Simple tips and tasks for teachers, parents and anyone else, used in the course of the first play with the deck:
1. How many countries are there in Europe? (Write down an answer and check it as per the deck).
2. Recognize countries orienting by their outlines (without showing their names). The test can be performed just for several (5-10) countries. Write down right names. Calculate a total error value (a number of inconsistencies). However, it would be better to ask a player about all countries first – it will be a sort of test of existing knowledge.
3. THE BIGGEST TEN is also a test of existing knowledge:
- Write down the names of ten biggest European countries from memory (starting with the biggest one). The same task can be given for population sizes.
- Then indicate under each written country its correct position in the list of European countries rated by area.
- Calculate an error value for each written country (the difference between its position indicated by a player and the right position). Sum up the ten errors. If all countries were rated correctly the error amount will be 0.
4. Put the country cards on the table so that they lay approximately in the same way as on the map of Europe. After 2-3 times, one starts to remember neighbouring countries: which of them is “higher”, which is “lower” (more to the North and more to the South, respectively), which is “left-hand” and which is “right-hand” (more to the West and more to the East, respectively).
5. Which of the European countries are situated on two continents? (They are hatched on the cards.) How many countries do not have access to the sea? What are they? (Without blue littoral line).
6. Find the longest way from one country to another entering any country just once; for example, from France to Germany, from Russia to Belorussia, from Russia to France, thus, travelling from Russia to neighbouring Belorussia can take 29 countries.
7. Find the longest route around Europe entering any country just once.
8. Who of the players will be the first to put all countries in order according to their areas (starting with the largest one)? Put the cards as per scores; in case of equal scores take into account the indicated area values. Do the same as per population sizes.
To ensure better memorization, ask the following questions:
- What does this spot (a country) look like?
- Which spots are round, high or long, wide, square…?
- Which of them do you like (by their shape) and dislike?
- Which of them do you want to take? Can you find them on the map?
- Which spots, if minor lines are drawn, make a figure, an object?
- Can you find the largest spots on the map?
- Which fairy-tales did you read? For example, where Karlsson-on-the-Roof is from? Tom Thumb? Thumbelina?
- Which countries did you hear of at home?
- Do you know anyone who visited a foreign country?
- What country did you hear of?
Then you can proceed to various games. It would be appropriate to play “Olio” with two decks first.