Come explore the brand new interactive exhibit, Nature of the Game, which is open through Oct. 6. Help us celebrate ecology through play with a new collection of larger-than-life outdoor games. From oversized tile puzzles to gorgeous hidden picture sculptures to giant food web chess and more, have fun playing games that demonstrate the balance, beauty and connectedness of nature. Created by Reiman Gardens in collaboration with ISU Design faculty and students, this series puts an ecological and artistic spin on familiar favorites. This exhibit has been inspired by Reiman Gardens’ 2019 theme of Toys & Games.


Games include:


Scavenger Hunt: inspired by I-SPY – Visitors can explore different biomes and learn about the plants and animals that live in those biomes by searching for certain images within each piece.


Morphing Morphology: inspired by a cryptex – This simple game allows visitors to match plant species through the different plant characteristics of native range, leaf, flower, fruit and seed.


Photosynthesize: inspired by a balance ball maze – A team based game where the strategy is to work together to pivot and tilt the maze, moving the ball to a series of designated spots. Work together to navigate a ball through the six required elements for the cycle of photosynthesis.


Food Web Chess: inspired by chess – This version of chess includes a twist where the pieces represent animals from different parts of the food chain.


Cause and Effect: inspired by a sliding tile puzzle – These large-scale sliding tile puzzles draw connections between different biomes and their biggest threats.


Consequence: inspired by Kerplunk – The balls are surfaced with relief patterns of endangered species while the poles of the game represent negative human actions. Some human activities can result in the destruction of natural ecosystems, which are kept in a delicate balance.


BEEd Maze: inspired by a bead maze –Visitors can experience this simple toy in human scale with an educational component! The BEEd maze illustrates the process of pollination while acting as a toy.


Connect Food: inspired by Connect 4 – One player is a moth and the other is a butterfly. Each player has to align four of their own disks, and each disk has an imprint of either host plant, caterpillar, adult butterfly or nectar (food) plant.


Dice Sculpture – A large-scale sculptural piece relative to game playing – this ubiquitous game piece is a visual that the exhibit is game-themed!


Playing Cards Photo Op – Playing cards beautifully designed with a botanical theme allow visitors to become one of the card faces and post it on social media for everyone to see the fun!


Puzzle Cube Play House – A play off the classic puzzle cube allows young children to play inside a highly recognizable cube easily identified across the world!


Situated on a 17-acre site in beautiful Ames, Iowa, Reiman Gardens offers a year-round destination featuring distinct gardens that are always changing, adapting, and evolving with the seasons. Explore a large variety of plants, aromatic herbs and beautiful roses, towering palm trees, native prairie species, and so much more. Get tips and inspirations for your own garden, enjoy unique art and architecture, and relax in an indoor tropical oasis. In addition to yearly themes, special events, and an ever changing display of natural beauty, the Gardens also offers a tropical indoor Conservatory with seasonal displays, a 2,500 square foot Butterfly Wing with 800 exotic butterflies in flight, and a full-service Gift Shop featuring unique items.


Find out more about Reiman Gardens’ 2019 theme Toys & Games as well as the interactive exhibit, Nature of the Game, here: https://www.reimangardens.com/exhibition/2019-toys-games/.