My year in games – 2024

About me

I’m Marion and I love board games. Born sometime in the seventies, as a child I mainly played monopoly and goose board. Later, all kinds of card games were added.

I can still remember rainy holidays when, crammed at the table of a small caravan, we played Canasta endlessly and fanatically.

On this website, I write about games, education and parenting. When I talk to people about Pen & Pion*, they often ask what exactly I do. All sorts of things! On this page, I tell more about that ‘of everything’ I get involved in 😉

*Pen & Pawn


🌈 This month the four countries of the Teaching by Gaming project will meet again. Last meeting of the project is in Utrecht.

It is: work, play games, learn about each other’s countries and culture and of course eat Dutch cookies.

🗣️ As part of transfer, we are giving several workshops on the European project. Cool to share knowledge with each other in an afternoon and see different educational games emerge.

✍🏽 I myself am also developing a game. It should become a tool to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and experiences. I started it during Corona and I am now testing the fourth version.


🪴 The month of holidays and spring. Still looking for a gift for Mother’s Day? I highly recommend high tea at game store The Game Inn.

🧠 New date pinned for games afternoon teens (who have ‘something’ to do with giftedness). Hope it will be another fun afternoon.


🎲 A fun activity for one of May’s days off is the recently opened Spellenwereld (Games World). A museum, games cafe, games museum and playful discovery world for children in Assen. For Spellenwereld I made a workshop Learning with Games that you can attend at Spellenwereld in the fall. Cool, because you can then immediately try all the games from the games cafe! Highly recommended!


💥 Wow, today I meet Uwe Rosenberg, creator of games like Patchwork, Odin, Bohnanza and many, many more. As a developer, Uw also sees how well games can be used in schools. He is organizing a meeting in Dortmund with people from the field to further discuss the topic. And to see how, also in Germany, we can use (even more) games in education. It’s an honor to be invited to this.

Yes, of course I want to take a picture with him!

🎉 Another party this month: son’s birthday. With a house full of visitors, we play Hitster. A hugely fun party game where you have to put music in a proper timeline.

Meanwhile, in addition to the basic version of Hitster, there are also: Guilty Pleasures, Summer Hits and Schlagers! By the way, I can tell you that the German Schlagers are really very difficult 😅


🛣️ Once in a while, I travel to Venlo to catch up with Daniel. Daniel is my German colleague and we have the same mission. In 2024, we are going to do really cool things together! One nice thing is that he knows games that I haven’t quite mastered yet because of the German rules. Like this game: Small Talk. After lunch, he explained it to me. Good game to practise speaking and listening skills. Going to write something about it soon. Click on the picture for the link to Daniel’s website.

🎲 This month, right away, the first workshop of this year: stimulating language and practicing with board games. I gave the workshop to a group of 20 teachers from an International School where students learn Dutch. It was a treat to do again!


🎲 A newly developed game needs to be tested and tested and tested. The same goes for the toolkit we created for our Teaching by Gaming project. At the Game Didactics conference, we were allowed to present our toolkit and have it tried out by 30 enthusiastic teachers from all kinds of courses. Here I am still standing in the calm before the storm.



🎶 A must for anyone working with games and gamification! With son and husband, I went to this concert by the Metropole Orchestra. When I think back on it, I still bounce. It was cool!!!! The orchestra played game music and we ourselves became part of a game. Cool to see how audience and orchestra made a performance together. Theatre of the future 🌟


🎒In February, I get to watch again in the classroom of a teacher who regularly deploys games herself. I will see how she organises it and which games she deploys. What I understood is that she develops a lot of material herself. I am very curious!