Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Games We Play

Everyone has been playing games in our house. A whole lot of games. We play them settled into the middle of the family room floor spread out with plenty of room. We play them on the couch under blankets or at the dining room table surrounded by art supplies and paper. There are times we play them outside on a huge quilt surrounded by sun and sky. No matter where we are, our family is all about games.


Some of the favorite standbys have been making an appearance this week. Mancala and Mastermind are two of these games. Aine is still considered the resident Mancala expert. Yesterday she gave her older brother some lessons on strategy. She played several games with each of us, always looking for a new partner. We have an official gameboard, but you can easily make the game with two small cups or bowls, an egg carton and 48 stones. You place 4 stones into each section of the egg cartoon and use the two bowls as your mancala scoring pits. There are directions all over the internet, so learn, play, and be ready for Miss Aine!

Our other long time favorite is Mastermind. The other day four of us set up a game center outside playing Mastermind for Kids. Aine and I began playing and were quickly joined by Eamon and Benton. Everyone loves taking a turn playing code maker and code breaker. Our version is a bit easier than the standard, since there are only three pieces used to make the code. We also like the whimsical animal pieces. A regular set is on our shelves too, but for now we like this one. I love this game and can remember playing it in 5th grade. My teacher set up a station in the back of the room where people could challenge and play each other.
In addition to the old standbys, we have two new games in the rotation. Ticket To Ride is probably our favorite new game. I read many great things about this game, so I decided to buy it a month or so ago. It has been a huge hit. Eamon particularly loves this board game. He held the record for longest route for quite a few games until his mama tied him in a brilliant move (or so I say). The three of us play often during the day. Benton usually teams up with one of us and enjoys placing the train pieces around the board. Whenever anyone visits they usually are asked to play. The whole family really likes this game and finds the premise quite fun. Despite a pricier cost, I would recommend it.
Our other new game has been on our shelves untouched for a couple years. That is actually quite embarrassing to say, but the kiddos never seemed interested in the game. I think my sister bought it for us when she saw it at the thrift shop, thinking we would love it. We just never tried it. Finally this week that changed when Eamon and Aine pulled Cranium Cadoo out to play. They really enjoyed it and had a lot of fun. Both of them had an area they liked better than the others. Eamon preferred solo play while Aine liked the group cards. We molded clay, drew pictures, decoded puns, acted out words, and laughed a whole lot! It is really a good game.
What games do you enjoy? Are there any lurking on your shelves waiting to be discovered? Does your family enjoy games as much as ours?

7 comments:

  1. we have been playing alot of mancala also. we found it at bookman's for $2.00 a couple weeks ago! we have also been playing Uno and the aMAZEing labyrinth (which derek gave us), also Set and Blink. i imagine with the TV gone we will actually be playing more games.

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  2. I LOVE Cranium... in fact, if I could pick anyone on the planet to play Cranium with, it'd be D. I'd want him on my team though... he's got an awesome whistle that comes in handy during game play!!!

    One of my favorite games is Mad Gab... always makes me giggle. As a kid, I always enjoyed Pass the Pigs. :-)

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    1. I recall many rounds of Cranium with you. Yes, he does have mad whistle skills. Aine played PtP with Dave the other night too.

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  3. oh how inspiring! lately and for some time i cannot get my kids to want to play ANY games (i know part of this might be them needing to be a bit older). sometimes late night card playing - crazy eights and uno. maybe i need more games. got blink for henry's bday and he won't play it with me :(. sounds fun!

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    1. I am not sure why, but they each love games. Aine is my most interested player lately. Perhaps a non-card game would spark their interest.

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  4. We love playing games in our house too. My daughter has always been the one to plead with the rest of us to play...although now I think she's passing on that torch to her youngest brother. We love Ticket to Ride (we have the European edition as well), Settlers of Catan (need lots of time for that one) and we just received Game of Things and Telestrations (great and very very funny!) for Christmas. We have oodles of board and card games, and my kids' fascination with each wanes and waxes. I think that's pretty normal. We also just like playing charades or fictionary which need no store-bought board or deck of cards.

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  5. Life. Chase absolutely loves the game of Life. He's been wanting to play Risk, but I am so afraid it will go on forever! My stepbrother was a shark when it came to Risk, dragging the game on for days. My stepsister and I would give up, try and convince him to take our countries, just so we could do something else. I fear Chase would be a shark, too!

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