Aside from Blurble’s traditional gameplay, there are lots of ways to use Blurble as an educational tool for children of all ages. The following activities work on many important skill sets and they vary in difficulty to accommodate a wide range of abilities. Use these exercises as a guideline and adapt them if necessary to each child’s needs.
1. Set out several cards and ask the child to find each image. “Can you find the snake?” Remove each card as it is identified.
2. Pick out several cards the child will recognize (cat, baby, donut) and ask them to say the names of each image. Gradually add in more challenging cards (kiwi, harmonica, armadillo). Work towards the goal of identifying every image in the deck.
1. Hand the child several cards and ask them to tell you a story that involves all of the objects. The story could be told out loud or written out. Here is an example:
One day Mr. woke up and he was very hungry. He walked around the woods looking for food, but he couldn’t find anything. Finally he smelled something yummy. He followed his nose until he arrived at an . He looked inside and he could see a plate of food. He tried to reach his hoof in to grab it, but he couldn’t reach. He was very sad. Then he remembered his friend Ben who is a . Mr. Moose went to find Ben to ask for his help. “Hey Ben, I was wondering if your fire hose can shoot hot water.” “It sure can,” said Ben. Within a couple minutes, Ben’s fire hose had melted the igloo. Mr. Moose found a warm and delicious waiting for him, and he was very happy!
2. If there are several children, give each child a card or two and have them sit in a circle. Tell a group story by moving around the circle and having each child add in the object(s) they were given.
3. Spread the cards out on a table so that all the images are visible. Have each child pick out a few cards that they can relate to, or that are important to them. Let each child have a turn to show which cards they chose, and to explain why each card is relevant/important to them.
1. Give each child several cards. Call out one letter at a time, and have all the children bring their cards to you that start with that letter. Once all the cards for that letter have been collected and discussed, move on to another letter.
2. Hand several cards to each child. Ask them to spell each word on a piece of paper. Then, have the children trade cards with someone else, and spell each of the new words.
3. Give the child a group of cards and ask them to put all the cards in alphabetical order. Then, ask them to spell each object.
4. Provide each child with a group of cards and ask them to create a crossword puzzle, including clues for reach one. Each child can trade their unsolved crossword puzzle with someone else, and attempt to solve one another’s puzzles.
1. Set out a group of cards and look at the similarities and differences amongst the chosen cards. Formulate questions from the group based on the child’s abilities.
- Which of these objects can you eat?
- How many images can you find that make noise?
- Which of these things are fun to play with?
- Which of these objects would hurt if you touched it?
- Can you find all the things that grow?
- Which of these items would fit in your backpack?
- Can you point to all the objects that have metal in them?
- Which of these things do you think are scary?
- How many images can you find that are green?
- Which of these images have eyes?
2. Set out several cards and ask the child to find the image that best describes your sentence.
- I like to spend most of my day flying from flower to flower.
- If you leave your garbage can out at night, I might climb into it looking for food.
- If you get your kite stuck in a tree, I’m a good friend to have.
- I can shake hands with 8 people at the same time.
- Some creatures like to walk or swim, but I prefer to hop, hop, hop.
- I’m the largest creature that lives on land.
- If you get too close to me, you might be pretty stinky when you walk away.
- Unlike most other birds, I spend my entire life on the ground.
3. Set out four cards; three that are similar to one another, and one that is different. Ask the child to find the card that doesn’t belong and have them explain why it doesn’t belong in the group.
“The ham doesn’t belong because it’s not a fruit.”
“The seahorse doesn’t belong because it can’t fly.”
“The fairy doesn’t belong because it doesn’t have a long nose.”
1. Around the World: This game is great for large groups, especially in a classroom setting. Organize the children’s desks into a circle or into rows. Have all the children start out at their desks. Choose one child to start as the ‘traveler.’ The traveler gets out of their desk and stands next to the desk of the next child. A card is flipped onto the desk and the two children race to say a word that starts with the same letter as the image on the card. If the traveler wins, they move onto the next child If the traveler loses, they sit down at the desk of the child who won, and the winning child stands up and becomes the new traveler. The new traveler plays the next child. Play until one child has gone ‘Around the World’ and made it back to their own desk, or play for a period of time and determine which child has traveled the farthest when the time is up.
2. 20 Questions: Have one child stand in front of the rest of the group. Let them choose a card, without looking at it, and hold it to their forehead for everyone else to see. The child then asks yes-or-no questions of the group to try to determine what card they are holding. The child is allowed up to 20 questions to figure out what card they hold. (This activity could also be done in reverse, where only one child sees the card, and the rest ask yes-or-no questions of the child to figure out the card.)
3. What am I?: Let one child pick out a card. That child gives subtle clues about their card to the rest of the group. The other children attempt to guess what card is being described. The first one to guess correctly gets to choose the next card and give clues.
4. Beat the Clock: As in the standard rules, the object is to say a word that starts with the same otter as the image on the card. Show the child one card at a time , and see how many they can get in a minute. Then let another child try to beat the score of the previous child. (This can also be done as a team exercise, where both children go at once. Regardless of which one says a correct word first, the next card is flipped. The idea is to see how many the team of two can get in a minute.)
5. Act Fast: Divide the children into two teams. Pick a child from one of the teams to start as the actor. The actor stands in front of their team with a stack of cards facing down. A timer is set for two minutes. As soon as the child draws their first card, the time starts. The child looks at the card, then places it face down so no one else can see it. They then proceed to act out the card they just drew with any combination of facial expressions or hand/body gestures. No words or sounds are allowed. All other players from the actor’s team should out guesses until someone says the correct answer. The child then grabs a new card and acts that one out. When the timer sounds, the actor gets one point for every card that was correctly guessed before the time ran out. Then a child from the other team becomes the actor, and their own team does the guessing. Let each child from both teams have a turn and add up all the points to determine the winning team. (To make this game a little easier, allow each child to skip over a card or two if they like, so they do not get stuck on one card for any length of time.)
1. Pull out all the animals and ask the child what sound each one makes.
2. Have the child put the cards in some sort of order. For instance, pull out all the animals or sea creatures and have them put the cards in order from smallest to largest, or fastest to slowest. Have them put the foods in order of their favorite to least favorite. Pull out several items you can buy at a store, and have the child put them in order of least expensive to most expensive.
3. Give the child several cards and ask them to draw a scene that involves all the images. Then ask them to tell you about the scene they drew
4. Hand the child a card or two. Ask them to write down everything they know about that object. Then ask them to write down a few things they would like to know about that object.
- Telescopes are made out of plastic and metal.
- They help you see things that are far away.
- People use them to study the sky.
- How far can you see with a telescope?
- How does a telescope work?
- Frogs jump a lot.
- They have long tongues to eat bugs.
- Frogs can be lots of different colors.
- They live in the water and on land.
- Can a frog drown?
- What kind of animals eat frogs?