This is a long overdue post. I have been meaning to post about this for quite some time and well...well, I guess I just haven't for many reasons that remain unclear.
My wife Ali, is an enormously clever person (I can boast about her because this is my blog and I hold the official bragging rights - a tremendous honor.) One day, some time ago, she invented a board game called 'Bright Buttons'. Pretty much, just like that. Actually, the story goes a little more like this:
One morning one of our boys (Ollie) came into the kitchen to see a well known board game still on the table from the previous night. He asked Ali if he could play it with her and she naturally said 'yes', changing the questions so that they were appropriate for his age (Ollie was three at the time). He loved that he was able to play a board game with his mum and Ali could see that, done right, a game like this could be a great educational tool as well. It wasn't long before she had a 'cardboard and sticky tape' version that included fun physical and spacial awareness challenges along with questions that encouraged kids to be inquisitive and engaged. Although Ali was vaguely aware that there wasn't anything like this on the market for pre-schoolers (really little people), at this stage it was just a fun game that we enjoyed playing with our kids. Then a friend who just happened to work in the toy industry suggested that she thought it was the sort of thing that a board game company might be looking for.
So Ali teamed up with a graphic designer friend (Kerry Jones) with similar aged kids and they put together a much more flash (sticky tape-less) version and sent it to an International board game company called UGames. They loved it and well, it is now sold in Australia, Germany, the Netherlands (where it was nominated for 'toy of the year') Belgium, France and Luxembourg. Luxembourg people!!
Ali and Kerry also have another two games on the way as part of the series.
Can't tell you how proud I am. And I thought I was the creative one!
PS. Forgot to tell you where you can buy 'Bright Buttons' (if you want!) It can be found at Border's Books, Myer, Toys R Us and a whole bunch of good independent/educational toy stores. Also, it's out there online too.
PSS. I'm off to New York on Sunday and will be posting (sketches, photos and useless thoughts) from over there. No doubt it will be rather New Yorkish.