I grew up playing the traditional Authors and Composers card games. (Who else played those?) They were a great way to pass a rainy afternoon while learning the names of artistic masterpieces and the faces of their creators.
I’ve discovered a modern alternative of those games over at Birdcage Press. Look at these beautiful Renaissance and Impressionist art games! (Find Birdcage on Facebook here and at Twitter as @birdcagepress. Sign up for their free newsletter here.)
About the Art Games
They are card games (not board games) based on the classic Go Fish pattern. Play revolves around making sets of art, all by the same artist. A gorgeous full color book comes with the set of cards and serves as a reference for those questions that normally arise when you play a game.
The cards have a nice thick coating and rounded corners. For many of the cards, only a cropped selection from a work of art is shown on the card (the caption says detail). This cropping is obviously to keep the cards uniform in appearance while showing as much of the art as possible. The book, however, features the entire work of art so that you can find what else is missing from the thumbnail on the card. The artist’s name features prominently along the side of the card. At the bottom is a list of all of his art included in the card game. The piece that is on each card is first in the list and is in bold typeface.
Why would Charlotte Mason love these games?
- they are full of art – full color reproductions of great masterpieces
- the art is always titled and is grouped by artist
- there is no silly twaddle or fluff; just art
- the game includes a living book full of more art and history
In fact, since the book has four to six works of art by each artist, you could use these games as your artist study material for an entire year. For example, the Impressionists art book includes 32 works of art by 8 different artists — 4 works each. The Renaissance art book has 30 masterpieces by 5 artists — 6 works each. With constant review by way of the card game, your children would be intimately familiar with the art and artists in each set.
The book centers on the art and has some explanatory notes about each piece. Brief biographies of the artists are at the front of the book along with an overview of the time period and a timeline.
Sprite and I have played our games a few times outside of academics time at her request. I guess that is the true test of an educational game. If it is only played with during “school,” I don’t deem it as much of a success. When it passes the evenings and weekends test, it’s a quality product. These Birdcage games pass the test in our home. I admit, we are lovers of art. But games like this make it easier to create an environment that is supportive of art appreciation.
And you can certainly use the Birdcage Press Art Games for artist study in your homeschool. I can imagine using them for
- review or assessment
- introduction & overview
- museum preparation
- reference (especially the book)
Birdcage Press is also offering one of my readers her choice of art game — either Impressionist or Renaissance. To enter, leave a comment here, telling me which one you would prefer. Actually Birdcage has other topics besides art — history and science for example. So in your comment, you can mention something else, but I’ll only be giving away either Impressionist Art Game or Renaissance Art Game. I will choose the winner on Feb. 27, 2012.
For additional entries (leave a comment for each):
- follow @birdcagepress at Twitter
- tweet about this giveaway, including @birdcagepress in your tweet
- pin a photo from this post at Pinterest
- tweet your pin, including @birdcagepress in your tweet
Giveaway Fine Print: Must be 18 or older to enter. Must be an American resident to enter.
Disclaimer: Birdcage Press gave me two free games in exchange for my honest review. I was pretty excited because I had wanted these for a long time!
I’ve connected with a group of homeschooling bloggers who are also offering giveaways of Birdcage Press products. Be sure to visit them all and enter for the games you most want to have.
Spell Outloud — Choice of Egyptian Art Cards or Battle Cards-Military Jets
Finding Joy — Choice of Wild Cards – North American Birds or Art Ditto Game.
Mama’s Learning Corner — Renaissance Art Game
Handbook of Nature Study — Wild Cards-Backyard Birds
Harmony Art Mom — Choice of Go Fish for Art or Art Close-Up Cards
The Curriculum Choice — Art Ditto Memory Game
Hodgepodge — Go Fish for Wildlife – Sea Creatures
The Traveling Praters — Choice of Go Fish for Van Gogh and Friends or 52 Amazing Places-National Parks
Get Along Home — Choice of Wild Cards, Backyard Birds or Renaissance Art Game