The recent media splash that girls-geared toy company Goldieblox made was indicative of a greater desire among parents to find games for their kids that are as enriching for the mind as they are enjoyable to play. Alex Wolf, creator of Ani-gram-it, has come up with just the thing. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design with an abiding interest in science and nature, Wolf became a mom 12 years ago and started looking for games that would harness children’s early fascination with animals and insects — but to no avail. She wanted something that would help her daughter make sense of all the subtle patterns, structures, and colors hidden in nature’s composition. When she couldn’t find anything on the market that was up to the task, she did what any entrepreneur does to fill a product void: she made it herself.
Ani-gram-it merges Wolf’s design background and passion for science in a crossword-style board game, using tiles that depict body parts to make any number of animals. “I wanted to make visual sense of the tree of life,” she said in an Oak Meadow blog post. Meant for collaborative play among all ages, Ani-gram-it lets each player bring his or her own knowledge of animal anatomy to the game — adding a couple of tiles to a cat makes a lizard, while adding yet another produces a newt. In this way, learning becomes fun and discussions with children about the science that’s being actively engaged with are inevitable. Whether you’re a designer, a scientist, a child, a parent, a teacher, a student, or just someone who really loves playing games, support Ani-gram-it on Plum Alley Fund and banish boredom for learners everywhere.