Imagine a two-year-old toddler running on paths and open spaces and identifying and naming every flower.
And no, not just recognizing a rose or an iris, but more complex and less familiar names of flowers such as the "Denbit Head-nettle" (well, it’s actually a "Henbit dead-nettle" but you won’t call out a toddler on such a trivial exchange of letters?)
That's how I grew up! As a child I was surrounded by nature lovers – my parents and grandfather, Gabriel Shavit, who was a biology teacher and a tourist guide, they revealed the power and beauty of nature to me.
At an early age, I knew how to identify flowers and animals, learned which flower to pick and what animal to touch, where and when we could find special flowers blossoming.
Even when we were not outdoors , we absorbed nature while playing around the family table.
As a child, I remember the quartet game (a game resembling "go fish" or "happy families") in almost every home I visited.
If you were to delve into Israel's history you would discover that quartets were one of the card games that has been played most in Israel since 1930'.
The game originated in Germany and Holland and the JNF reproduced them using a range of topics to "Increase the interest of the children and intensify their acquaintance with the reclamation of the land…"
They delivered an informal educational and cultural massage to the children.
At home this was the way to enjoy family time and also be connected with wildlife and nature even in the living room, learning about the animals and plants of our country.
When my children were growing up, I found myself looking for these games in the shops, wanting to share my childhood memories with them, and to convey to them the love of nature and the land as I had experienced it.
I wanted them to experience the country and its beauty first hand, outdoors, and also to generate quality time with no electronic screens and apps, with lots of family fun .
Around the same time, my grandfather past away and I felt that printing a new version of mine would be the best way to thank him for a wonderful childhood in the countryside and to achieve everything I wanted for my children.
What is this game, and how is it different??
The game is based on popular card games, a variation on the card games known as Happy Families, Go Fish, Authors, or Quartet.
In every quartet game the goal is to collect and complete as many series as possible.
On each card you have the name of an animal, a flower or a bird and its picture, and under the picture you can find mention of the other three belonging to its family (the name of the family is located on the upper left side)
Our quartet game is unique because aside from the traditional format, there is also active learning from the combined information on the cards.
Look at the spectacular photographs and the various icons and read the fascinating information that reveals the wonders of nature to the players, providing a broad and interesting perspective on the animals and landscapes of Israel.
You can adapt how you play the game your child's age. For the little ones who do not read yet – there are other skills that can by used such as sorting by color, identifying by image, counting items in each group, etc.
By being creative and inventive, you can discover many ways in which the game works best for you!
What do you need? Just fly on the wings of imagination (and nature ..).