I really, really enjoy playing board games. Of all the hobbies or activities that I find it hard to make time for in my crazy homeschooling life with four young kids, playing “grown-up” board games is one I miss the most. I really enjoy games like Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride and Carcassone. While you can play these games on the computer or Tony and I could just play them alone, it isn’t quite the same as playing with a few other friends. I really look forward to the time when our kids are old enough to play these games with us. Miss M probably could learn some of these games soon, but it is tricky when the boys would want to play too, but would still have a hard time actually playing these games.
Meanwhile, I love to have lots of games on hand for our kids to play. The large brown cabinet in this picture is our game cabinet. We own many classic board and card games for kids, as well as a few less common ones. We also use this cabinet to store some of our puzzles, our play-doh, some magnet activities, and some math manipulatives that we use for fun (but aren’t a part of our Right Start curriculum).
As the kids are getting older, they are more and more capable of getting out a game and playing it themselves. As any adult who has patiently played Candy Land with a group of kids knows, some kids games are more fun for the grown ups that others! 😉 In our family, Sequence for Kids, the Ladybug Game and Zingo are frequent favorites. Even Mr. E and Mr. K are able to get out a game and at least have some semblance of a game by themselves — they played “Don’t Spill the Beans” almost by the rules just today. 🙂
I often think about trying to incorporate games into our school day — games can be a great way to reinforce concepts from many subjects!. Our math curriculum, Right Start, has a heavy emphasis on playing math card games. We don’t play them as often as we should! With kids at varying ability levels, I find it a challenge to keep the game interesting for my oldest, while still including the youngest. If Miss M and I want to play a harder game that neither of the boys are able to play, we typically have to find something to distract them first, or they may not be able to leave our cards or other game items alone.
Do you have any tricks to share about successful game playing with a range of ages? (My kids who are old enough to play games are currently 3, 5 and almost 8). Any less-well-known games that are a hit with your kids? I’d especially love to hear ideas of games that would hit the 7+ age range, since we don’t own many games between the preschool-age games and the grown up games.