Friday, June 14, 2013

Birdcage Press: Art Close Up Game (Museum Of Modern Art)

My kids love it when we get fun things for review! I love it when they have fun, and get to learn at the same time! Birdcage Press produces a wide variety of "Art" "Wildlife" and "History" games, and they sent the TOS Crew a variety of Go Fish style games as well other card games and a lotto style game. We received Art Close Up: Museum of Modern Art.

The deck of 48 cards includes works by 24 artists. Each artist has a main card that shows the entire work, with the artist name, title of the work, and the year painted.  Another card is the "match" for that card, but it is only a portion of the painting "Close Up."  This is great for training the eyes to look for detail!

There are a number of games that can be played using these cards. Of course there is the traditional "Concentration"  or in this case "Art Memory," which my children played first because it was a familiar game. They particularly enjoyed playing it the first few times as they really had to look carefully to discern whether the cards were a match or not (for the record, this was Eldest's favorite game to play with these cards).

After they became more comfortable with the cards, we moved into some other games. One variation on Concentration, called Masterpiece Matchup is intended for the youngest of players (this would have been the best game to start with, but they read the card for Art Memory first, so there you have it). In this game eight cards are placed face up on the table, and the 1st player makes as many matches as possible. If no matches can be made, play goes to the next person, and the dealer puts two more cards down. This is a more gentle variation(no remembering "where" the cards were), and no one can gain more than 2 cards per turn.

The next time we took the cards out we played "Old Master" (Which is similar to Old Maid). One matching card is removed from the pack, and ALL the rest of the cards are dealt as evenly as possible to each player. Everyone pulls the matches they have in their hands and puts them aside. From here on out, play moves in one direction. The first player picks one card from the player to their left's hand. If it matches, it is put aside, and play continues to the next person. The trick is definitely to keep a poker face if you choose the "Old Master Card" (which might be a bit difficult, as our 5 yo discovered, but he's learning!). This game was my middlest's favorite, and a word to the wise, it was one of the longer games, running about 15 minutes with 4 people playing.

The final game that we played was "Painting Pairs" which is similar to Go Fish. In fact, rather than telling the player to "Go fish" or "Draw" we said... "Go Paint!" :) I particularly appreciated this game, as there were many paintings that we were not overly familiar with yet, so we had to use good object or color descriptions to see if there was a match.

While I've told you everyone else's favorites, I haven't mentioned Littlest's~ because he doesn't have a favorite... he likes to play ALL of the games! :) Hurrah! And while we're playing, they are slowing becoming acquainted with more paintings by familiar and unfamiliar artists alike!

The final game suggested is a "Treasure Hunt" that would be great for those who are visiting the Museum of Modern Art. Definitely makes me think that I might want to pick up the Boston MFA deck at some point in time, so we can have our own Treasure Hunt! :)

My only negative, which may or may not be an issue for some families, is that there were two works that included some form of nudes. Although I had advance warning that there was one nude, I didn't get to the deck before the kids, and my 15 yo and her 16 yo friend were both rather "disturbed" (To quote them) by the inclusion of those two works. My solution was simply to remove them from the deck and play without them. So, if this is something that might be an issue for your family, I suggest going through the deck yourself first. So much easier, in my opinion to deal with what I consider inappropriate artwork in a deck of cards than in an art book!

I think using Birdcage Press games is a great way to bring a little art, visual discrimination, and exercises in keeping a straight face into your homeschool, along with the plain fun of playing games together!

Not So Nutty Nitty Gritty 
Some of the other games reviewed by TOS Review Crew Members
Please click the banner below to read more reviews by TOS Review Crew members of Art Close Up as well Go Fish: Impressions Artists, Go Fish: Ancient Egypt, American Art Ditto, Wild Cards: Baby Animals Around the World, and Wild Cards: Backyard Birds. As always, I hope that this review was useful to you as you choose where best to spend your homeschool budget.


1 comment:

  1. This is the first of heard of this and I think it would make great gifts.


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