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What do I call my math/social studies board game?

 
master steward
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My kids are learning about the Age of Exploration, and my son loves boats, and the kids need more practice recognizing number arrangements/adding.

Coming America board game with viking, Columbus, Polynesian boats

Ages: My kids just turned 5 & 8. I'm pretty sure kids as young as 3 would probably enjoy it, especially since it's fast.

How to play:

  • Pick a boat (Viking = red path, Portuguese = green path, Polynesian = orange path)
  • Roll dice and move that many dashes (my kids like to roll two dice for a faster game. Added plus: they practice their addition!)
  • Whoever makes it to the Americas first wins!


  • world map with boats

    Notes:

    I tried to make the boats resemble the boats used by those cultures to traverse the seas. They could probably be a lot more accurate...but that would highly increase how easily they could be broken.

    I also tried to make the routes look vaguely like the routes that the various peoples used to cross the ocean. Hopefully I didn't do anything glaringly inaccurate.

    I know that there isn't indisputable evidence that Polynesians made it to America, but I figured there was enough evidence to add them in here.

    This seems to work great for learning different names of the places. The kids like to just sail their boats around after they play the game a few times, and they like knowing that they're by Greenland or Iceland or Panama, etc.

    I like that it shows a diversity of different ocean-traversing boats. There isn't one right way to cross the ocean!

    after a while, the kids just started playing. My daughter brought over her Princesses for them to explore, too.


    I'm not quite sure what to name it. It seems like there's a lot of ways of naming it that could go horribly wrong. My brain just keeps singing ♫ We're coming to America, today! ♪

    dice, boat game pieces, map game board
     
    gardener
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    Polynesians made it to Hawaii. Maybe not "The Americas" but it's modern day America!!!
     
    L. Johnson
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    As for a name...

    "Over the sea, 1, 2, 3!"
     
    Nicole Alderman
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    L. Johnson wrote:Polynesians made it to Hawaii. Maybe not "The Americas" but it's modern day America!!!



    Here's a fun article by the Smithsonian on the subject: Native Americans and Polynesians Met Around 1200 A.D.

    Researchers, published in Nature, sampled genes of modern peoples living across the Pacific and along the South American coast and the results suggest that voyages between eastern Polynesia and the Americas happened around the year 1200, resulting in a mixture of those populations in the remote South Marquesas archipelago. It remains a mystery whether Polynesians, Native Americans, or both peoples undertook the long journeys that would have led them together.



    I gotta run! But there's more evidence than just that, such as sweet potatoes in both places, similarity in language, etc. I'll try and add more info after we get our Christmas tree!
     
    gardener
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    I  suppose 'Voyage of Discovery' is taken, 'Voyage to the Unknown'  or 'Count down to adventure'?
    It looks like a fun game. You could make it more complex for older children with some obstacles on the way, a bit like snakes and ladders. Eg. Wind with you (throw again) wind against you (miss a turn). Storm conditions (take 2 steps back) short on water (divert on loop) Sea monsters (miss a turn) Flying fish (throw again) Ship leaking (miss a turn) Favourable ocean currents (double score).
     
    master pollinator
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    Great learning tool, awesome graphics and fabulous game pieces! Maybe a custom game die that replaces one of the numbers with a storm symbol could teach the kids subtraction?  

    A name:
    Race of the Maritime Explorers
     
    gardener
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    How about simply “The Age of Exploration”?

    Awesome game by the way.  Nice job!

    Eric
     
    gardener
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    My suggestion is Boaty MacBoatGame! - Boaty_McBoatface

    Fantastic - I love it. I was going to say there’s also history and geography. Then I remembered that my son is studying Social Studies in the US which is mostly History and Geography, subjects he and I studied in the UK.

    No one can explain why there are potatoes in Papua, predating 15th / 16th C European exploration. So I think the Polynesian route is very viable.

    Here’s an idea for an expansion - maybe a little fantastical, so could be a myth expansion.

    3rd century jars possibly of North African / Roman origin have been found in South American shipwrecks

    Cocaine and Nicotine traces have been found in the remains of Egyptian mummies have lead to speculation that there was a global trading network 2,500 years before Columbus. (Maybe change it to speculation about chocolate for kids!)

    Atlantans! Probably somewhere around Crete where there’s the remains of a massive caldera.
     
    steward
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    Leagues of Discovery?

    I like the idea of storms, doldrums and other impacts to the journey that require math
    - Good wind, multiply your roll by 2
    - Bad wind, divide by 2 and round up
    - If you roll a 6 in this part of the map you hit the doldrums and miss a turn

    Maybe some day you add multiple routes (at least to/from Europe) that use the currents.  I think they came over from Europe to the Caribbean, then went up the east side of the US and back to Europe.  The other way would take much longer due to currents and wind.
     
    gardener
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    how about ‘getting there’?
     
    Mike Haasl
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    Ooh ooh...    How about "Are we there yet?"
     
    pollinator
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    "Sea Captains".

    Simple, but it appeals to the ego, and offers a hint of role-playing.
     
    pollinator
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    I love this and all of the suggestions for obstacles! Since the focus is America, how about simply "Sailing to America," unless you'll be expanding the game beyond that.  I can see it being an oceanic version of Oregon Trail. "Your crew has scurvy, so you've been delayed by 2 weeks. Skip your next turn."
     
    pollinator
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    What a great project! If the time ever comes when you'd want to expand the idea to allow exploration onto the land of the continents, there's an interesting concept used by Avalon Hill in their 1979 exploration board game "Source of the Nile". The game uses a mostly-blank hexagon mapboard that is filled in hex-by-hex with crayons as players explore. Events such as discoveries and disasters occur depending on the type of revealed terrain and the chosen specialty (e.g., geologist, botanist, etc.) of each player.  The game is pretty complex but the general concepts and mechanics could be adapted for your goals.

    Wikipedia has a brief description of the game:
    Wikipedia: SOTN

    The website "BoardGameGeek" has more detailed information:
    BoardGameGeek: SOTN
     
    pollinator
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    Race to America (since whoever gets there first wins)

    Across the Ocean

    Oversea Explorers

    Horizons: the New World (kind of implies a series, but it's different)
     
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