cover picture - the observation game

Playing games is a good thing. It brings people closer together, opens up observation and creativity and is a brilliant vehicle for our brains to engage with something (in short, you learn stuff without even realising!)

We’re not just talking about playing board games here. We’re talking about any kind of game. Games don’t have to involve dice and plastic counters, be packaged and sold. In fact, often it’s the simplest games that are easiest to slot into a busy day: Letter and word games while you’re waiting for a bus, observation games, tracking games and so on.

My daughter and I have recently started playing a new easy game to improve our observation skills.

It’s really a meld of the amazing effects of Sherlock Holmes and thinking about some of the intentions of Baden-Powell when he started the Scouts – he placed great stock in the skills of observation and suggests some great activities and games in “Scouting for Boys”.

How this easy game works

  1. While out for a walk (or in the car, though it’s much harder when you’re supposed to be concentrating on the road), we set ourselves a target. “Two questions by the junction with the tree.”
  2. As we walk that stretch of road, we observe very hard. We need to come up with two questions to ask our partner, but they will also be asking us two questions!
  3. At the end of the stretch, we ask our questions:
  • What were the numbers on the green exchange box?
  • What colour was the front door of number 14?
  • The man with the little girl was carrying a bag, what did it have written on it?
  • What was hanging in the window of the house with the Mercedes on the drive?

It’s a lot of fun and gets us taking more notice of our surroundings.

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