Blurble is a great card game for children of all ages! Unlike many games that are simply too difficult for a child to grasp, Blurble can be picked up very quickly and kids love the cute characters! As soon as children are able to identify common pictures and have picked up the fundamentals of spelling, they are ready for the basics of Blurble.
There are tons of fun ways to use Blurble as an educational tool as well. Several games/exercises are listed below and are categorized by suggested ages for each one. Try out some of them, and then use the Blurble cards to come up with other fun activities of your own.
1. Set out ten or more cards, face up. Ask your child to point to each object. “Where is the _________?”
2. Sort through the Blurble deck and pick out several images that you know your child will recognize (apple, cow, butterfly). Show them the cards, one at a time, and ask them to identify each image. Gradually start to add in the more difficult cards (submarine, eggplant, wheelbarrow). Pretty soon your child will be able to identify all 500 images which they will then be able to identify in real world situations.
3. Pick out several of the animals, mammals, and critters. Hold up one at a time and ask your child what sound each one makes. I certainly don’t know what sound a snail or a starfish makes, but you can bet your kid will come up with something!
1. Set out a bunch of cards, face up, and organize them however you like. Once they’re all laid out, look at the similarities and differences amongst the chosen cards. Formulate questions from the group based on your child’s abilities. Take a look at the cards below.
Here are some questions you might ask from the above grouping of cards…the possibilities are endless:
• Which of these objects can you eat?
• How many images can you find that have eyes?
• Which of these objects make noise?
• Can you find all the objects that grow?
• What things from this group are fun to play with?
• Which of these objects would hurt if you touched it?
• If you wanted to take these objects to school for show-and-tell, which ones would fit in your backpack?
• Which of these objects have metal in them?
2. Have your children 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 the human-like characters and have them order them from most friendly to most scary (Santa, mummy, robot, mermaid, ninja, clown, pirate, leprechaun, witch, fairy, etc.)
3. Set out a group of cards and ask your 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.
• I don’t do very well in races. I’m one of the slowest creatures on land.
• I came to Earth on a flying saucer. Do I look funny to you?
• If you get your kite stuck in a tall tree, I’m a good friend to have.
• I can shake hands with eight people at once.
• I’m the largest mammal in all of the sea.
• Some creatures like to walk or swim, but I prefer to hop, hop, hop.
1. Pick out four cards; three that are similar to one another, and one that is different. Ask your child to find the card that doesn’t belong and have him/her explain why it doesn’t belong in the group. (This exercise can be great for 4-6 year olds as well. You can choose how hard to make each grouping. Examples below go from easiest to hardest.)
“The ant doesn’t belong because all the other cards are foods (or fruits).”
“The hippo doesn’t belong because all the other cards have wheels (or have red in them).”
“The hippo doesn’t belong because it’s the only thing that’s alive.”
“The seahorse doesn’t belong because it doesn’t have wings (or it lives in the water).”
“The fairy doesn’t belong because she doesn’t have a long nose (or because she has shoes on).”
2. If you own two Blurble decks, or you and a friend each own a Blurble deck, you can play Memory. If you are unfamiliar with the rules, here they are: Choose how large you’d like the game to be by deciding on a number of pairs. For example, you could choose to use eight pairs (two dragons, two scarecrows, etc.), which would make a four by four square. Place all the cards face down, mix them up, and organize them into the square formation. The first player turns over any two cards for everyone to see. If the cards match one another, that player removes the cards from the square, which scores one point, and that player flips over two more cards. Once this player has flipped over two cards that do not match, the cards are flipped back over in their original spots, and the next player takes a turn. The object of the game is to remember which cards are in each location in order to make the most pairs. The game continues until all pairs have been found. The player with the most pairs is the winner.
3. Tell a story. Choose any number of Blurble cards and ask your child to create a story incorporating each of the cards. Your child could write the story out, or simply tell it to you out loud. The stories are bound to be extremely silly which will keep them interested time and time again. Here’s my attempt at a story:
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!
Of course a child will tell a much better story than mine, but you get the point. You can also do story-telling as a family. Give everyone two (or more) cards. Have one person start the story by using one of their cards. Then move on to the next person to add in one of their own. This is a great way to get everyone involved and the stories will turn out even more silly than with just one storyteller.
4. At this age, many children are ready to start playing Blurble. A good way to start them out is to allow them to use any word that starts with the same letter as the image on the card (rather than implementing the ‘no proper nouns, no numbers, no contractions’ rule).
1. Around the World: This game is great for large groups of kids, especially in a classroom setting. Organize the students’ desks into a circle or into rows. Have all the students start out at their desks. Choose one student to start as the ‘traveler’. The traveler gets out of his/her desk and stands next to the desk of the student next to him/her. A card is flipped onto the desk and the two students race to say a word that starts with the same letter as the image on the card. If the traveler wins, he/she moves on to the next student. If the traveler loses, he/she sits down at the desk of the student who just won, and the winning student stands up and becomes the new traveler. The new traveler plays the next student. Play until one student has gone ‘Around the World’ and made it back to his/her desk, or play for a certain amount of time and determine which student has traveled the farthest when the time is up.
Here’s a good twist to add on to Around the World: Each time a student wins, ask him/her to tell you what part of speech their word was. For example, the ‘dolphin’ card is flipped and someone yells, “dive.” Ask them what part of speech “dive” is. “Dive is a verb.”
2. Test your child’s speed by seeing how many cards he/she can get in a minute. As in the regular rules, the object would be to say a word that starts with the same letter as the image on the card. This exercise could be done with two children, either as a competition to see who could get the most in a minute, or as a team, to see how many they could get together.
3. At this age, most kids will be ready to play Blurble as the rules explain (without proper nouns, numbers, or contractions). They’ll do great with kids their own age, and soon enough, they’ll be a challenge for you!