Learning Curve Bookstore – Capitalizing on Board Games

Learning Curve Bookstore – Capitalizing on Board Games

Learning Curve Bookstore – Capitalizing on Board Games


When this is said by a “tool-oriented” adult, it means they think that their favorite hobby, activity, or sport is the best way to make sense of a creative or thinking situation.

This year, Rosanne Vickrey did not have much interest in current board games. Instead, she was amazed to find that most of the board games she played as a child, such as “Candy Land,” “Clue,” and “Monopoly,” were no longer in print.

During her visit to the Learning Curve bookstore, then the Celebration Book Store, where she was on a school field trip, she came across an old copy of “Mahjong,” which was in a “discount bin.”

“I’ve been to so many stores, but there is nothing near an inexpensive game I could play in the schools,” she said. “There are lots of great things that are not board games, and we ought to be incorporating them into our lessons.”

Rosanne realized that, rather than merely allowing children to complete a task with a time limit, we need to instill games into their lives. An easy way to do this is to have a “weekend” where there is a theme. For example, “Scottsboro Boy” could be the next opportunity for one to play, as this book describes a Florida Panhandle plantation after the Civil War.

The day after the hurricane that hit Florida in 2004, Rosanne and many others gathered at a young women’s retreat in Boca Raton. Her friend Amanda Davis came up with the idea of a second annual yearly retreat for Florida residents affected by Hurricane Charley.

“It’s a group of ladies just like mine, who played (and won) mahjong together,” said Rosanne. “We wanted to make the point that teamwork, a sport for grown-ups, is great for kids too.”

Rosanne’s daughter went to kindergarten in May and came home with a complete mahjong book, which covered all of the games that she might encounter, from Masterpiece to Courageous. “She said that she wanted to play a game,” said Rosanne.

After school the other day, Rosanne played a game with Julia Roberts. She was surprised to discover that Julia’s husband was also interested in Mahjong. Rosanne spent her day bringing this idea to the board-game manufactures, as it is a family game. Rosanne is currently writing a book about playing mahjong with a group of women, which is due for release at the end of the year. “We’re just trying to figure out a way to play it,” she said.

Rosanne is confident that this approach will help students develop a healthy habit. “All it takes is a little incentive,” she said. “When you do something right, you get a reward.”

-Marissa Graves

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