My   name   is   Michael   Whitson,   originally   from   Scunthorpe.   I   have   worked  for   many    years   with  special  needs   and  educational   play   schemes   .  I   have  a   BA   in   Sociology   and   English   Literature   and   D.B.S.   clearance.


Inventagame   emerged  between  2007  and  2013    from  a  project  in  Villa  de  Leyva ,  Colombia  called  Casa  Universo where  with  Ana  Maria  Montoya ,  Rosalia  Largo  y  Sandra  Camacho  and  many  more  parents  ,teachers  and  community members   we  voluntarily  provided  special  educational  support  to  children  of  all  ages   with  emotional  and   educational  difficulties . Our  work  was  child  centered  learning  through  fun  countryside  walks  , sports  , arts  and  games.

Our yearly  skipping  competition , face  painting  and  free  medical  check  ups   became  a  welcome  fixture  in  the  market square .We  focused  on  children  who  had  “failed”  the  academic  year  and  were  repeating  the  year  with  younger children  but  with  the  same  teachers  and  the  same  methodology  which  frequently  led  to  the  same  results  of academic  “failure”  leading  to  school  (and  social )  exclusion  at  a  young  age.

In  our  last  year  2013  at  Casa  Universo  we  attended  around  30  children  in  a  informal after school club ,focusing on self worth , confidence and helping the children to express and believe in themselves through fun individual and group activities.

Of all the children who came ( including 18 of whom were previous “repeaters” seen as lost causes by the school ) all passed the year and moved forward . The qualitative gains such as friendships ,confidence and leaderships skills learnt are not so easily seen but are also very important and are the basis of their improved academic results .

Casa Universo carries on to this day under the excellent tuition of Marta Rodriguez attending over 60 children each year.

Inventagame    began   with   the   painting   of a   modular   playground   game   called   the   Magic   Square   in Villa de Leyva in conjunction with Casa Universo to  help   children   creatively   learn  educational   concepts   through   play. It developed after asking the children which subject caused the most difficulty and finding that mathematics was widely disliked.So we looked for a way to add colour ,fun and jumping around to engage them in their own education.

Our   teams   have   now   completed   7   Magic   Squares   at   schools   in   the   UK  (one   designed   especially for   KS1)   and   5   in   public   spaces   and   schools   in   Colombia.  .

In   our   latest   project   we   created  an    indoor   space   The   Community   Room   to   be   used   as   a   sensory   development   area   for   arts,  stories,   games,   education   and   fun.

We   have   recently   started   game   and  dice   making   workshops   in   both   countries   teaching   children   from   5 -15   showing  how   to   make   and   design  basic   and   advanced   games   and   polyhedral   shapes   from   recycled   materials to   be   used   on   their own   or   in   conjunction   with  Magic Square   and   The  Community  Room.