I feel like I’ve been trying to get people to play games with me since I was a little kid. I really love board games. When I was growing up, I had the standards — Trouble, Candyland, Sorry, Battleship, Clue. I would have played any and all of these board games every day, but finding someone to play with me was not always easy. My brother would sometimes join me, but he was a bit older than me so he usually preferred to do something else. My parents were hard to pin down too. Though they would occasionally play a few rounds with me, they were busy and couldn’t always drop everything to play games. (Though there is an old family story about the epic afternoon our family spent hours and hours playing Hi Ho Cherry-O so that I could win one single game.) I loved to play board games with friends too, but even they couldn’t satiate my desire for board games.
My husband will humor me with a board game now and then, but he’s not really so into them so now that I have kids I’m starting in on them. Thankfully, they’re usually pretty happy to play with me. Finally!
Because my kids are still young we’re limited in what games we can play but we’re getting to the point where our options are opening up a little. Their four year age difference also complicated matters. What’s fun for three-year-old Augie is boring to the big kid. And when we play a game the seven-year-old likes he gets really frustrated when his little brother bends the rules. Both boys are also learning about cheating (bad!), good sportsmanship (good!) and talking smack without being too mean (really, isn’t that what makes games fun?). Still, we all like playing games together and it’s (mostly) fun for everyone.
The best games for us are interesting and silly and encourage bending the rules to fit the abilities of the people in our family. We particularly love LEGO Creationary for this because the game allows each player to work exactly where their building skills are. Augie mostly just messes around with the bricks and pays no attention to whether or not it’s his turn, while Wyatt builds clever little structures. And my husband and I go to town with our creations. Another game we love is Cat in the Hat I Can Do That! because there are many tasks that my husband and I can’t do but the kids can which really levels the playing field.
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