Omaha Gives! May 24, 2017

Coming May 24th!

Omaha Gives! is a 24-hour online giving event organized by the Omaha Community Foundation to grow philanthropy in Douglas, Sarpy, and Pottawattamie counties. The goal is to inspire the community to come together for 24 hours to give as much as possible to support the work of public 501c3 nonprofits in the metro area. This year, if we reach 100 unique donors, we will receive an additional donation of $4,000 in a special challenge made by some of our biggest supporters!

Spielbound strives to educate, engage, and create community through board games. We are a thriving community center for people of all ages, featuring a library of over 2,000 donated board games. Funds received support:

  1. - providing teachers games and lessons for their classrooms.
  2. - providing games for seniors to prevent dementia.
  3. - game creation and play-testing group.
  4. - teaching games almost every day of the year!

Summer Day Camps, 2017!

SUMMER DAY CAMPS

Summer Board Game Camps are coming!

This summer we will be hosting two camps for middle school-aged students interested in board games (June 14–16) and board game design (June 26–30).

Board Game Introduction Day Camp

  • date_range June, 14, 2016 – June 16, 2016
  • alarm 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM (CDT)
  • place.256485,-95.9634237,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x87938e5d4f6740db:0xff74d7bbbfff25cd" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Spielbound Board Game Cafe
  • payment
  • email greg [at] spielbound.org

From June 14th to June 16th, Spielbound will be hosting a three-day board game camp for middle school students. Board games can be an instrumental tool to grow and encourage skills in spatial reasoning, math, critical thinking, group work and cooperation. Throughout the days, students will have an opportunity to learn games from multiple genres with the help of Spielbound staff and volunteers. The games selected for the camp will give students a comprehensive understanding of the skills and fun to be gained through collaboration and play. The final day will end with a session where parents and Spielbound volunteers will learn games from the student in the camp. Lunch will be provided each day, send any dietary restrictions or ability limitations to greg@spielbound.org and we will work to accommodate them in advance.

Board Game Design Day Camp

  • date_range June 26, 2016 – June 30, 2016
  • alarm 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM (CDT)
  • place.256485,-95.9634237,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x87938e5d4f6740db:0xff74d7bbbfff25cd" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Spielbound Board Game Cafe
  • payment
  • email greg [at] spielbound.org

From June 26th to June 30th, Spielbound will be hosting a five-day board game design camp for middle school students. Board games can be an instrumental tool to grow and encourage skills in spatial reasoning, math, critical thinking, group work and cooperation. Throughout this camp, students will have an opportunity to learn games from multiple genres with the help of Spielbound staff and volunteers, to identify the structures of board game design, and to then design a working prototype of their own original board game. They will get to work with members of Spielbound's Spielmason board game design group, who have printed and published multiple games. The games selected for the camp will give students a comprehensive understanding of the skills and fun to be gained through collaboration and play, and the design process will help them gain skills in graphic design, creative writing, and collaboration.

The camp will end on Friday the 30th with a demo session where students will teach their games to family, friends, and Spielbound volunteers from 3pm-5pm.

Lunch will be provided each day, send any dietary restrictions, ability limitations, or questions of any kind to greg@spielbound.org and we will work to accommodate them in advance.

Volunteering and Volunteer of the Year!

Did you know Spielbound is a non-profit organization? That means we can’t be what we are without a dedicated army of volunteers doing everything from teaching games at the shop to selling raffle tickets at Shakespearean plays. That’s right: you don’t even have to know how to play any games to volunteer for Spielbound! There are also no minimum time commitments, so anyone can help, even if it is just once.

Anyone who wants to help out can find something to do:

  • If you have a game you want to teach others, lead one (or many!) of our .
  • If you are an organizational genius, help for our library.
  • Maybe you’re looking for a way to exercise your razor-sharp wit and would like to be our .
  • You could help our Teaching Outreach Coordinator test and develop for games.
  • We also have occasional , such as teaching games at events away from the shop or the above-mentioned selling of raffle tickets at Shakespeare on the Green.
  • You can always post short reviews in our online library, but we'd like some for our blog here.

2017, update from Spielbound's Librarian, Marcus Ross

Over 2,000 board games have been donated to Spielbound by our passionate supporters. Pictured here are two such games gifted by Kaleb Michaud and Marcus Ross.

The game library at Spielbound recently surpassed 2000 catalogued games.

TWO. THOUSAND.

Passing a milestone like this affords us an opportunity to examine what makes it special. The sheer depth of a publicly accessible catalog that size sets us far apart from the other game libraries and cafes around the world. The bulk of those games are made available from the vast personal collection of Spielbound’s founder, Dr. Kaleb Michaud. You’ll recognize the name from the purple stickers that grace most of the box lids at the cafe. But we also add games to the library via donations from the public. Since the library is part of the 501c(3) non-profit side of the business, donations to it are tax deductible.

The library itself is the central, defining asset of Spielbound’s non-profit arm: it’s the reference catalog for the Spielmasons game design group, the enabling resource for the education program, and the experimental lab for our Stay Sharp Seniors program. Keeping it organized, relevant and vibrant is a constant challenge. The library has to serve all these purposes and also work as an attraction for the public we serve and we have all types: hardcore strategy gamers, college kids on a night out, workers doing team-building exercises, or families spending the day with young children.

Want to join our team?

Won't someone please think of the Meeples?

Interested in getting involved with Spielbound beyond the games? Most importantly, do you love creating and building the Spielbound community? Then please, for the sake of all the meeples, join our Spielbound team!

Spielbound is looking for a communications intern to get involved with our mission. You would be a part of marketing via Social Media platforms, creating and assisting in the coordination of community events, and helping to build not only the Spielbound community, but its connections with the entire Omaha area! See our full description for more information.

Also, Spielbound is looking for new volunteers for several of our programs including game demoers, library catalogers, web page editing, and, for those with greater ambitions, board members and staff. If interested, please contact Zeuben, the director of communications, at .

Game Night!

FREE GAME NIGHT

Free Game Night for the nonprofit

  • date_range September 27, 2016
  • alarm 6:00 PM to 11:00 PM (CDT)
  • place.256485,-95.9634237,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x87938e5d4f6740db:0xff74d7bbbfff25cd" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Spielbound Board Game Cafe
  • payment Free!

Come and join us for a game night dedicated to the nonprofit side of Spielbound! We work all over the Omaha area to promote and fulfill our mission: striving to educate, engage, and create community through board games. We have 4 branches that all depend upon our large, donated library and our volunteers:

  • – works to develop young minds by challenging them! Programs include: day camps, game-specific lesson plans, and UNO educator trainings.
  • – devoted to the senior community in many areas that include developing senior game-playing groups, researching the health benefits of gaming, and creating accessories that make games more accessible to all.
  • – a collective of board gaming enthusiasts that meet weekly to play and test games developed locally.
  • – our primary community outreach: game events all over Omaha, daily demos in our library, and endless opportunities to engage with people and organizations.

Working on Spielbound Teacher Guides

Dr. Mark Mills drawing diagrams on a blackboard during testimony before the Congressional Joint Atomic Energy Committee hearings on atomic radioactive fallout, 1957. Hopefully integrating games into your curriculum isn't quite this complicated.

Hello readers of Spielbound.org! The summer may be in full swing but that doesn’t mean that work stops for teachers. We’re participating in summer programs, working on strategic planning, and writing next year’s lessons! At Spielbound my goal for the summer is to start some serious work on getting some teacher guides going to help classroom teachers get the basic information they need to consider using existing games as part of their curriculum.

As I started this process, my biggest goal was to incorporate the realities of classroom teaching into a resource that would help an educator take the first steps into using games. I’ve spoken on this blog before about how logistics can be a challenge in the classroom. We have standards that we must meet. This doesn’t prevent us from innovating curriculum, but it means that we have to be very efficient in squeezing as much time as possible out of our available class time. For games, that means that any teacher guide that we produce at Spielbound needs to communicate how much time it could take students to have a great experience with a game. But that’s just a beginning.

Omaha Gives!

Omaha Gives!

Omaha Gives! is a 24-hour online giving event organized by the Omaha Community Foundation to grow philanthropy in Douglas, Sarpy, and Pottawattamie counti Ies. The goal is to inspire the community to come together for 24 hours to give as much as possible to support the work of public 501c3 nonprofits in the metro area. Today only, every dollar donated to Spielbound as part of Omaha Gives! will be matched by another dollar up to $3,500!

Spielbound strives to educate, engage, and create community through board games. We are a thriving community center for people of all ages, featuring a library of over 1,800 donated board games. Funds received support:

  1. - providing teachers games and lessons for their classrooms.
  2. - providing games for seniors to prevent dementia.
  3. - game creation and play-testing group.
  4. - teaching games almost every day of the year!

Summer Board Game Camps!

SUMMER DAY CAMPS

Summer Board Game Camps are coming!

This summer we will be hosting two camps for middle school-aged students interested in board games (June 1-3) and board game design (July 18-22).

Summer Kick-Off Day Camp

  • date_range June 1, 2016 – June 3, 2016
  • alarm 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM (CDT)
  • place.256485,-95.9634237,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x87938e5d4f6740db:0xff74d7bbbfff25cd" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Spielbound Board Game Cafe
  • payment
  • email greg [at] spielbound.org

From June 1st to June 3rd, Spielbound will be hosting a three-day board game camp for middle school students. Board games can be an instrumental tool to grow and encourage skills in spatial reasoning, math, critical thinking, group work and cooperation. Throughout the days, students will have an opportunity to learn games from multiple genres with the help of Spielbound staff and volunteers. The games selected for the camp will give students a comprehensive understanding of the skills and fun to be gained through collaboration and play. Lunch will be provided each day, send any dietary restrictions or ability limitations to greg@spielbound.org and we will work to accommodate them in advance.

Summer Board Game Design Camp

  • date_range July, 18, 2016 – July 22, 2016
  • alarm 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM (CDT)
  • place.256485,-95.9634237,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x87938e5d4f6740db:0xff74d7bbbfff25cd" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Spielbound Board Game Cafe
  • payment
  • email greg [at] spielbound.org

From July 18th to July 22nd, Spielbound will be hosting a five-day board game camp for middle school students. Board games can be an instrumental tool to grow and encourage skills in spatial reasoning, math, critical thinking, group work and cooperation. Throughout this camp, students will have an opportunity to learn games from multiple genres with the help of Spielbound staff and volunteers, to identify the structures of board game design, and to then design a working prototype of their own board games. The games selected for the camp will give students a comprehensive understanding of the skills and fun to be gained through collaboration and play. Lunch will be provided each day, send any dietary restrictions or ability limitations to greg@spielbound.org and we will work to accommodate them in advance.

My latest classroom board game project - Part 2

In my , I set the groundwork for Periodic Table Rummy, a simple card game to help students understand the periodicity of the periodic table of the elements. I decided to use as my “standard” deck of cards for the game. The game plays like rummy, with some additions of my own to keep the focus on categorization.

Helium as seen in Theo Gray’s The Photographic Card Deck of the Elements. The top picture is top of the card, and the bottom picture is the "face" side of the card.

Here are the basic rules:

  1. Shuffle the deck (picture side up) of 118 elements and deal 10 cards to each player.
  2. Place the deck picture side up in the center of the playing field. Turn the first card over to form a discard pile.
  3. Play begins to the left of the dealer. On a player’s turn, they have two choices: pick up a card from the discard pile or pick up a card from the top of the deck. A player always draws a card to start their turn. They will then discard a card from their hand. If they draw from the discard pile, they must discard a different card.
  4. After their normal draw and discard, a player may lay down 5–9 cards in front of them that meet one of two criteria:
    a) Cards in the same group of the periodic table that all have matching card background colors.
    b) Cards with consecutive atomic numbers.
    Cards show the location of the element on the periodic table.
  5. After laying down a set of cards, a player must:
    a) Read the entry for the “fact sheet” of the group of the elements being laid down, or the periodicity “fact sheet” if laying down consecutive numbers and
    b) A fun or interesting fact of one element laid down.
    If a player fails to read the information and the other players catch them, they must shuffle all their cards back into the deck and draw ten new cards!
  6. After playing 5-9 cards and successfully reading them, a player redraws from the deck to make a hand of 10.
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