I knew I couldn’t stay for the whole program, but when the Free Public Library of Monroe Township posted about a special presentation called Batty for Bats, well I knew I had to take a gander!
Ms. Mary, a naturalist from the Rancocas Nature Center, 794 Rancocas Road, Westhampton, NJ 08060, quizzed local children at the library on what they knew about bats and tested them with some true or false statements. When I asked Ms. Mary if the kids attending these programs were usually creeped out, she said that the snakes and reptiles were actually quite popular – and the youths tonight agreed that bats were “cool.” After all, bats groom themselves just like cats do!
The children – and let’s be honest the parents there, too – were curious to see some of the bat materials on display. Facts on bats such as wing span and heartbeats per minute were hit home for the kids by donning some costume wings to test their own wing spans and putting on stethoscopes to hear their own heartbeats in a “How a Bat Compares to Me” activity. Everyone had a good laugh while learning the basics about bats from Ms. Mary – who confessed to not actually being a bat expert because she prefers bugs.
Based in Burlington County within the 200 acre Rancocas Park and formerly part of the New Jersey Audubon Society, The Rancocas Nature Center puts on a variety of nature and educational programs in South Jersey. For more information, visit rancocasnaturecenter.org or follow facebook.com/FriendsofRNC to support their programs.
And no, there are no vampire bats in New Jersey, thanks for asking.
A very special Thank You to Ms. Mary, the Rancocas Nature Center, and the Monroe Library for allowing me to stop by the program and take a few pictures!
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I have never actually see the 2008 CGI animated movie Igor. In fact, I can’t say that I was even really aware that there was a CGI animated movie called Igor. But I found this gem of a game at my local second-hand bookstore and one thing led to another, so here we are.
I haven’t reviewed many games that are suitable for children, so this is a pleasant change of pace for you Horror Addicts with little monsters at home. Igor is suitable for ages 7+ (and younger if you’re willing to provide a little help). It is played with 1-4 people and takes about 20 minutes.
In Igor, you are a scientist in a desperate race to complete monsters for the science fair. First, shuffle the monster deck and set out three incomplete monsters. Each monster requires certain numbers and types of parts which are shown on their card.
On your turn, roll the dice to gain the necessary parts. You can use as many dice as you want from the roll to furnish a monster then reroll the rest. If at the end of your turn, a monster has all the necessary parts, yell, “Pull the switch!” and gain the points printed on the monster’s card. However, if none of your dice can be used to add to a monster, you lose the rest of your turn and any completed monsters are discarded and replaced.
When the draw pile of monsters runs out, the player with the most points wins.
Igor was just plain fun. The mechanics are simple, so it takes less than five minutes to learn the rules. For a game made as a promotional material, I was impressed with the playability. This is a game that can be fun for both children and adults. Children can play it as a game of chance, but there is room to scale up the strategy of the dice rolls with adults.
The art is good—in line with the movie style—and fits the monstrous theme. There aren’t many pieces and they are cheaply made, but since the game is intended for children, I count that as a plus.
The best part of the game is, without doubt, making everyone say “PULL THE SWITCH” in the loudest, most ridiculous voice possible.
Igor is fun, simple, and silly. It is a perfect addition for a children’s game box (or an adult collection). However, since the movie faded into oblivion over a decade ago, the most difficult part may be finding it.
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