Call for Submissions
March 31 - April 15

November 22, 2014

2013 Winners

Best Games
Snake Oil*
Chess King
Albert’s Insomnia

Cognitive Processing Speed
Show Me Kwan

Thinking Skills
Meta Forms
Tip Over

Who Would Win
Wise Alec Jr.
Keva Structures

Social Skills
Anger Management

Classroom Management

Transition Periods

Indoor Recess

Family Fun
A Way With Words
Reverse Charades

Honorable Mentioned
Crazy Legs
Quiddler Jr.
Zip It

For four years now, Sharp As A Tack has talked about creating a prestigious educational game award that would highlight the game's abilities to develop students’ cognitive abilities that will lead them to a life time of successes in the classroom, in the community and within the family. In addition to developing critical cognitive abilities, selected games would also need to aid educators in meeting state educational standards, as well as serve as tools for classroom management, transition periods and student engagement.

Receiving an Outstanding Educational Value Award will give these games “educational clout”. Award winners will display the Sharp As A Tack OEV Seal on their product packaging, advertising, online & print media to help stand these games apart from their peers as an outstanding educational resource for educators and parents.


Award Categories
All game submissions will vie for up to 5 Outstanding Educational Value - Best Game Awards each year. We may also grant secondary awards to those games we feel deserve recognition in the following categories:

  • Cognitive Processing Speed
  • Thinking Skills
  • Creativity
  • Social Skills
  • Classroom Management
  • Transition Periods
  • Indoor Recess
  • Family Fun

Testing Procedures
Each submission will be tested in a variety of educational situations and settings: content areas, classroom management, transition periods, indoor recess, whole-class, small-group and individual instruction, K-12 classrooms, after-school programs, tutoring sessions, family game nights, professional development workshops, etc.

A panel consisting of no less than 7 classroom educators, including one Sharp As A Tack representative, will put each submitted game through an extensive and elaborate testing procedure giving each game a score 1 to 10 in each of the established criteria categories, which will remain private in order to maintain the integrity of the procedure. If, and only if, a game scores high enough in this testing procedure, will it be awarded an Outstanding Educational Value Award. In the event that no games in a particular year receive a score worthy of the award, no award for Best Game will be granted that year. However, a game still may be awarded one of the secondary seals.

While we have established very high standards and assigned great educational value to each criteria, very important among those are the games engagement and fun level, as well as its playability and appeal. After all, if a game isn’t engaging and fun to play, it won’t be played!

Call for Submissions: March 31 – Arpil 15

Awarded: Saturday, November 22nd, live from The Chicago Play With Purpose Confrence.

Submission Fee:
1 Game $200
2 Games $360 (5% Discount)
3 Games $540 (10% Discount)
4 Games $680 (15% Discount)
5 Games $750 (25% Discount)
Limit 5

Guidelines for Submission:

  • Completed application
  • Applicants must submit three (3) identical samples of each product
  • Digital images of product
  • Digital image of company logo
  • You may also submit supporting marketing materials, research, press materials
  • Only products that are currently available for sale are eligible
  • Products must be free of racial or gender bias
  • Products must not extol violence
  • Entry fee

What will winning an OEV award do for your product?
When educators, parents, therapists and gift-givers see the OEV seal on the game box, they will take notice and this seal will influence their buying decisions. Because they may not always have the time and money to spend researching which games are not only educational but fun as well, they need a reputable, knowledgeable and trusted source to help them make their purchases in confidence. When they see the OEV seal they will be certain that they are making the right choice in purchasing your game over all the others on the shelf.

The award winners will be featured in an extensive social media campaign, online ads, email and direct mailing campaigns to parents and teachers, press releases and potentially TV, radio & print exposure.

What the award panel is considering:

  • within specific curricula
  • classroom management
  • transition periods
  • indoor recess
  • individual educational plans
  • after-school enrichment
  • tutoring programs
  • at home to strengthen academic weakness
  • applications within content area
  • playability
  • power of engagement
  • creativity
  • appearance
  • packaging
  • adaptability
  • flexibility
  • quality
  • social integration
  • good use of materials
  • cognitive processing speed
  • thinking skills
  • sensory integrations
  • thinking skills
  • social skills
  • life skills
  • value for the money
  • fun factor
  • family engagement
  • design


  • Specific results of the testing procedures will not be released to maintain the integrity of the process itself and anonymity of the panelists.
  • Submissions will not be returned
  • Submission fees will not be refunded
  • Evaluation notes, educator feedback, including and photos, videos and/or testimonials will be shared with the submitting company and may be used externally as they see fit
  • Sponsors/Investors/Partners/Advertisers of The Play With Purpose Conference, Network, Initiative, Sharp As A Tack or Knockin’ Noggins ARE eligible for awards, but will receive NO special attention, recognition or consideration, including waiving submission fees as part of their sponsorship or relationship with Sharp As A Tack.






The Play With Purpose Conference