BuilderBooks, the publishing arm of the NAHB, has come out with a card game that educates youngsters about the home building process. Build It! debuted in January, and since then, it has been a pretty good seller, according to Theresa Minch, executive director of BuilderBooks and the game's inventor.
The game is intended for children aged 7 years or older, so play is fairly simple. Each player is attempting to build a house by playing one card per turn, in an order representative of the home building process. Once all 10 builder cards are played, the player ends with a Certificate of Occupancy card, which gives them a certain number of bonus points.
However, the deck also contains Code Inspector and OSHA Inspector cards that correspond to each building stage. Players may play these inspector cards on each other at the appropriate time, temporarily halting the building of their opponents' houses. Card cognoscenti will find the play similar to that of Milles Bornes.
Build It! is fun, and it is a game, but it's not all fun and games, says Minch. She designed it as an educational tool, and she worked with NAHB's experts in developing it. To that end, the inspector cards are based on real-life violations. For instance, the OSHA Inspector card that can be played during the plumbing stage of the game scolds the builder for using the top step of a ladder, a trespass that isn't readily apparent to those unfamiliar with the industry.
Minch says the game has garnered interest from educators and local associations across the country. The game is sold at many trade shows, and Minch has witnessed young children playing against (and beating) professional builders. To order, go to www.builderbooks.com.