioning, positive and negative reinforcement, response to verbal and visual cues, and physical activity. Individual and group activities occur throughout the period of play. Criteria for success in some of the activities are graded to provide greater challenge for older children and adults.



Inventors:
Orr, Joan Christine (Campbellville, CA)
Application Number:
10/159643
Publication Date:
12/04/2003
Filing Date:
06/03/2002
Assignee:
ORR JOAN CHRISTINE
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
273/444, 273/430
International Classes:
A63F3/00; A63F9/18; A63F1/04; A63F9/00; A63F11/00; (IPC1-7): A63F3/00; A63F9/18
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
RADA, ALEX P
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Joan Orr (Campbellville, ON, CA)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A method of playing an educational board game including a board with a series of spaces, a numbered spinning device to control movement and actions of the players, several game pieces, sets of instructional cards and a set of matching-up cards to be associated with pictures shown on the game board, said method including the steps of: spinning the spinning device and moving forward the designated number of spaces or performing an action along with the other players as designated by the spinner; gaining a reward or bearing a penalty according to the description of the positive or negative attributes of the activity described on the landing space; or taking an instructional card as indicated on the landing space and providing an interpretation of a photograph shown on a card; or taking an instructional card as indicated on the landing space and engaging in an activity either alone or with the rest of the players in accordance with instructions printed on the card; or taking an instructional card as indicated on the landing space and answering a true/false or multiple choice question correctly; or taking a matching-up card and identifying a photograph shown somewhere on the game board that could be appropriately considered to have a clear association with the matching-up card.

2. The method of claim 1 in which the nature of reward is a tangible marker to be collected by the player, movement ahead on the game board or award of an extra turn.

3. The method of claim 1 in which the nature of the penalty is the loss of a tangible marker previously won, movement backwards on the game board, loss of a subsequent turn or banishment to an undesirable area of the board with consequent setback to the player.

4. The method of claim 1 in which the numbered spinning device comprises numbered spaces and also a space containing a symbol which directs all players simultaneously to engage in an activity, for which the fastest player is rewarded with a tangible marker.

5. The method of claim 1 in which one set of instructional cards shows photographs which require correct interpretation by the player, with reward of a tangible marker for a correct response.

6. The method of claim 5 in which the game is played by a plurality of participants and that the criteria for success in completing the requirements set out in the cards is more stringent for older players and less stringent for younger players so that a wide age range of participants can enjoy the game in the spirit of fair play.

7. The method of claim 1 in which one set of instructional cards contains cards containing written descriptions of activities to be undertaken so that the player has a chance of winning a tangible marker.

8. The method of claim 7 in which some of the cards contain questions, with correct answers resulting in the reward of the player with a tangible marker.

9. The method in claim 7 in which some of the cards contain scripts for “Simon Says” in which all players participate and which provides the active player with the opportunity to win a tangible marker.

10. The method in claim 7 in which some of the cards contain descriptions of scenarios to be acted out by the active player and other players such that the active player demonstrates a safe way of handling the situation that is presented and in doing so wins a tangible marker.

11. The method in claim 10 in which the player must identify the appropriate “tool” that they have employed in safely handling the situation, in accordance with the list of available “tools” shown pictorially in the game materials.

12. The method in claim 1 in which the player is instructed to obtain a matching-up card upon which is depicted one of the “tools” appropriate for the topic of the game and which is to be matched with a picture shown in the game materials, with success being rewarded with a tangible marker.

13. The method in claim 12 in which older players must show more matches than younger players and must provide more detailed explanations of their choices in order to win a tangible marker.

14. The method in claim 1 in which several different learning and teaching strategies are employed in order to impart the information presented in the game.

15. The method in claim 14 in which the strategies employed include modelling, conditioning, response to verbal cues, response to visual cues, practice through physical actions, positive and negative reinforcement.

16. The method in claim 1 in which the game is played by a plurality of players all of whom frequently have the opportunity to participate in activities dictated for the turn of another player.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] None

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] This invention relates to an educational game that can be played with a board and playing markers or on a computer by way of a CD-ROM.

[0003] There are numerous board and computer games currently available, some of which include an educational component. There are also some US patents that describe board games designed to instruct children on safety rules. For example:

[0004] U.S. Pat. No. 5,988,642 to Ziemba,

[0005] U.S. Pat. No. 5,860,652 to Ruff,

[0006] U.S. Pat. No. 5,826,877 to Glassman, and

[0007] U.S. Pat. No. 5,810,358 to Manson.

[0008] The invention described herein differs from those previously described in that the topic area of child safety around dogs has not before been the main focus of any game. In addition the educational methods including modelling, conditioning, visual identification and group activity components have not been incorporated into previously described safety games.

[0009] The incidence of dog bites to children has been rising and governments in various countries are addressing citizen demands for action, including breed bans and vicious dog legislation. Dog bite incidence data from the US, Canada and the Netherlands indicate that most dog bites are not the result of roaming vicious dogs, but are caused by the family dog or other dog known to the child. These are preventable bite situations. This game is intended to aid in dog bite prevention through education of both children and parents. The game provides tools and training in the use of these tools through play to empower children so that they can successfully assess situations involving dogs and can make safe choices for their own actions.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0010] The invention is a board game intended to provide amusement while imparting knowledge and strategies that will reduce the risk of dog bites to children. The game comprises a game board, moveable playing markers, a numbered spinning device, reward tokens and sets of instructional cards. Players advance along the trail of dog footprints that denote the playing path. Movement along the path is determined by spinning a numbered spinning wheel and moving forward by the number of spaces indicated. Players are rewarded by winning a token representing a dog bone for landing on spaces that describe a safe interaction with a dog. They are similarly rewarded if they land on a space directing them to one of the instructional cards and they correctly carry out the required action. In some cases the player is rewarded by gaining another turn or by moving ahead by one or more spaces. Players are penalized through the loss of a dog bone token if they land on a space describing a dangerous interaction with a dog. In cases of a severely dangerous situation the player is set back in his progress along the game path by means of being sent to hospital. In other cases the player is set back by means of being sent to the vet or into quarantine. Players who are deemed to have talked to a stranger without permission are set back in his progress through the loss of a turn. Players who land on spaces describing unfortunate (but not dangerous) incidents are set back by having to retreat one or more spaces. The game is over once the first player reaches the finish space. This player receives two bone tokens as a reward. The winning player is the one who has collected the most bone tokens.

BREIF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

[0011] FIG. 1 is a diagram of the game board;

[0012] FIG. 2 shows examples of the instructional cards upon which are shown photographs of dogs showing various body language signals or photographs of dogs and children engaged in various safe or dangerous activities (these are called “See-See-See It” cards);

[0013] FIG. 3 shows examples of the instructional cards upon which are written questions, descriptions of scenarios to be acted out by the players or scripts for “Simon Says” games to be played by all players (these are called “Do-Do-Do It cards);

[0014] FIG. 4 shows the “toolbox” cards that show photographs of the “tools” that can be used in safely interactions between children and dogs;

[0015] FIG. 5 shows the numbered spinning device used to indicate the number of spaces a player may move forward and also to indicate times at which all players must race to “be the fastest tree” when confronted with the snarling dog. The player who gets to his feet and assumes the correct “tree” position is rewarded with a bone token.

[0016] FIG. 6 illustrates the “be a tree” concept, showing photographically how the players are to pose when the numbered spinning device indicates the snarling dog.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0017] The underlying objective of the game is to instruct players (particularly children and their parents) in behaviours and actions that will reduce the risk of the occurrence of dog bites to children. This objective is met through various means including the following:

[0018] safety messages printed on the game squares;

[0019] instructional cards showing pictures of dogs with interpretations of the dog's body language printed on the reverse of the card;

[0020] instructional cards showing pictures of dogs and children engaged in various activities, with identification of the depicted activity as safe or dangerous printed on the reverse side of the card;

[0021] instructional cards describing scenarios involving dogs and children which the players must act out correctly to a safe conclusion, with a description of the correct actions printed on the card;

[0022] instructional cards showing the scripts for “Simon Says” games with safe actions being associated with “Simon Says” and dangerous actions being associated with a command from the card reader that is not prefaced with the phrase “Simon Says”;

[0023] instructional cards showing true and false questions related to safe or dangerous interactions with dogs and having the correct answer printed on the card;

[0024] instructional cards showing multiple choice questions related to safe or dangerous interactions with dogs and having the correct answer printed on the card;

[0025] a matching activity in which the player must match a picture of a “tool” that can be used in maintaining safety in dog/child interactions, with a picture showing a dog for which the subject “tool” would be appropriately used;

[0026] opportunities to practice the most important safety action described in the game (that is—to act like a tree if a strange, frightening or overly excited dog approaches) at random intervals in the game as dictated by the pointer on the game's numbered spinning device pointing to a picture of a snarling dog.

[0027] The game embodies several key learning and teaching strategies including positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, modelling, conditioning, visual information, auditory information and physical activity.

[0028] The game board is shown in FIG. 1. All players begin on the Start space 1. Players move forward along the path denoted by different coloured dog footprints 2. The footprint spaces are colour coded as follows:

[0029] Green: words written on the spaces inform the player that they have been involved in a safe interaction with a dog, or that a good thing has happened because of a dog. Examples are:

[0030] Ask for puppy kisses on your hand—go ahead one space

[0031] Avoid a lunging and excited dog (win a bone)

[0032] Throw a ball for a dog (win a bone)

[0033] Act like a tree when a strange dog approaches—spin again (win a bone)

[0034] Red: words written on the spaces inform the player that they have been involved in an unsafe interaction with a dog, or that an unfortunate thing has happened because of a dog. Examples are:

[0035] Step in dog poop—go back 3 spaces

[0036] Play tug of war with a dog (lose a bone)

[0037] Put your face close to a dog's face—dog bites (go to hospital) 3

[0038] Get fleas—go to vet 5

[0039] Bitten by a strange dog—go to quarantine 7 for rabies shots

[0040] Ask a stranger if you can pat her puppy—lose a turn

[0041] Yellow: Take a yellow See-See-See-It card (FIG. 2)—win a bone for correct interpretation

[0042] Purple: Take a purple Do-Do-Do-It card (FIG. 3)—win a bone for correct answer or correct action

[0043] Blue: Toolbox space—player takes a Toolbox card (FIG. 4) and must match it to a photograph that shows a dog or situation to which the tool could be appropriately applied on the game board 14—win a bone for a correct match

[0044] A player may leave hospital 3 by choosing either a Do-Do-Do-It card (FIG. 3) or a See-See-See-It card (FIG. 2) and providing a correct interpretation or demonstrating a correct action and then spinning the spinner and moving along the hospital return track 4 to rejoin the main track 2. The player must use the hospital return track 4 that is closest to the point at which the main track 2 was exited for the trip to the hospital. Players can leave the vet 5 via the vet return track 6, and may leave the quarantine 7 via the quarantine return track 8 by choosing either a Do-Do-Do-It card or a See-See-See-It card and providing a correct interpretation or demonstrating a correct action and then spinning the spinner and moving along the appropriate return track 5,6 to rejoin the main track 2.

[0045] If a player lands on the space marked “Climb Tree” 12, then the player must go up the ladder and into the tree 9 to land on the space within the tree marked “Take a See-See-See-It card” 11. If the interpretation for the card is given correctly the player may descend the tree via the slide 13 on his next turn and continue on the main track 2 on subsequent turns.

[0046] While travelling on the main track 2 players will encounter bifurcations in the track 15. The player may take the path of his choice at these points. These bifurcations are included to increase the variety of messages that could be included in the game without increasing the playing time.

[0047] The game is ended when the first player reaches the Finish space 16. This player will receive bonus bone tokens as a reward for finishing first. All players will cease play at this point and will count their bone tokens. The player with the most tokens will be deemed the winner.

[0048] The symbol of a tree 9 is dominant feature on the game board. The purpose of this is to reinforce and provide a constant reminder of the most important safety concept imparted by the game. That is the act of “being a tree” when a strange, frightening or overly excited dog or puppy approaches. The act of “being a tree” is shown on the tree symbol in three photographs 10, that illustrate the three steps: I) Stop, II) Fold in your branches and III) Watch your roots grow and count as high as you can over and over in your head until an adult arrives or the dog goes away. The “be a tree” concept is shown in FIG. 6. This and other information relevant to the basis of the safety information is explained in further detail in a parent's guide to be included with the game.

[0049] The “be a tree” concept is also reinforced during game play at random intervals. The numbered spinning device (FIG. 5) is divided into numbered spaces that indicate the number of spaces along the game track that a player may move. The spinning device (FIG. 5) also has one space that instead of a number, shows a picture of a snarling dog. When the spinner points to this space all players must get to their feet and “be like a tree” as they would if confronted with such a dog in real life. This is a modelling technique, in which the players physically perform the action that is the learning target. The action is repeated over and over at random intervals with the intent that the response becomes conditioned and the child will undertake the correct action in the face of the stimulus (aggressive or strange dog) in a real-life situation. In the game setting the player who assumes the appropriate “tree” position the fastest wins a bone token. Players who refuse to participate in the group “be a tree” activity for reasons other than physical inability or illness will go immediately to hospital since they will be deemed to have been bitten by the dog. The player whose turn resulted in the spinner pointing to the snarling dog will spin again so as to make forward progress on this turn.

[0050] A player landing on a yellow space is instructed to take a See-See-See-It card (FIG. 2). These cards contain pictures of dogs 17 showing various types of body language or in various types of activities involving children. In addition to the photograph the card shows symbols 18 that indicate whether the dog is known or a strange dog and whether or not there is adult supervision. The player must study the photograph and the symbols and decide whether the dog would be safe or dangerous to approach or whether the activity shown on the card is safe or dangerous. The correct interpretation and explanation are on the reverse of the card. Criteria for answers to be deemed correct are more stringent for older children and adults, with three age ranges included. This allows for various ages of players to enjoy the game with age-appropriate levels of challenge. The player wins a bone for a correct interpretation. These activities also have a conditioning aspect, since a set of basic principles are repeated in various different ways.

[0051] A player landing on a purple space is instructed to take a Do-Do-Do-It card (FIG. 3). These cards contain one of the following type of activity:

[0052] true or false question;

[0053] multiple choice question:

[0054] “Simon Says” script

[0055] scenario description

[0056] A player wins a bone for a correct answer to a question. All players participate in “Simon Says”, with the active player being eligible to win a bone if correctly played. Scenarios are acted out by various players as instructed on the card. The active player must use an appropriate strategy to handle the situation safely and win a bone. The player must be able to identify the “tool” that was used in safely handling the situation by pointing to the appropriate “tool” or “tools” from the available “tools” shown pictorially on the game board. The tools are as follows:

[0057] mouth to ask for permission or for help

[0058] fist to let dog sniff in greeting

[0059] eyes to look over dog or situation in deciding on safety

[0060] body to “be a tree” so that a frightening, strange or overly excited dog will go away

[0061] legs to walk away from an unsafe situation in which the dog has no direct access to the child (e.g., tied up, lunging on a leash, behind a fence, in a car etc.)

[0062] The tools and the reasons for their use will be explained on an explanatory card to be included with the game. The “Simon Says” and scenarios are modelling techniques in which the players physically perform actions, or watch others perform correct. These are also intended to contribute to generating conditioned responses that children will use in real-life situations.

[0063] A player landing on a blue “toolbox” space is instructed to obtain a “tool” card (FIG. 6). There are five tool cards showing the tools described above. The player must identify a photograph shown on the game board 14 to which the “tool” is applicable. For example if the player obtains the “legs” tool, they would have a correct match if they pointed to a picture of a dog tied to a dog house. Older players are required to identify more matches and provide a greater level of explanation than younger players. These activities will further contribute to the development of conditioned responses since they repeat and reinforce the concepts presented throughout the game.

[0064] The foregoing provides a description of a means of playing a board game with certain unique features including interpretation of information in photographs, physical activity in the form of acting out scenarios to demonstrate knowledge of a topic, “Simon Says” and actions related to a cue from the numbered spinning device (FIG. 5). The behaviour conditioning aspects incorporated in this means of playing a board game are not known by the applicants to be incorporated in other such games for children. Another unique aspect incorporated into the means of playing a board game described herein is the frequent opportunity for multiple players to be involved in activities dictated for another player. This aspect is particularly suited to young children and children with limited ability to wait patiently for their next turn. Interest is sustained, since every player will likely be involved in another player's activity and also must maintain vigilance in watching for the random indication of the snarling dog by the numbered spinning device (FIG. 5).

[0065] While the embodiment described herein relates to child safety in interacting with dogs, it is recognized that other embodiments that would incorporate the unique features described above are also possible. Examples of other topics that could be taught to children through play with a board game in the manner described in the foregoing include manners, basic accident prevention, street proofing and puppy/dog obedience.

[0066] An additional embodiment of the means of playing a board game described herein is the production of the game on a CD-ROM, with the game board and associated components to be displayed on a monitor and played on a personal computer. This embodiment will incorporate as many aspects of the board game as possible, but will necessarily lack some of the group activity components if only one player is playing. These will be replaced with virtual activities using players generated by the computer. The CD-ROM version will have the advantage of allowing more control by player of the structure of play and will allow the incorporation of video clips in addition to still photographs. Rewards of colouring pages, virtual stickers, printable stickers and entertaining video and music will supplement the positive reinforcement aspect of the CD-ROM version.