Waterfall Arts giving away 150 DIY Board Game Kits to children this November

Tue, 11/07/2023 - 5:00pm

BELFAST — In honor of International Games Month this November, Waterfall Arts, in collaboration with community partners, is gifting 150 "DIY Board Game Kits" to children. These kits inspire imaginative play and creativity, containing versatile supplies like spinners, dice, and colorful chips.

“Belfast has an active gaming community with enthusiasts of all ages: the thriving GameLoft youth development program serves 150 local kids aged 6-18, Belfast Free Library’s collection of games gets tons of use, and there’s even a weekly Boardgame Cafe, spearheaded by local teen, Kai Kutsky,” said Waterfall Arts, in a news release.

Partnering with those groups, Waterfall Arts will give out 150 free DIY Board Game kits in mid-November. Motivated to inspire other kids to get creative, members of the Bridge Afterschool Art Club for sixth graders are assembling the kits. The students have been sorting, counting, and bagging supplies that are fun enough to get excited about (a spinner, die, and colorful chips included) yet generic enough to leave the possibilities wide open.

The project was inspired by a generous donation from a board member who was shuttering a math tutoring company and had a warehouse of materials to offload. They contacted Kids & Families Programs Manager Bridget Matros, who saw creative potential. Many who come to Waterfall’s weekly Young Artists’ Studio program enjoy creating board games with paper and whatever other odds and ends they discover in the “treasure bins” the studio offers.

“Lots of parents tell me their kids aren’t the artistic type,” said Matros. “It’s really important they understand that creativity is at the heart of being a capable and successful person, especially for kids graduating into a job market transformed by artificial intelligence. Flexibility, out of the box thinking, and problem solving need strengthened through creative activities. We’re hoping a light bulb turns on for parents when they see their kids inventing crazy new games with these kits, and they realize their kids are creative!”

Kits can be picked up on the second floor of the Library, at Waterfall Arts, and The Game Loft store, beginning November 15.

Game designers are invited to the Boardgame Cafe the last Wednesday of November to show off their creations and get some players to try them out. The weekly event takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. at the United Farmers Market in Belfast and it typically $5 to enjoy the hundreds of games available.

For the DIY Boardgame Makers’ night on November 29, those who bring their new game (and their families) get in free. Bridge art club members will have treats for sale to cover the program’s costs.

For more information, to get multiple kits while supplies last, or to share your creative kid’s game, contact bridget@waterfallarts.org.