Adventure Month in Genius Tangram: Meet Journalist Nellie Bly and Create Your Own Board Game

December 6, 2021 / DIY & Printable

Genius content refreshes every month! This month, we’re exploring the faces, places, and special gear behind some of the greatest adventures.

We’ve compiled limited-time game updates, real-life genius stories, and educator-approved activities into interactive printables, designed to enhance your little kids learning. Access this week’s printable by clicking the button below:

Game Update

Check out Osmo Tangram for six Adventure-inspired puzzles for kids and new character outfits to unveil. Only available this month!

Genius Spotlight: Nellie Bly

Back in the late 1800’s, a New York City journalist named Nellie Bly pitched an idea to her magazine editor. She wanted to attempt a real-life version of the trip in the book “Around the World in Eighty Days.” She would travel by herself, with just a few articles of clothing, and write about her journey along the way. Her editor said yes, and Nellie was off on November 14, 1889.

Her adventure started in Hoboken, New Jersey, on a ship to England. Nellie travelled across Europe and through Asia mostly by train. Her ship hit rough water crossing the Pacific Ocean, so Nellie was a few days behind schedule when she arrived in San Francisco. Worse, a snow storm along her train route threatened the rest of her trip back to New York!

At this point, the whole country was reading about Nellie’s journey and rooting for her to finish on time. To avoid the snow, Nellie’s magazine arranged for a private train to take her through the southern half of the country. She arrived back in New York on January 25, 1890—in a record 72 days! Though her record was broken a few months later, Nellie’s bravery and commitment to journalism live on.

Create Your Own Board Game!

Try this educator-approved activity at home. This week’s printable (button above) has instructions with photos!

Nellie’s trip inspired a real-life board game called “Round the World with Nellie Bly.” The object of the game is to go “around the world,” by rolling dice and advancing through 72 spaces.

Try making your own! You’ll need:

  • A piece of thick paper or cardboard (pizza boxes work well!)
  • Pencil and markers
  • Game pieces (borrow from another game or get creative)
  • Dice


  1. Using pencil first, draw a winding path about 1-2” wide on your board. If you’re stumped, try a big S-shape!
  2. Once you’re happy with the path, outline it with marker. Then, draw in smaller lines to create spaces, leaving enough room to write in some
  3. Add in directions like “Lose a turn” or “Move ahead 2 spaces.” Make it a real adventure!
  4. Ready to play? Use the dice and game pieces to move through the game.
  5. Whoever makes it to the end fastest wins!