We are at that stage in the year… where we are just about dying for a taste of summer, and winter continues to linger on. It is actually a really good time of year, because instead of relentless days of rain we have a couple of sunny days that fill us with hope… and also remind us that in a month or two we will be completely outdoors day in and day out. Things like sitting at the table listening to audible books, and squashed on the couch reading piles of library books under blankets will be over. So there is a seasonal flurry for puzzles and boardgames, as folk around here sense the season is changing.
Not to mention, right now we are back in school… our days are spent reading through piles of Sonlight books, kids of all ages are reading various levels of ancient history… we have Egyptians and Vikings, we have the American Civil War, and the Renaissance… various levels and various stages. The one thing missing is a little South Africanism. We add a lot of all things South African to our school with our nature study and by reading local travel books, and of course heaps of stories. Most of our learning about South Africa is pure fun, talking to folk who have traveled all over the country, catching up with friends that live further afield and even occasionally our very own road trip.
Sometimes a virtual road trip will have to do and to that end there is a lovely new board game on the block, developed by some ingenious South African HomeSchooling Mums and this has been keeping us busy around the kitchen table. My kids love and adore a road trip, real or imagined and this game is really a miniature version of a road trip… pack some padkos: cocoa in flasks and a couple of sandwiches and you are good to go, or in this case play…
Here’s how it works… split your players into teams and each team gets a route to travel across South Africa… the way you travel is by completing a series of challenges stated on the cards, before the timer runs out. The challengers vary in difficulty and range from acting out something South African to answering a general knowledge question of local interest… questions about landmarks, museums, famous people, local wildlife. Some of the questions are tricky and some are easy… and because a variety of folk have gleaned their knowledge from different sources even the smallest people can often answer a question that the older kids can’t. This game has levelled the playing fields so to speak…
Se7en + 1 Typical Challenges:
- What distance does the Cape Argus Cycle Challenge cover?
- Build the word (Water Bird) _el__an.
- Explain to your partner without saying a word: Braai.
- Name the five countries that fall within the Kavango-Zambezi transfrontier conservation area?
- Complete the proverb: Adversity makes strange __________.
- Conundrum (place) GLIAGDKAA. (unscramble the letters).
- Name the flowers that you find on the 10c, 20c, and 50c respectively?
- You are tired of all the driving. Camp for two rounds at the Kruger National Park.
As you can see, some of the challenges you ought to know, some you wish you knew and some you might never know. It is fairly challenging, but when my older kids teamed up with the younger kids the little ones were quite able to join in often enough with their opinion (!) or their skilful knowledge. I would say that without an adult to adjudicate this game is for middle schoolers and up… players need to be able to read and have a basic general knowledge. I can say that after a couple of rounds of play that our general knowledge of Southern Africa has become a lot more robust.
Apart from that the game is robust, it has withstood hours of play and some fairly intense competition (!), and it still looks brand new. The game is also available in Afrikaans and if our kids were slightly better at Afrikaans I would consider getting that version to improve their language skills. But for now English is the level of choice, there was quite enough new and interesting facts to learn for this to be a fun and engaging way for us to learn a whole lot about our home country. You can read all the details about this locally invented game on their website… The Next Stop.
This is not a sponsored post, we were not paid to write it, we did however receive a copy of the game for review purposes and the opinions expressed are as usual our very own.