What we can Learn from Playing Spatial Awareness Games feat. Dina Ramse - 139
3:17PM May 7, 2021
Board Gaming with Education
What's up EduGamers? On today's episode, we're going to talk about spatial reasoning and spatial awareness games. If you don't know what those games are, don't worry, we're going to define that in the conversation with Dina. Today, we're also going to look at how we can benefit from playing these games, how they impact our lives on day to day basis, and how they can be very supportive for younger players as well. So join us on today's video cast episode of Board Gaming with Education. Let's jump in.
Board Gaming with Education, a podcast for anyone curious about how games and education mix, we explore various topics like game based learning, gamification, and board games, and the impacts they have on learning. here's your host, Dustin Staats.
Board Gaming with Education, we're all about using tabletop games for learning or finding excellent games to play with your family, or friends. If you have any questions about the games we carry at Board Gaming with education.com, you can leave a comment below or reach out to us directly at podcast at Board Gaming with education.com. We also have an awesome section on our website called Ask an edgy gamer expert. Or you can sign up to schedule an appointment to meet with us. If you have questions on how to play some games you found at Board Gaming with Education comm or you're looking for that perfect fit for your learning environment, you can reach out to us there as well. Alright, let's get into the conversation with Dina.
Alright, so I'm joined today with Dina she is a social media specialist. And she's here today to talk about spatial reasoning and spatial awareness game. So I didn't know I kind of didn't really know there were two different things I knew of about spatial reasoning slash spatial awareness that it's like placing board game pieces, and you have Pauline dominoes, which is really tough for me to say all the time. But I'm excited. So Dina, would you mind sharing a little bit more about yourself? Before we talk more about the topic?
Yeah. Okay. So, um, you know, I'm based in Finland. And I'm a mom of one, which will be, you know, this will make sense later why I'm mentioning good mouth. I do a lot of playtesting. And, obviously, some mentioned, go to social media. And I'm really loving, like game design. And I've been working with games now for the past 17 to 18 ish years, both in like community based, and also, you know, making games and helping to promote other people's games. So that's been really exciting journey for me, and now landing into properly into board games with everything going virtual and being able to build a larger network.
Awesome. Yeah. And I'm excited. I mean, you mentioned your your one year old, so I'm not sure I don't want to ask you a question that will probably come up in our conversation. So I won't go right into the topic. And in defining both these these two games, spatial or types of games, spatial awareness and spatial reasoning, can you kind of just give us a broad definition of both those?
Yeah, first is my kid is four. Yeah, he just turned four. But spatial reasoning is when you're working with limited information, and you have to come up with ways to see how the object would be one rotated. So it's us trying to imagine how would a specific polyoma know fit in, for example, Tetris. So you can rotate them or flip them inside your head? before you're placing it or even you know, putting it there and trying to see okay, which way is going to score me the most points? That would be spatial reasoning, as far as spatial awareness? That is more in terms of like, our position in relation to other things. So that board game is in front of me it is, excuse me, on the table? For example, when we're giving directions, how am I relating to other things in our surrounding, so you know, what call centers would come in if you're having challenges, for example, with processing for sensory issues?
Cool. Um, so I'm wondering, some how some memories stick with you. And one thing I remember my dad mentioning about his depth perception is very good when he was parking a car, would that fall into like, I guess, spatial awareness?
Yeah. Because that is your relation to other objects around you. So we're talking about allocentric and egocentric when we're talking about spatial awareness. It is, you know, you can say that something is to the north or to the east. So we're using a top down bird view, you know, you're looking at Google Maps. It is a top down view and yours Supposed to be able to imagine if you're inside it? How would I then navigate a map or a labyrinth or, you know, we are navigating through the games. And that is an allocentric in the egocentric It is our relation in where I am right now. So something is to the left or to the right for me.
Okay, cool. Awesome. So would you share with us? I mean, Tetris is a great example of a game I didn't I don't know why I didn't think about that for spatial, I guess, spatial reasoning. What would be an example of some of those games as far as board games? And maybe, maybe you can give an example of some that might be really great for people who are not familiar with a lot of modern board games?
Yeah, I personally love polio minnows. And, you know, for me, with my own challenges, because I have ADHD, so I have some from sensory processing issues. So for me, working with spatial reasoning and games has been really helpful for me, in order to improve my own skills. For example, I can do a time gram for the life of me, I see the shapes and I can put them actually together and I can't even imagine how they're supposed to fit together. So I work with with games in order to improve this thing because it helps also on other aspects in life, for example, because I am really bored. Because I'm struggling with when the the reasoning part, I'm also struggling with geometry, it can X amount of books fits into a bookshelf or well, like how can I best organize my board gaming collection inside the colleagues like, I can't do that. I have to actually put them in and see does it actually fit? I can just imagine it from a lot of people, they will be able to imagine it, but gamestar helps with this will be like blockers, which is really entry level friendly and blokus. I asked on Twitter earlier today, people had like, what is your favorite games, which would support this topic? And they mentioned like torkel and Turo, for example, where you're trying to have a look at letter drive and going through the maps and the tiles that changing the journey through it. And yeah, patchwork was mentioned a su it's another great one. And sagrada, you know, these things can be really good for this.
Yeah, there's there's so many and I know a lot of games. Maybe that's not the main mechanic, but some games employ part of that as McCann I'm thinking of. Oh, my gosh, what's the designer? Rosenberg? Is he is that the designer? The Feast?
Almost all of his games. Yeah, you're like adding
the like pieces onto the ship in the in your like field. I don't I've only played a couple times. But it's all like resource management. But then also you're trying to fit it into your ship by placing the pulley on Windows on to the right, yeah.
And also he has, you know, like Indian summer, which is my favorite of his games. Because it is really like how the tiles are looking and how the placement is working. And the scoring just kind of makes sense to me. And my kid who is Florida will play this with me and he thinks is amazing. So that's been one of the things that we work together, because I don't want him to struggle with the same thing that I do and also, you know, build a better future for him and all that. Since I am a Montessori parent, I try to find ways to make learning things in terms of like, you know, kind of like homeschooling, more fun and engaging for both of us.
Cool, and maybe maybe I can ask a question about Montessori schooling and games. How does that go hand in hand? Because I know, parents are pretty pretty, maybe fairly familiar with Montessori schooling, but not so much that with board games,
yeah. So we're, when, as he has been growing up, my kid, been looking at what he finds interesting, and what engages him the most. And then providing him with the opportunity to do just that. And for him, it has always been playing games. He loves playing games when he comes home from kindergarten, and he's like, Mommy, Mommy, I want to play tomorrow. And he will pull out the game from the shelf and we will play it. So I just make sure that the games that we have support something that can be able to use now so you can learn something from them. And they're not. No, like locusts and a zoo aren't really heavy in terms of educational, so that light, but he's also learning something from it.
Really cool. So why, I mean, you mentioned some tie ins to the real world in your experience. Can you talk a little bit more of why it is important to play some of these types of games and how that helps with real world interactions?
Yeah, so um, obviously with special things do you have If it helps you with your movements of being able to locate yourself and be better to read maps, for example. And it can help you just with sentence and grammar structure later, to have a really good spatial awareness and reasoning. Mathematics comes in as a big one, understanding like key concepts in terms of the spatial reasoning for geometry and arranging numbers and storing things. And also, you know, just like the sequence of of how things can happen, and being able to manipulate sequences and creating your own sequences. That's like the basics of just understanding mathematical concepts.
Cool. So, and I'm wondering, because I'm, I'm terrible at these types of games, like really bad, I think maybe I just don't have the patience, or I don't know, I just don't. Yeah, I'm probably similar to you where I have to put it there and figure out does it fit. And if it fits that I'm good to go. But I can't do it like in my head, if a game includes something where I have to like look in my head and kind of like, like you mentioned, move around and kind of flip around in my chair to make sure this piece like flip it upside down and make sure it all works. If it includes that I'm not very good at those games. So I'm wondering, would it be beneficial for me to continue to play these games? Or maybe is there a connection to how this might benefit me outside of playing?
Yeah, absolutely. For me, like, I started with these games also well, while teaching my kid realizing that this is something I'm struggling with, but for me, it's more about like odd shapes. So like triangles on hexagons, are more difficult for me than then the Tetris was because I've practiced so much now. And so I'm noticing with myself that I'm getting better as I'm playing these games with my kid, and I'm finding more and more increasingly difficult ones of these type of games to see like, how far can we both push it? And how far can I push it? Like, how much am I actually learned from and not quite understanding? Like, how can I win a game of bloke is to being able to, to be people who are played at a lot longer than me. So yeah. And when I was moving and moving into my new place here, just like seven months ago, me trying to arrange everyone all the furnitures went a lot easier than when I moved for myself for the first time when I was 14, trying to fit all the furniture around, because now I've had all this practice. And I was able to see it in action, like how much I've actually learned, because I've been playing and focusing on teaching myself and others around me how this is actually affecting our lives.
That's cool. And that's a good story. Because I It reminds me of like the office I'm in and I, I've arranged it This is the third fourth time maybe I've arranged it because I have to like put it all in place and figure out if it works. And I sit with it for a little bit. And it's gotten more efficient every time like I'm better at using the space every time I do rearrange it. But yeah, that's really cool. So and I liked your your connection with an education, the zone of proximal development, it's like that area where you just push yourself far enough to to learn where it's not too difficult and not too easy for you where you're you're progressing your ability to learn something. And I wonder, do you have any tips or ideas for how parents and educators can use these types of games in their learning environment or at home? You mentioned with your four year old? How did you start? How did you start doing that?
Oh, that's a great question. Yeah, obviously, for me, the key part with Montessori is to observe the child and really see how they're interacting with things to find something that they can that can captivate their interest as well as something that they're wanting to stick with. Because the key pillar with Montessori is really, you know, like the child will show you and will tell you through their mannerism, what they want and what they need. So by looking at what he is wanting to do, in terms of like, the challenges that he gives himself, when he's bored, I can be able to, like, anticipate what I should be able to provide him of other obstacles, and one of the things is not he's really clumsy and he wants to climb. I'm not quite sure you know, that's all small kids. They're not quite sure where they are. And you know, in the our centric, or even in the egocentric there, they bump into things. And I can relate to that. I do that too. With my hearing disability, one of the things that I very often affect is my balance. So I bump into things and being able to also challenge myself with this game. So I found that I'm pumped less, because I am able to better adjust to the distances in terms of my the egocentric view for the special awareness.
Cool, yeah, I'm trying to and I'm trying to think back when I was a kid, if I maybe just didn't play a lot of these types of games. I know, I know, I did not enjoy Tetris as a kid, like, I had friends who loved like, you know, there's, there's other versions of it, and we had Gameboy growing up, and I have friends love playing that game for me, but it just wasn't, wasn't for me. So I wonder if that kind of has bled over into my adult life.
So there are sensitive periods, for every, every human in their lives, where learning is interesting, where you're kind of having to capture them within the specific times in order for them to be interested in it. So knowing a lot about the development of the child and also us as adults, because we will go through phases, where things are interesting or not interesting, and knowing how that function can help you be able to know exactly when to introduce these kind of things. So with my child, I would start out with like LIDAR games, because he was interested in it. So I would, you know, we would work with sequences and numbering, first with actually the numbers because that's what he wanted. And then we would go a step back and then introduced the shapes. And then we would work on on doing you know, like, basic dominoes. And then we would do the, the triangular version of the dominoes, because that has shapes in terms of numberings together and matching. And seeing that matching is interesting, then you can go into, you know, like, carcass on and then build from there. And from carcass on. We were able then to go into focus on larger ships and more complex shapes.
And yeah, you mentioned, you mentioned math earlier in our conversation, I'm sure that introducing younger kids to these concepts, even at that very basic level, it's helping them further on when they're getting into things like geometry. Hmm. Awesome. So one last thing, maybe before we kind of wrap up here, you mentioned Montessori, like, I guess the Montessori philosophy and schooling, could you share just a quick idea on where if someone's interested in that, because that conversation came up, and it's pretty hand in hand with how you introduce games to your four year old? Where could they learn more about something like that?
Um, yeah, there's a lot of great resources in terms of books, like I love reading. So obviously, I'm going to recommend books for this. There are is a book called like the Montessori toddler, which is amazing. I've chatted to the author while she was making it and she just absolutely phenomenal her and how she's approaching it from both the educational but also making it consumable for parents, because you're tired, you're not going to be able to go, you know, super high level and everything I talk about the meta, but you want to have, you know, actionable things that you can actually do and put into effect, and see are the results with your child. And it's a lot about how we are framing ourselves and how we've been taught to like, this is what a child is, but actually telling the parent that you know, any kid is going to be okay. But just like observe them and look at what they're doing. And try to keep you know, like, what we think what they're doing. And just like write it down, look at what they're actually doing, look at the reasons why they're doing the things that they're doing. And that's been really good for me, because then you're able to like step back from the Oh, I think this is my kit, but then actually you allow the kid to come through and show them who they are, rather than us putting into like, this is your identity.
Cool. And that was called the Montessori toddler, right?
Yeah, there is also a couple of books after that. That kind of continues the process. But that for me has been a phenomenal book.
Really cool. Awesome. So before we jump in the game, is there anything else that you'd like to share maybe some final tips for parents or educators or anything else that you want to share about spatial reasoning or spatial awareness games?
Probably like a lot, but I'm having a brain fart moment.
Yeah, no, that's okay. Awesome.
But yeah, I'm making an article about the topic that I'm going to get published from, because I'm writing for fundamentals. So there's going to be an article there for me later, maybe like next month, because I'm having number coming up first, where I'm going to talk more about the type of games and how you can introduce them a little bit more specifically on what each of the games do well, in terms of the special different awarenesses that and the approaches that they do.
Oh, I guess I'll leave the social media before we go into our game too, because if the article is up, I'll link it to our description. Our show notes. But if not, be sure to follow Dean on social media so you can stay tuned for that. And we'll put this up again here at the end. But I'm we're gonna jump into our game
is called Is that for real of board game? So the game about guessing games, I'm going to give you three games. So actually, I was talking about this before, but all three of them could be fake for games. Or it could be just one or it could be two. So arguably not what we're gonna do. And each one you're gonna tell me if it's for real board game or not?
Oh, well, it could be any
can be any. So we'll see. I mean, I'm experimenting with different games on the show. Sometimes, like we played wits and wagers. I know. I need to change some rules for that. But this one I think, think works well. So barbers is the first one and barbers you and a partner face the Sunday rush as new barbers giving customers all the cuts and shaves they need. All preventing the pesky old Barber of the neighborhood from stealing your customers. From right under your nose barbers is a dice drafting action selection game for one or two players, you and your partner playing barbers running a hair salon. There are three chairs in your salon in a queue outside your shop. Not for real a board game.
Kind of tempted to say that it is but I'm actually going to go with no i don't think that. Okay, so final answer. Yeah, it's I don't think it is.
Yeah, is what
it's called barbers at some point, and this is the board game given team.
I don't know much about it. Except for that description and those pictures, but it is a game. Yeah. So we'll go to the next
fantastic. They totally lost the point there for you know, not using the Instagram famous 2017 they are. I mean, they're marketing.
Yeah, it seems like a kind of indie developed game for sure. Yeah. All right. Next one potato. game where each player play a card from their hand potato card, a corn on the cob card and a flower card in addition to cards or actual objects on the table, including a corn on the cob, potato a flower. And every player gets a B players need to act fast to place the correct object on or in the correct spaces, depending on the cards that are played. Is that for real? a board game?
Okay, so there's a lot of things that you would have to have in like, for yourself like me, I mean, the game wouldn't come with the potato. Unless you have like minis I'm not seeing a red thread here through the items. But that could be on purpose. It feels like it could definitely be some super indeed. No, no, no, I'm not gonna go with no, I don't think it's again.
It's not a board game. And you are correct. It is not a board game. It's based off the game called mosquito. And it's a mosquito, a Apple, a flower and a bee. And you have to lay down your cards and depending on the card you lay down either put the bee on the flower or the mosquitoes do something or the your Apple does have the I'm not sure the exact rules but yeah, they're like squishy little pieces. So
Wow. I mean, this looks like it could be like a proper kids game. Yeah, but
yeah, I believe I've seen I've seen someone actually play this before. Because when I looked up, I typed the mosquito board game and this came up so alright. And the last one garbage day. In garbage day, players take turns stacking garbage cards one at a time. On to the overflowing garbage can or stash in garbage cards in their rooms. But once the players room gets too full, they must clean it by stacking all the cards from that room on top of the garbage can very carefully one by one. If garbage cards fall off the garbage can during your turn place them in your overflow pile. If your overflow pile gets too big, you're eliminated from the game. While players have been eliminated you win.
Again, this is funny because I actually had a game that's very similar to this. But I'm good for a game jam one. Oh. So I'm gonna go with a real game because it's just a little bit too close to my silly idea.
And it is.
Yeah, the kid not be but that was not a game
and it's based off of I think college roommate. is the idea you're living together with your college roommates or something? Something with roommates? Yeah.
My variation was called dormitory. So that sucks.
Maybe they were the designers were in the game gym.
I doubt it. Haley does it? Yeah. Tiny 16. That would actually be Yeah, that would be the same year I made this.
You'll have to look
to check it out.
Cool. Well, Dina, thank you so much for sharing your insights. I learned a lot. I know, our community learned a lot as well, again, follow her on social media. Dina said so or Twitter's Dina said so one. Would you mind sharing a little bit more about any projects or anything else? Or where people can? I mean, you mentioned your blog post, but what else are you working on?
Yeah. Okay. So I'm currently working on setting up a website with all like actionable things that people can do for social media and in terms of being better at promoting their own stuff. Because I find that game designers tend to be kind of crappy at it. They're good at designing games. But I want to talk to talking to people about their passion, they all seem to be a little bit intimidated. So I'm trying to help there. So that's coming up, it's going to be marketing with dina.com. It's still a little bit work in progress going on there. But that will also outline all the projects that I have done and I'm working on. The one that I have this coming up next is walk the walk the party game reinvented. With a why not media, which is a really exciting kind of fun party game where you're pitching and invention, where you have this really quirky inventions from the 1880 to 1920s ish somewhere. And you're trying to give them a pitch as if you were on an investor meeting, which I think this will have been a lot of fun to work with. And I'm also working on terror, eternity, which is all about like eco friendly board game, and you're trying to reduce the co2 emissions in the world, which is a lot heavier than, than the party game, and also hyper wars, which is really cool. Real Time, a cyber punk for a game that I'm really stoked about.
Awesome. Yeah. Do
you have a lot a lot of projects going on? That's super cool. I've seen the what the what and I had no territory the a little bit to what the what the what, there's some cool, like inventions are really goofy from that time period. So
salutely Yeah, that is so much fun,
too. Cool. All right. Dina, thank you so much for coming on the show. And please see you again soon.
Absolutely. It's fun to be here. Thank you.
All right, I want to thank Deena again, for coming on the Board Gaming with Education videocast. And sharing some insights. I know I learned a lot about spatial reasoning, spatial awareness games, and what those games mean, to me as a board game player. Before we go, just a couple things, Board Gaming with Education, our newsletter, I say this over and over and over again. But it's the place to stay up to date with Board Gaming with Education. It's everything that we're doing on one place, we also share other resources that we come across a lot of great insights into game based learning gamification. And we also share a lot of games that we add to our store. And we're always adding new games to Board Gaming with Education calm. And just to highlight a couple updates that are coming out with Board Gaming with Education that you would find in our newsletter, if you are already signed up. If not, I want to share them with you now one is our board game crate. So that is something where you can sign up to receive these board game, quote unquote crates, but they're really just a box of board games. Really excited for that we're still ironing out some details related to that. So stay tuned, you'll see that if you go to Board Gaming with education.com. When we do launch it, it will be right there on the front page. Also, we're expanding our resources and we're opening it up to the community. Still working on how that's going to look and if you are interested in want to join us on this journey. Send me an email podcast at Board Gaming with education.com. Alright, so until next time, we'll be back with another episode next Monday.
Thank you for listening in this week. If you like what you heard, be sure to let us know you can find us on social media as Board Gaming with Education or BGA games or email us at podcast at Board Gaming with education.com. If you want to support our podcast, be sure to check out our support page on our website. As always teach better learn more and most importantly, play more. Thank you for listening and until next time.