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The learners will be able to anticipate the milestones of a baby's first year out of the womb and will share thoughts and experiences regarding child rearing.
The game is designed for married couples who are expecting their first child. The game is also appropriate for engaged couples who are considering the possibility of raising children.
Maneuver your "baby" through the first 12 months of its life outside of the womb and be the first team to reach the "birthday party".
The game can be played by 1 couple or as many as 4 couples and will take approximately 45 minutes to an hour to complete.
Arrange the four game boards so players can travel from Months 1-3
to Months 4-6, from Months 4-6 to Months 7-9, and from Months 7-9 to
Months 10-12, as shown above.
Place the green Milestone Cards on the space provided in Months 1-3. Place the yellow Milestone Cards on the space provided in Months 4-6. Place the red Milestone Cards on the space provided in Months 7-9. Place the blue Milestone Cards on the space provided in Months 10-12.
Place the Talk-About-It cards on the space provided.
Players should divide into teams, with husband and wife (or engaged couple) as a team.
Each team should:
Each individual should:
Reminder: Draw Milestone Cards from the quarter of the year your game piece is traveling through (e.g., draw yellow Milestone Cards when your game piece is on the Months 4-6 section of the game board).
If you and your spouse gave essentially the same answer to the question, select the shortest path at this point on the game board and continue playing.
If you and your spouse gave significantly different answers to the question, select the longest path at this point on the game board and continue playing.
Share your thoughts or memories as directed on the Talk-About-It Card. At the first Talk-About-It stop, the husband should share. At the second Talk-About-It stop, the wife should share. Alternate answering between the two partners as you travel along the Diaper Derby.
There are two ways to win Diaper Derby:
This game was originally going to be designed for parents of preschoolers who have children ages 0 to 5. As I started researching parent-teams for content I realized that issues of concern for parents of a two-year old and issues of concern for parent of a five-year old are LIGHT years apart. I'm relatively new to this child-rearing "thing" and do I have a LOT to learn!
I decided to narrow the audience of the game, and redesigned it for married couples expecting their first child. The content of the game is informative and introspective. A number of issues related to ideas and opinions on child rearing are presented, making the game appropriate for engaged couples who are considering the possibility of raising children in the future.
The path design of the game board was a difficult decision. The content of the game is linear, with numerous decision paths along the way. I wasn't sure how to direct the teams on which path to take through the game. Of course all players want to take the shortest path, but I wanted the reward of the shortest path to be granted to couples (teams) who had agreement on child-rearing strategies. If they can think about these issues BEFORE they have a child it will make them a stronger "team" as they raise their actual baby.
I decided to create Decision Cards with 10 difficult decision questions on each card. Those couples that share the same opinion on these questions were granted the use of the shortest path, for their "journey" may be a bit easier.
The content placed on the Milestone Cards will help the parents-to-be to become familiar with what lies ahead for them and their baby. In the game design I found it difficult to keep the players accountable for that content. It was too easy to draw a Milestone Card and simply read the number of spaces to move the playing piece. Enter the Derby-Bingo Cards and Time Chips. This element helps draw the players attention to the content of the game in a light, but purposeful manner.
The Talk-About-It cards were another addition in the game-design process. Working through the issues and experiences generated by these cards will give players an opportunity to discuss their thoughts and memories before the time they become the topics of a family disagreement.
Playing the game was an extreme help in the design process. The game evolved from a very dull exercise (Milestone Cards only) to a very fun and enlightening experience (Talk-About-It Cards and Derby-Bingo game).
Eisenberg, A., Murkoff, H. E., Hathaway, S. E. (1989). What to expect the first year. New York, NY: Workman Publishing.
Email comments about this game to: Barbara Klett.