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Resource Description
Guidelines for Playing The Brain Architecture Game
Recommendations and guidelines for facilitators to orient themselves to the game and to gain tips and tricks for facilitation. Print a copy for yourself and your facilitators!
Game Rental Form The Early Childhood Colorado Partnership currently has 23 English language kits available for rent at $5/kit for up to 1-week. Each kit serves up to 6 participants fully at one time. Not all kits are guaranteed available at one time. Please fill out the form to request the number of kits you need for you event. After you fill out this order request, we will contact you to go over details and availability before the order is completed.
Game Feedback The ECCP wants your thoughts and on how your experience can be improved using The Brain Architecture Game and supportive tools. Please include any suggestions for the toolkit found online:
Orientation Video Use this video to orient facilitators and participants to the game before playing. The game developers and the ECCP recommend using it to start off your event to help participants and facilitators to better understand how the games works, it’s rules and it’s core concepts.
Website The website for the Brain Architecture game has other resources and tools for partners to use.
How to Buy If you are interested in investing in your own game sets, the kits can be purchased on The Brain Architecture Game website. There you can purchase ready made kits in English, Spanish or Portuguese, or you can purchase a downloadable set of cards with instructions to build the kit online in English, Spanish, or Portuguese.
Research and Core Concepts 1. Brain Architecture, 2. Serve and Return, 3. Toxic Stress
Colorado Partners using The Brain Architecture Game This spreadsheet includes a list of partners who have utilized The Brain Architecture Game. They are located all across Colorado and can act as a resource for peer guidance when facilitating the game. Click to view, and email to request contact information for a partner or add your organization or community to the list.
Tips for Facilitators – Recruit others who have played the game before to join your game as a way to help those who are unfamiliar with facilitating or playing. – Set the stage for the importance of early brain development by reviewing video clips and resources that focus on early child development. This can help connect yourself and participants to the game concepts. – Consider children in your life, or imagined, to make stronger connections to the concepts in the game. – Consider how the game content may be potentially difficult for participants. By playing the game they may recognize trauma in others, or in themselves, which can be a difficult experience. Offer space for participants to reflect during or after the event, and give the option to step away while playing. Being a resource, or sharing who can be, for others is an important way to build trust and recognize the seriousness of these concepts. – Check in with groups after the first couple turns to make sure they are understanding the rules of the game and how to interpret the core concepts
Tips for Parents Brain health is determined by more than our genes, it is shaped by the experiences we have! Playing this game demonstrates how different experiences shape how strong a growing child’s brain is. The stronger the brain, the more able to cope with difficult experiences children are. Sometimes we have experiences that are stressful. Sometimes stress can be positive, like the first day of school, and with adult support stress may provide an opportunity for children to grow. Tolerable stress could be a chance to grow, like a divorce or move, if caregivers are able to support the child with learning appropriate responses and coping strategies. Toxic stress is harmful to children, such as a death in the immediate family. But through positive interactions with caregivers, children can build resiliency and strong brains. Positive interactions between caregiver and child, called “serve and return,” are great ways to build strong brains, creating a solid foundation for learning, behavior, and health. Regardless of background and circumstances, we all have the chance to give children and each other happier and healthier lives. Learn more at
Tips for those in the Field Think about how your role in the workforce has a place in developing children’s brains. Can you directly practice serve and return with children? Or maybe you can share ideas for buffering strategies with parents. Maybe it’s promoting parenting classes teaching buffering strategies through your local Early Childhood Council. Maybe it’s playing The Brain Architecture Game with your staff! Whatever your opportunity to build strong brains is, you will be a part of building a stronger tomorrow!
Photo Album Visit our Facebook album where we feature photos sent from partners playing the game. Send photos to to add to the album, or share to our page today!
Expert Moderator Advice The creators and researchers have advice on how to be an expert facilitator. Read more on how they suggest you use, think about and demonstrate the game before you play on your own!
1. Marientina Gotsis 2. Dr. Judy Cameron
Spanish Resources The Brain Architecture Game is now available in Spanish, and there are resources available on the scientific background of the game.
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