Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Great Shakes!

There is something about winter that brings out the board game fever in a person. Tonight, Lady Di and Sweet Pea went to SP's girl scout meeting. Leaving Number One Son and Dad to fend for themselves. After saying good-bye to the ladies, I looked around for something to do. The dirty dishes were ready to go into the dish washer. The bills were piled on the kitchen island pleading for money. Or maybe we should fold the laundry. N1S had a better idea. He went downstairs and came up with our Yahtzee game.

All that other stuff can wait.

I couldn't pass up the chance to do something fun with my son. It's not often we get time together just the two of us. We got in a couple of games before bedtime. Yahtzee is a good game for learning math and strategy. It can also teach humility when your nine year old son beats you.

Our scorecards reflect the outcome. We played two games. N1S's card is on the left. You can see that I had lucky dice in the first game, but Lady Luck left me for the second game. Notice the quartet of goose eggs entered in my lower section. N1S was pretty consistent with his scores. He also is a little more creative with his zeros.

I've posted a couple of times mentioning boardgames. We are a family who likes to play games. I believe boardgames and card games are great ways to teach, build self esteem and have fun.

When I was growing up, every family get together involved playing a game after the big meal. We usually played either Dominoes, Cribbage or Uno. But we also had Sorry, Trouble, Monopoly, Boggle and Battleship. Sometimes Chess or Checkers would come out. My point is, these games are good alternatives to the X-box. They don't require electricity. They don't make a lot of noise. And hardly any of them involve killing zombies. There have been more than a few times that Lady Di and myself have brought out the Scrabble game and a big dictionary when nothing is on television. By the way, don't ever play cards or Yahtzee with Lady Di if you ever want to win. She can play.

I realize that playing games are not for everyone. For some people, board games should be renamed 'bored' games. But, if you are looking for something to do with your kids, even if you are not really interested in the game, you will be entertained when your children excitedly near the end of the Chutes and Ladders board to beat Mom and Dad for the first time. Who knows, maybe you will change your mind about games when you taste victory on the Scrabble board for the first time. In most cases the game isn't the important thing. What matters is interaction with family and friends. The experience is what will create memories, not the score.

What are some of the games you grew up with?


The Father of Five said...

I have always been a big fan of games in general (board games, and of course the geeky RPG games of my youth).

I have tended to venture into the less "traditional" games though... Oh, dont get me wrong, Monopoly, Life, and Uno were among some of our favorites... (We would save our money and properties in baggies and pack Monolopy up - only to restart where we left off - with games sometimes lasting weeks (spread out over two or three days of gaming)).

But my heart really was captured with some of the more less known games. Some of my favorites included...
Mille Bornes
Water Works and Here
The Collector (also known as "High Bid")
(I had a hard finding links about The Collector)
Tactics II (and here)

Later in life (around 8th grade) a group of friends would gather each weekend, and we would play a mishmash of RPG games that we all had.
Dungeons and Dragons and Boot Hill (More, a Review)
Were just among the few "regulars"

Then, in College HOURS were spent playing Cribbage (with my friend Ed) and Gin Rummy at school with friends.
(I'll work up a post and show off my AWESOME cribbage board that Ed made for me one Christmas!)

Now that the boys are getting older, they are starting to show intrest in some of the same games. Risk, Stragegio and Monolopy are amongst their favorites. To try and spread their wings just a bit, last Christmas, I bought them "HeroScape".

While Christmas shopping this year, I came accross a game that intrgued me quite a bit. I have been checking on it here and there, and it gets GREAT reviews. It's called The Settlers of Catan by Mayfair Games. (at Amazon). That may just show up under the tree this year!

Another great post DadStuff... You are always good to get my mind a whoorlin'.

I bet if we had known each other as kids, we would have been great friends

Steve said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve said...

I always remember us playing a game called "trouble". This was our favorite for years.

SciFi Dad said...

For me:

Upwords (stackable scrabble)
Cards (you name it I played it)
Connect Four
Trivial Pursuit

Joe said...

In my family there were always card games for the adults and the kids tended to play board games like chess, checkers, Sorry, Trouble, Stratego, Risk, Monopoly, Othello, Mille Bourne, and so many more that I don't think I could mention them all here. There was one game called Duel or Dual, I'm not sure the spelling that was kind of like chess played with big dice that rolled - I know sounds weird, but it was great fun and fairly challenging in a chess-like way. Problem is I cannot find it now. If anyone knows about this game I'd love to hear where I can get it.

Now that I have kids of my own I am passing on the tradition of games and I do think it helps with the development of critical thinking, logic skills, sportsmanship, etc. as well as creating a strong bond between family members.

Great post about Dad Stuff - thanks!


dobeman said...

We grew up with Uno (draw four sucka!) and of course Monopoly.

When my folks would drag us out camping in our pop-up camper (waking up damp), we'd sit around at night playing poker. My brother was really into D&D and I played along when I was bored, but never got into it.
Good post though. Brings back the memories.

Anonymous said...

Ever play "Uncle Wiggily"?
Sara C.

lkc_lai said...

Merry christas to you & family.

best regards

lai & family

ALF said...

Games are the best! We mostly played games at holidays and most of them are games that our family made up.

One is a card game called Nerts. It gets very intense and is so much fun!

Another is a game which requires everyone to kneel around a table and blow a ping pong ball back and forth. What fun memories!

delightful-d said...

Double digits.......wink

I love playing PIGS :)

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I'm a 40 year old dad of two. My wonderful wife, Lady Di, and I try to keep the kids from blowing things up here in central Minnesota.