We discovered that the easiest things to do with kids while you travel is to use pictures. Kids simply love pictures because they appeal to their imagination. And they are so versatile! There is so many ways to make a good use of pictures. And it is of course very easy to find them!
Kids will be happy to grab all kinds of promotional catalogues in places such as travel agents, toy shops, ferries, promotional magazines. Also, you will find all kinds of pictures when you travel, pictures that promote local culture, places, history and they make the experience even more valuable. Our kids always grab tons of colourful catalogues, then they spend hours cutting their favourite pictures. We also love good pictures and also as educators we have a habit of cutting nice shots whenever we spot them. So we often end up carrying tons of pictures with us. We appreciate an enormous educational value that pictures have so it is never going to end, I suppose. Then, we use these pictures to make up all kinds of games and activities!
Where can you find good pictures when you travel?
- ferries or local travel agents usually have loads of thick colourful catalogs
- toy shops and souvenir shops
- museums and local attractions such as animal or theme parks – grab their colourful pamphlets
How we got the idea?
The idea of making a home-made version of a Dix It game came to us while we spending our evening at one of the Greek restaurants on the island of Syros, Sporades. It was 11 pm and kids got bored already. We browsed a book shelf offering customers a read and then we spotted colourful boxes. Games! – kids shouted making all the locals jump up from their chairs. We grabbed an orange box and we knew what was going to be inside. A game that we wanted to try since we left Italy (this is where we learned about the game). The box full of picture cards! Impressive! Finally a game for the creative ones! But, hang on! How do we play the game? Where is the instructions? Of course there was one! There was a but, however! Greek? Arab? Czech? And where is English? Or Spanish? Or Italian? Or German? – not that we are fluent in the last three but at least we could try to deduct something! No hope! But we want to play mummy! – our kids demanded.
Ok, then Czech seems to be the only one we could try our luck with – it is similar to Polish. So, there we were sitting in a greek restaurant, it was dark already, reading a game instructions in Czech trying to figure out how to begin… We were sure we got the main point! The details were totally unimportant! We had so much fun! Of course kids didn’t want to go back! After all, we decided we were going to make similar game as soon as we got back home! And there! All the magazines were cut up completely within half an hour! And we had a game! Our own home-made game. We used lego figures as counters and that was absolutely enough!!! What can I say! You need to try as well, you can carry the game with you whenever you travel!
How to make your picture game inspired with Dix It:
1. Collect as many different magazines as you can. Cut all the pictures that contain many details, are intriguing, strange, puzzling etc. It is best if the pictures are not very obvious, then the game is more challenging. Each picture should have the size of a rectangle (like a card). You will need many pictures (50 or more).
2. Prepare a simple game board with squares up to 20. Each box equals one point. You can draw them, glue them, decorated them – it is all up to your imagination.
3. Prepare counters – you can use anything really, small figures, pebbles, fruit pits etc. Prepare voting counters as well – one for each player. Small beads, pebbles are best.
4. Place all the counters at the start line.
5. Each player gets 5 pictures and puts them face down in front of him/her. Players can look at their own pictures but not at other players’.
6. The player who starts places all his/her 5 pictures in front of the game board face up so that all the players see them well. Then, this player proposes one title only that he decides to give to one of the pictures. Note there are 5 pictures and one title only. The players need to guess what picture the title best describes. The title can be really anything from a metaphor, movie, song title, a proverb that best describes the picture, a small detail that is hard to notice…
7. The players use their voting counters to vote for the picture that they think the title describes. All players need to vote altogether, all at the same time.
8. The point is given to all the players that voted for the correct picture.
9. Players who scored a point can move their counters on the game board.
10. The first player that scores 10 or 20 (it is up to you) wins. 11. You can also introduce some bonus points etc. It depends on the age of your children.
Picture location: Santorini, Greece