Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Games We Play

We're in the midst of a game craze here at Steingruebl World Enterprises. It started innocently with Candyland. We progressed to Go Fish and Crazy Eights. Cards are fun because they fit in a purse and can materialize unexpectedly at coffee shops when Mommy needs extra time to mainline some caffeine.

And then, we found Uno. This was a favorite game for me with my elderly after-school-babysitters in 3rd & 4th grade. Andy recalls playing a lot of Uno with his family. (He also recalls the rules better than I do, but don't tell him I admitted to that.) Andy searched for and found a card holding helper thing, and now there is no card game Elise can't play. Well, she'd be pretty bad with poker since she tends to flash her cards a lot.

My favorite part of this new card playing trend is the trash talk. Elise can really dish it. And, she's great with strategy. I'm impressed by just how quickly she picked up on how to stick it to an opponent. She's usually so mild-mannered and sweet that this is a fabulous new way for us to see her.

Andy has also got her started on Yahtzee. They only play the top half of the score card for the time being, but Elise is learning it and has a great time playing a game that she knows we sometimes play while she's in bed. Sneaky, sneaky parents also look at it as an opportunity to teach math. (But seriously, don't tell Elise that. We're saving it for a surprise when she's in 1st grade.)

Since we're having such a great time with games at the moment, I'd love suggestions from loyal readers (and even the traitorous ones) regarding games that might be fun to play with a nearly 5 year old kiddo. Not that I'm getting tired of playing Uno several times a day, mind you....


Linda said...

The kids at school year love playing the Apples to Apples Junior game--you can do the reading for her.

My kids were good at Mancala but I am not sure that we discovered it at Elise's age so I can't tell you when is the best time to start playing that.

I loved Chinese checkers as a kid and the many permutations we created. Do people play that at all these days.

How about Jenga or one of the other balancing games? Kids here like Don't Break the Ice.

So many of the kid-directed games are really, really boring for parents. Pick cautiously before you drop a bundle on some cute game.

Geetha was and is a great game player. She should have some good ideas. Maybe by Christmas she will also have time to come play with you.

Roni said...

I don't remember when I first learned to play Cribbage, but I don't remember ever not knowing how to play. It was definitely the staple game with grandma by the time I was 7 and I remember feeling fairly cut-throat about it by that point. Mathematically inclined kids would probably pick it up about at around 6 years of age, given exposure to the peg board and help picking cards out of a grown-up's hand.

Peter doesn't like to play it, and I miss it dearly. One of my all time faves.

Anonymous said...

My parents got us playing dominos when I was not much older than Elise. They are essentially a math game with lots of addition. I also seem to remember some dirty tricks that could be played on opponents.