After the incident with Caramel in the Cupboard it was really great to get an email from Laura Parsons telling me about her new website Fun and challenging activities for gifted children and her “Games-In- A- Box” project http://giftedchildren.webs.com/
In her email she told me
I’m excited about my “Games-In- A- Box” project.
I think it would be ideal for country people esp. homeschoolers too
Even when you live in a city it can be hard (& expensive) to find good educational games and puzzles.
I have also written a book entitled “Mindgames” which is almost ready to go.
It is currently ready as an ebook via my website.
Some information about Laura Parsons
About 18 months ago Laura Parsons moved from suburban Melbourne to a small country town of around 400 people in the mid-north of SA, to help care for ageing relatives.
“It was a huge change”, says Laura. “In Balwyn we lived on a main road. The traffic never stopped. In Mallala, if a car goes past, the driver waves to you!”
“It’s much more of a community here. In four years living in Melbourne, we never got to know the neighbours, but here I practically know the whole town already. After running her own retail business (at one stage there were six stores), for the last thirteen years, it was time for a change
For the first time in her life she found she had time on her hands. With little chance of paid employment in such a small country town, especially for a “townie”, she got involved with the local school, where their 12 year old son is enrolled.
This was a big change too. She started by volunteering to publish the school newsletter which comes out fortnightly.
“I have always been interested in the area of gifted children & homeschooling. I am a member of Mensa and was their Gifted Children’s Co-ordinator for some time, as well as SA State sec and editor of the National Journal too.”
So she put a proposal to the Principal and now runs a session of about two hours a week for “gifted” children at the school. This has been running for about a year now. We have had a great time so far and I look forward to each new term.
Finding a varied selection of games and activities that are age specific is a challenge she relishes.
Last week they had a go at debating and also Treasure Hunts and lots of different circle games and activities. They have built bridges with spaghetti and marshmallows and completed 3D jigsaws.Every session is different and Laura has kept a diary of the various activities and games the group has played.
“I have spent many hours scouring the net looking for suitable ideas for activities and have found little of substance. There are plenty of websites out there about identifying giftedness and that kind of information, but hardly any practical information such as games and activities to occupy children, especially those which are not computer based, so I can encourage creativity and imagination.”
She has looked for games and activities which challenge and improve their teamwork skills, hand eye co-ordination, logic and reasoning, vocabulary and public speaking skills, maths, spatial recognition, 3D visualisation and fine and gross motor skills amongst others.
As a result, she has decided to publish her own website and has created her own handbooks of activities and games which are continually being added to.
The handbooks (currently 3) contain hundreds of ideas for fantastic, challenging, fun activities for kids including circle games, role play, written and visual, group games, hunts, construction activities and much more. Available as e-books, they can be adapted for most age groups and would be ideal for anyone who homeschools or runs a playgroup or school holiday program or even for kids’ parties.
As a result of the sessions she has also amassed an amazing range of gizmos, gadgets, games and puzzles.
“It was my husband who suggested the “Games In A Box” concept. We used to run a mail order service with our clothing stores so we have a lot of experience in this area. We send out a selection of 10 items in each games-in-a-box, you get to use them for 2-3 weeks and then return them and if you like, receive another selection. No contracts or up front fees are payable, just pay as you go. It works rather like a toy library, with carefully selected, fun and educational games. Each Games-in-a-Box is unique, so you get a completely new selection each time.
“We wanted to share the collection and make it accessible to families who may not have regular access to libraries and games, let’s face it we are all on a budget too. So for less than the cost of one new board game you can have ten to play and learn with. Costs could also be shared with another family nearby.
So one business idea lead to another, and went from one state to another too.
Happy learning and playing!
Laura Parsons can be contacted at