Art Games Charlotte Mason Would Love: Birdcage Press

by Jimmie Lanley on February 23, 2012

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.

art cards

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.)

birdcage press art games

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.

birdcage press The Impressionists

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.

birdcage press renaissance art cards


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

birdcage press the impressionists

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.

birdcage press art book


birdcage press The Impressionists Game

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)
But for now, they are just fun.

Discount Code

Birdcage Press has set up a promo code for free shipping just for homeschool parents! This code is IN12 and is good only through March 31, 2012.

birdcage press art games Impressionism


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!

Other Giveaways

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

Laura Walters February 23, 2012 at 8:53 am

You’ve inspired me to try to incorporate more art in our homeschool. I do not have any art experience in my past to speak of and I’m anxious to collect resources to help us learn about famous artists and their works. This would be an excellent start! Thank you Jimmie for this giveaway and the excellent blog you maintain. It is a blessing! One of my favorites!

Tara H. February 23, 2012 at 9:05 am

I would like the Impressionist art game.

steff February 23, 2012 at 9:07 am

id like the renaissance set!

Jennifer Shepherd February 23, 2012 at 9:24 am

My daughter is also an art lover! We would love to win one of these. I’m not sure which books would have the works that she loves, but I think it would be the Impressionists! Thanks so much!

Jennifer S.

Shelly February 23, 2012 at 9:37 am

These look awesome! Thank you for reviewing them! We would love to own either one, but I’ll choose Impressionists.

Jen February 23, 2012 at 9:41 am

I would love to have either/both of them but if I have to chose one, I’d chose Renaissance.

Aimee February 23, 2012 at 10:13 am

Truly I would love either one. We are covering Impressionists next year, but my daughter’s favorite time is the Renaissance. LOL But I would go with Impressionists.

Aimee February 23, 2012 at 10:15 am

I now follow @birdcagepress on Twitter.

Aimee February 23, 2012 at 10:16 am

I pinned an image so that I would remember how to get back here for future shopping!! 😛

Aimee February 23, 2012 at 10:17 am

I also tweeted my pin with @birdcagepress in my tweet. 😀

Palmy February 23, 2012 at 10:24 am

… follow birdcagepress in twitter: done!

Palmy February 23, 2012 at 10:25 am

tweet this… done!

Palmy February 23, 2012 at 10:27 am

pin a photo… done!

Palmy February 23, 2012 at 10:28 am

tweet my pin… done!

Palmy February 23, 2012 at 10:29 am

Anyway… beautiful post!

sarah in the woods February 23, 2012 at 10:42 am

I played Authors when I was a kid too. I would love the Impressionist pack. Such beautiful games!

Tori February 23, 2012 at 10:58 am

Thanks for the review and free shipping code! The Renaissance set would be my choice.

Linda February 23, 2012 at 11:23 am

I would love any of them (all). Impressionist is my favorite time period in art.

Linda February 23, 2012 at 11:24 am

I stumbled upon…

Linda February 23, 2012 at 11:24 am

I followed on twitter

Linda February 23, 2012 at 11:25 am

I also posted on pinterest. 🙂

LaRee February 23, 2012 at 11:26 am

I’d love to win this! I’d love either game, but since I have to choose, I’ll say Impressionist.

Blossom February 23, 2012 at 11:28 am

NEAT!! These look totally beautifully amazing. I would love to win the Renaissance Art Game. We’ve struggled to get Art Study going -consistently- in our week.

Thank you for the chance 🙂

Sylvia Duggan February 23, 2012 at 11:29 am

It would be awesome to win either set for my artist daughter it would be an awesome gift for her 13th birthday in a few months. We are a game playing family so it would likely get a workout as both a “school” and a “family activity. Likely both at the same time. While either would be great I would probably choose the Renaissance as she is less familiar with it and will be hitting that time range in history next year.

Blossom February 23, 2012 at 11:34 am
MO February 23, 2012 at 11:34 am

Hey Jimmie.
I’d love to enter your contest. I’m trying to make more of an effort in our artist study. Wondering if us Canadians are included though?

Blossom February 23, 2012 at 11:37 am
Blossom February 23, 2012 at 11:39 am

Pinned to a board at Pinterest 🙂

Blossom February 23, 2012 at 11:42 am

Am a follower of birdcagepress at Twitter

KackyK February 23, 2012 at 11:55 am

Oooo thanks for the chance and hard choice. I’ll have to say Impressionist.

KackyK @ Beginning with the Assumption February 23, 2012 at 11:57 am

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