Birdcage Press: Go Fish for Impressionist Artists {TOS review}

Even though we have not completed much art this past school year, I love art. Each school year, my children and I manage to make it to the Memphis Brooks Museum to see current exhibits at least four times a year. If we lived closer, then we would go more frequently. This past school year, we had the chance to see an exhibit of Impressionist artists, which was a real treat.

When I saw the Go Fish for Impressionist Artists card game that is created by Birdcage Press as a review opportunity, I knew that it would fit well into our studies for the school year.

Just a bit about Birdcage press, because of its impressive background. The company was co-founded by Wenda O’Reilly, Ph.D., who has degrees from both Harvard and Stanford. O’Reilly began creating games to help her three children in learning and also making the experience fun. She made card games and would write a book to accompany the games.

The Go Fish for Impressionist Artists comes with a 36-deck of cards and a 28-page fact book. The deck of cards features eight artists from the Impressionists period that include Marry Cassatt, Gustave Caillebotte, Edgar Degas, Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot, Camille Pissarro and Auguste Renoir. There are four cards in each set that include a picture of a piece of art created by the artists. A ninth set of cards is also included that give facts and characteristics about Impressionist art – bold brushstrokes, painting is done outdoors and complementary colors.

Each card is numbered for its matching set and has a list of paintings created by the artist that are included in the set. The content detail on the card also includes the museum where the original piece if on display. It is interesting to see how an artist’s work is able to make an impression around the world with some of the pieces being located in the United States – Washington D.C., New York and Massachusetts and others internationally – London, France and Switzerland.

I will say that some of the artists like Edouard Manet and Gustave Calliebotte were new to me and that is where the fact book came in handy.

The fact book is just that, a collection of facts about the artists in the series. There are also descriptions of the paintings and directions on how to play the cards games.

I almost took the fun out of playing the games only because the cards are so pretty and sturdy that I didn’t want them to get bent while being shuffled. Plus, the cards are like art pieces themselves, because of the beautiful pictures that are on them. I know, mom can sure ruin the fun. I showed the children how to do a gentle shuffle, but I know that I am going to have to “get over it.”

There are three game suggestions: 1) Go Fish for Art, which is the traditional game of Go Fish; Masterpiece Memory, which is played like Concentration or a matching game; and Art Pairs, which allows children to be more creative as they pair artwork (art cards) that look the same or similar to each other or look like they go together.

We had fun playing all three card games. My children are the memory kids and they had fun matching the pieces of art in Masterpiece Memory. I enjoyed listening to their ideas as to why they believed a piece should go when we played Art pairs.

Although the game is targeted to children ages seven and above, I think that a younger child would be able to play if he is able to read or has a reading partner available. Go Fish for Impressionist Artists is just too much of a great learning experience for children. All of the learning skills that the game promotes:

• Memory
• Concentration
• Visual processing
• Strategic thinking
• Art appreciation

are skills that younger children can acquire and becoming familiar with beautiful art along the way is a plus.

If you want your child to become art-savvy and have fun while learning, then Go Fish for Impressionist Artists is a great introduction to some of the impressionists artists who made the period famous.

Go Fish for Impressionist Artists is available to purchase for only $11.95.

You can read more reviews of this item by fellow crew members on The Homeschool Crew Blog.

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