Friday, November 03, 2006

For Ages 3 and up

Erin posted that today Jonas was feeling sick again. They sat around and didn't do much today, but she did tell them that when I got home for the night we would play some games together.

Unfortunately I had to bring home some work with me, so first was dinner, then my work, then finally we got to play a few games before bedtime. First we played Disney Yahtzee Jr. This game is pretty good, because it's just a matching and counting game. By age three every kid should be doing both matching and counting. It also throws in a wild card with Pinochio. personally, I wish they had two versions in the same box. Each person gets 5 turns (which really helps out a lot with the speed of the game), and they get to match their characters on the dice. The standard 3 rolls for Yahtzee apply. If I could have two versions though, I would have 6 categories, and just have the game be straight matching. It's hard for the 3 year old to understand that Pinocchio counts the same as Jasmine and Aladin, but it also count the same as Mowgli and Baloo. We've played Yahtzee Jr. many times in the past, and just know that we have to help both kids with their recognition of Pinocchio as a match for what they are trying to get.

For the second game, Ady chose CareBear Checkers. This is a 3-D checkers game, the board is extremely colorful. It's actually too gaudy for the kids to learn the game of checkers. They couldn't focus on keeping pieces where they belonged. "A piece can only move to a pink square", was hard to reinforce when the response was "There's pink right there". Yes there is, but it's not the pink square. "That's not a pink square." He's right, it's a purple square because it's supposed to be a pink square, but it's on a blue background. AAHHHH!!!!! Jonas finally did get the hint that pieces had to move diagonal only, but he seemed more interested in helping Ady jump his pieces as fast as he could than he did at trying to win. It may just be that he didn't understand the concept of the game yet. I asked him at bedtime tonight, after I read stories, if he liked playing checkers tonight. He told me he didn't like it because he didn't win, and he always wants to win. I had to tell him, that's good that he always wants to win, and that he always does his best, but as long as he is doing his best, even if he doesn't win it's ok.

Personally I was really shocked that checkers said 3 and up. Usually my complaint is the other way, in that games will say 3 and up when a 1 1/2 year old should be able to do it. Checkers though brings in a whole new thought process that other games don't. Even Connect Four has a recommended age of 7. I think that connect 4 is easier than Checkers.

Game night was fun. I had to keep reminding myself that we are doing this for the kids, and not for me to enjoy the games. I sometimes have a hard time putting up with the constant antsyness of the kids. However, after a game night I'm always glad we did it. There are so many good habits to teach to your children during game time, especially sportsmanship, that it's worth the effort.