FAQ'S: Is there an answer key for your "Explore this Card" game on your birthday cards?
We want to thank Dan who reached out to us with this question. For those who don't know or for those who haven't explored our cards, there is a game on the back fold of most of them that we call "Explore this Card!"
The purpose of the game is to have the birthday child go back through the card and count different images, shapes, and or letters that appear throughout the card. Most children enjoy finding the different things that are asked about in this game. It is kind of like an iSpy game.
So Dan, we did consider adding an answer key, but also realized that for some questions, like "How many letter a's can you find?", we don't actually know the answer. How can that be you may wonder? Since all of our cards are designed to allow you to add the child's name to the card, we don't know how many letter a's are in the name of the birthday child. Their name also appears in more than one place on our cards, so it is impossible for us to know the answer to the question.
We also decided that it was more fun to not have answers. Take our Astronaut birthday cards for example. Here is an image of the game on the back of the card.
The 3rd question is "How many stars can you find?" There are tons of stars on this card. So the birthday child will spend a bunch of time counting to come up with an answer. Chances are that they will show you the card after playing this game. You can look at the number they found and you can "challenge" that finding and they will go count again. lol. A little more peace and quite for you. And if they come back with a different answer, well, you can ask them if they are sure the second one is right and there's a good chance they will count a third time. It may sound mean, but it is actually good for them to do all that counting. It's good for them to find and recognize the different things they are being asked to find. At least that's what we think. And for children that don't like counting, they will just tell you that they are sure they counted right and move on with their day... and that's OK too.
One of the questions is "How many (their age in number form) can you find?" One of the places that we often place a child's age is in the background on the inner folds and in the background of the back fold. And sometimes, depending on where we put graphics, one of the numbers might be partially covered. The childs get to decide if they should count that. Or they may ask you if they should count it. This can lead to a discussion about parts and wholes. You can make a decision for them or you can tell them that they get to decide. You could even tell them that you want to know how many more they would find if they counted the partial numbers vs the "whole" numbers. That will keep them busy. But it is also great counting practice with a little math thrown in.
With this particular card, one of the questions is "How many planets can you find?" As the card has planets, moons and the sun displayed, that question can lead to learning about the differences between the three and which are which. It's pretty neat that the game can lead to learning about astronomical bodies. With older kids, you could challenge the number they came up with when asked about counting stars by asking if they counted the suns too. As the suns are stars.
We also like that with no answer key, the child can't be wrong. Sort of... As adults, we know that there is an exact number of things for them to find. There is a right answer. But from our point of view, it's more important to get them counting. And while that might seem silly for your teenager, for younger kids though, finding and counting things is a good skill to practice.
We want to share that we also found that game can also be turned into a family activity. While the birthday child is going to enjoy this game, you can take it to the next level by having all family members play the game. There is a good chance that everyone's answers won't be the same. You get to work as a family and discuss who has found all the items being looked for and you can share ones that you found that another family member missed. Working together, the family can create an answer key for the card. It has been a neat experience with our kids and we think it can be fun for your family too.
The thing we love most about this game is that the birthday child is not going to toss this card to the side and forget about it. After presents, and the remainder of the party, they will come back to the card and play with it. It will most likely be the only card they receive that they will play with. The rest will sit on a shelf, get piled up in a corner or tossed in the trash. The card you get from us, for them, in part because of the "Explore this Card!" game, will be enjoyed and cherished. It is fun, but it's educational too. We think that's important!
I hope I answered your question Dan. While it seems like a really simple question, we actually put a lot of thought into not providing an answer key. We hope that you agree that it was a good decision not too! Have a great day and thanks for your question and interest in our cards!
Card Designer with ~ The Pacifier City Cards Crew ~