Monster Squeeze

Dec 2, 2018 · 4 min read

On March 10th, I published an experiment called sUdDen sHift. And today after the gap of almost nine months I am sharing one more, mainly to get back to the habit of writing.

This week Asya learned a new game at her school called Monster Squeeze. It is a two-player math game that challenges a child to find a secret number while learning about the number line. Asya was so excited to play it with Yogita and me. As part of her homework, we played it too. But this time with a twist. :)

Yogita and I took this as an opportunity to help Asya design her version of the Monster Squeeze. We started with planning, drawing, coloring. Later choosing the final character, drawing the numbers and finally putting a board together to play the game.


Three questions we were trying to answer

While sipping on the tea and turmeric milk on the rainy Saturday morning, three of us started identifying the steps.
What all we need to do to design and build our version of the game? We took notes. We started with three questions, first, the name of the game? Second, what we need to do to design the game and the third, what all we need to draw?Writing down answers was especially fun.

Directing the monster drawing

I merely followed Asya’s instructions. We narrowed down to three characters, a scary, a heart faced and a square faced monster.

Scary and heart faced monster
Square faced monster

Coloring the monster

After drawing, we moved to, coloring. Asya colored these drawings on her own, with a very little help around the tool (iPad app paper by 53). For some reason, she chose black for the scary monster. We are trying to understand, why she wanted that color and what triggered the rainbow theme. The rainbow theme, maybe because we have spotted almost 3–4 rainbows in the last couple of weeks.

Coloring by Asya

Choosing the monster

We were surprised by how Asya chose the final character. She had her own reasons. As a facilitator, I printed the drawings and put them on the wall. Sitting in front those drawings Asya described each picture. What she liked and disliked.

According to her, black faced monster was too scary, and heart faced monster was rather too funny. She chose the square faced monster, because it was “Really good.” She also gave it a name “Rainbow monster”.

Drawing the numbers

Drawing the numbers was nothing more than being organized and giving our board game a character. We could have easily skipped this step, but the designer in me pushed to draw and compose these numbers in a square for little bit polished output.

Version 1 on left and version 2 on right

Putting the board together and having fun

It took us around half an hour to print and glue the numbers to a foam board. This game is really fun, and as mentioned in the beginning it challenges a child to find a secret number while learning about the number line. Here are the instructions.

  1. Player 1 places one monster at each end of the number line facing, facing each other. The same player chooses a mystery number between a range, for us, it is 1–20.
  2. Player 2 guesses a number
  3. Player 1 says whether the number guessed is too low or two high and covers the number with a monster. The left monster covers the number if the guess was too low. The right monster covers the number if the guess was too high.
  4. Players keep guessing and moving monsters until the mystery number is guessed, or “squeezed” between the monsters!

We are now working towards creating a logo for our version of this game. Let’s see what Asya has in her mind.

Hugs! Have a good one :)

Harshad Kulkarni

Written by

Design to me is not limited to producing beautiful artifact but systematically removing hurdles to improve human life.

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