Brain Candy = Games

Let’s face it… we can SAY we play games for the kids, but don’t tell me when it comes b-day or Christmas pressie unwrapping time, that when you see a cool new, or fond fave, game emerge, you don’t get a tingle of joy yerself?!!  hee hee

For homeschoolers, lifeschoolers, mentors, kiddies, seniors and every di-rollin’-lover in between, games (I’m talking board games here) are a delight, a challenge, a buzz and, statistically speaking, a fabulous way to keep your mind in stellar, expanding, critical-thinking, form.

I shall digress a little (with a point I promise)…

We sat blanketed by the pitch of eve, mesmerized by the whirl and whisk of crackling flames as they rose and curtsied with the logs aglow.  It was a perfect moment by Lake Okanagan, just how a honeymoon ought to be, slowing sipping, adrift in new-love’s conversation and the silence hanging clear in the space between.  And then it began… “Rattle rattle rattle, shhhhooook.”  It left as quickly as it came.  We listlessly gazed on into the fire.  “Rattle rattle rattle, shhhhoooook.”  We stared at each other, Todd and I.  Then whispers across the way floated on the wind, and transformed into fits of laughter.  “Rattle rattle rattle, shhhhoooook.”  Finally, we could stand the mystery no longer and turned our full attention to the campsite a good 200 feet away.  We saw them in the light of their lamp, at the picnic table.  We stared, not saying a word, but cohorts in detective mode to solve this strange unknown.  “Rattle rattle rattle, shhhhooook.” Another burst of joyful sharing.  And then, Todd and I turned, looked right into each others’ eyes and said, “Ahhhh Yahtzee. I love that game.”

We went out and bought our own copy as soon as we returned home from the honeymoon and have been rattling & shooookkkking ever since 🙂  I NEVER would have anticipated today back then though.  My son Liam right in there, bursting with excitement to play.  The deal was clean a little, play a little.  As we picked up toys he must have asked me 30 times if he asked me once, “Can we play Yahtzee yet Mom?  Is it clean enough Mom?”

The work got done and we got to it.  Liam on his own and Nathaniel as my teammate.  Liam did all his own scoring, and, as this was about his 5th time playing, he knew just what he was looking for, and how!  When he rolled four 6’s we all celebrated and he made the connection between 6+6+6+6 = and 6×4 =.  Yea.  When Nathaniel rolled me a Yahtzee, we were all over the moon.  We began blowing on each others’ dice for good luck, and high 5-ing at the successes and patting backs during the flubs.  Allll good.  We got to the end and Liam had to take a ‘0’ for his Yahtzee.  I explained to him how difficult and rare it is to roll one and not to be discouraged, we would play lots and he would definitely get one.  And as I spoke I rolllllled.  Liam saw it first, “Moooom, you got ANOTHER Yahtzee!  I thought you said it was hard.”  No sady faces, just joy for me (oh how I pray to keep that going).  We celebrated our scores for how well we all did, but mostly Liam was blown away that he not only understood multiplication in a whole new way, but that he now could quite easily count by 5s.  I wonder how I would have embraced math all those many years ago, had Yahtzee been on the agenda in my classroom.

Ohhhh I am so glad to be able to do it another way for my kiddies.

Homeschooling or not, playing games with our little ones and even our big ones, is a fabulous way to connect, spend quality moments laughing, teasing all in good fun and demonstrating a healthy celebration of the game and each other regardless of score.

I found this gem of an article on just such fun and the benefit is has for us all.  Top Ten Educational Games, touches on many we play, but I thought I would list our faves too and, just perhaps, you would be so kind as to Comment yours so we can expand our repertoire of Brain Candy:)

In the spirit of rolling the dice and striking it rich in all the most essential ways,

Our Top 10 Fave Family Brain Candy Games…

~ Hullaballoo
~ Guess Who
~ Crazy 8s
~ Go Ape (a fun version of Go Fish, but you have to act out the monkey card)
~ Checkers
~ Scrabble
~ Caddo
~ Busy Town (get the characters to the picnic before the pigs (yes, pink ones) eat all the picnic lunch.  non-competitive as no one gets to take the ferry to picnic island until everyone arrives.  awesome for little ones)
~ And of course, Yahtzee

3 thoughts on “Brain Candy = Games

  1. I love your game list. I grew up in a family that played lots of games and I’m still a game-lover. My kids (ages 3 & 5) love games as well. Their new favorite they just got is “I Spy Snap” – it’s like traditional snap with a hidden picture-ish twist to it – even I find it quite fun to play with them (labelled for ages 5+).

    • Me too @terrikenworthy. I remember game playing as an amazing time connecting with my mom and dad and sisters. In fact, my dad (who’s 82) and I play scrabble at least 3 x per week and it’s still just as fun and memorable 😊. Great suggestion. We haven’t played this one and now it’s on my list. Thank you!

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