Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Kids, the Game and the Story Mnemonic

A real gem of a card game
Fellow parent gamer Stefanie lent us "Sherlock" a few weeks ago, and we gave it a go the other night. The game itself is fairly simple, as most kids games are. Eight cards are laid out face-up in a circle, and the players get some time to memorise the items on the cards before they are turned face down.

Sherlock (a card featuring a dog dressed up as the famous sleuth) is placed next to a card, and the first player has to guess the item on the card. The card is flipped over, and if he is correct, he moves Sherlock around the circle depending on the arrow and number of the revealed card. If he lands on a previously revealed card, he wins the card as a point, and a new one is drawn from the deck. 

We played it several times. The kid's memory proved better than the parent's memory; I blame it on just having too much junk in our heads. As we set up for another game, I had an idea. 

"Why don't we make a story up with the cards?" I suggested. 

The idea caught on. We laid out the 8 cards and quickly came up with a ridiculous but amusing story:

"I used a Match to set fire to a Clock. A Bird saw me, so I gave it an Apple to keep it quiet…" 

The kids were enraptured. They latched on to the story idea (which I can now confirm is a recognised memory technique called the Story Mnemonic) and we've now played this game quite a number of times with stories getting more ridiculous every play. The story elements help us remember the cards, and add loads of more fun to this game. 

What a great little card game. Now to get one of our own!