Six-year old Miranda Evarts of Milford, New Jersey, always loved fairy tales and even dreamed up her own characters – mystical queens with names like the Starfish Queen, the Ladybug Queen and the Rose Queen.
Then one night when Miranda couldn’t sleep, she made up a game about them – that they were sleeping, and needed to be awakened, like Sleeping Beauty.
Miranda raced into her parents’ room and blurted: “I made up a game!”
Denise and Max listened, then smiled, “I think you’ve got something there!”
Over the next few months, Miranda’s family helped her work out the rules for the game and create the artwork.
There were 12 sleeping queens, and 12 kings that could awaken the queens; cards that could send the queens back to sleep; and others that allow players to steal the queens. To win the game, a player has to collect five awakened queens.
When Miranda let her friends play it, they all begged for copies!
So Denise decided to e-mail Gamewright, a Massachusetts game manufacturer, and this year, “Sleeping Queens” hit the market- as the company’s first ever kid-invented game!
The result: over 10,000 copies sold in three months, making it Gamewright’s best-selling new game!
WHAT’S THE “SLEEPING QUEENS” SECRET?
Gamewright receives hundreds of suggestions for games each year. So why did they take a chance on a game invented by a child?
Jason Schneider, who selects new games for the company, said the game had “awesome novel quirks that keep it from being boring – even for adults.”
That someone as young as Miranda had thought up the idea “knocked me out,” says Schneider. “It’s amazing!”
Today, with “Sleeping Queens” about to hit the shelves at retail stores like Barnes & Noble, Miranda modestly says, “I like games, and I’m just happy so many kids have fun playing mine.”
TAP INTO YOUR CREATIVITY
Everyone has a creative streak. “Often it’s just a matter of finding the right outlet,” says Jan Whitted, proprietor of Art-beat – The Creativity Store. Want to jumpstart your own creativity? She suggests you:
1. Stop thinking your untalented.
You don’t need to paint a masterpiece to be creative. “Sewing, cooking, even the way you decorate your living room is an expression of your inner self- and that’s what creativity is all about.”
2. Try new things.
Consider taking an art class or piano lesson – even if you’re “sure” you have no talents, she says. “Or with a friend, pick something you’ve always wanted to try, perhaps joining a local theater group. It’s easier to venture out with a friend.”
3. Nurture your creative soul.
“Listen to music or take a quiet walk in nature, jotting down anything that strikes your fancy. File it away, then, when you’re feeling creative, take out your notes to inspire your imagination,” she says.
4. Learn from your children.
“Kids throw themselves into arts and crafts with such abandon – just follow their lead,” says Whitted. “The more joy you put in, the more you’ll get back.”
~contributed by Steve Baal