The game board is based upon the traditional Hopscotch game.
The objectives of the game are to identify the feelings which arise in difficult situations and to practice creative problem solving by generating or brain-storming a variety of solutions to the situation.
Players start at Earth and take turns rolling the dice and moving their marker the number of squares indicated by the dice. In their journeys between Heaven and Earth, the players pick up Situation cards and respond to them. Each Situation card presents a problem situation for which the player provides the number of solutions which are indicated on the dice. The winner is the player who scores all ten hopscotch squares.
The Blue Heron Therapeutic Board Games are designed for use by teachers, counsellors and parents. Besides being great fun, they are very useful as teaching tools, as aids to personal growth and in the exploration of a great many childrens issues.
The games are open-ended and can be used in a variety of ways by creative counsellors to meet the needs of individual children and small groups.
Blue Heron Games are aesthetically pleasing, colourful and very durable.
Each game-board is 11" by 17" laminated on hard board. Each game comes complete with all pieces needed to play.
Blue Heron Games are open ended and flexible
Blue Heron games are designed to be open-ended and flexible rather than provide "right" answers to specific questions. The games provide a creative and playful way of dealing with issues within the context of any number of different therapeutic approaches and orientations. Children can quite easily play several of the games on their own and they enjoy exchanging their own ideas and memories with each other without a counsellor or therapist being present.
Theoretical foundation of the Blue Heron games
The theory behind the games takes from both art and play therapy. Both of these therapeutic modalities encourage the creative participation of the client in their own growth and transformation. The games encourage creativity in the realms of story telling, brain-storming solutions to problems, social interaction and the development of personal insight.
The games are appropriate for use with most age groups
The games can be played by any child old enough to understand the rules of a simple board game. The cards can be read by the counsellor or adult so this does not present a problem for younger players. The games are also useful for working with young adolescents. In general, anyone who can enjoy the exchange of stories and anecdotes about their experiences and feelings will have fun and learn from playing these games. They can be played by two players or with small groups.
Blue Heron games are adaptable
The counsellor can meet the child's need and desire for power and control in a safe and controlled environment by allowing variations on the game to be introduced. The problem of cheating can also be handled by allowing the child to change the rules. With each change, new situations will arise which can then be gainfully discussed.
Blue Heron games can be used to address:
Creativity! The games are useful tools in teaching creative thinking and creative approaches to healthy social interaction. Players are encouraged to create their own playing cards and add their own ideas to the play.
Communication skills! The games are very useful for developing language skills, creative expression, emotional vocabulary and moral concepts.
Self esteem! Personal and social awareness are brought into focus and self esteem is enhanced in an atmosphere of fun and safety.
Sharing! The games provide an opportunity to share emotions, ideas and stories in a safe playful atmosphere. They provide an excellent starting place for discussions.
Teaching by modelling! The games provide the opportunity for the therapist, counsellor or parent to model listening skills and appropriate expression of feelings and ideas. They also give the opportunity to model respect and acceptance of another person's point of view.
A Few Reasons for using Blue Heron Games
Children love the pictures on the games and enjoy playing them.
The games are very useful in starting creative discussions
They are versatile and can be easily adapted to different needs.
The rules of the games are very simple
The dialogue which they elicit is as complex and authentic as the players desire.
They provide a relaxed atmosphere and are useful for breaking the ice with young clients.
The games are very useful for normalizing difficult to understand feelings and behaviour.
They encourage personal story telling and cooperation.
They foster empathy, and empathy is at the root of all positive social interaction.
They help develop empathy by providing the opportunity to see the world from another persons position.
The games are excellent in helping develop the vocabulary which is essential for self understanding and for understanding the behaviour, thoughts and feelings of others.
They are a useful addition to the techniques and practices already used by most counsellors, teachers and therapists.
One of the fundamental principles underlying the use of Blue Heron Games is that there are no wrong answers. It is important to meet the child where he or she is. The appropriate use of self modelling can deepen a child's understanding of a word, concept or idea far better than simply "correcting" it.
Also when dealing with cheating the counsellor can use one of the feeling games like The Goose Game of Feelings or Let's Go Fish a Memory and model, by self disclosure, a variety of feelings regarding play, winning, losing, ignorance, feeling humiliated or embarrassed if accused of cheating.