The Games We Play

Winston Salem, North Carolina
January 23, 2018 11:50am CST
Most of you know that I am a long-time homeschooler. Our journey in home education began nineteen-and-a-half years ago. We have studied most of the usual subjects that are part of a traditional K-12 education, but we’ve also added a few quirks and extras of our own. One of the favourite “subjects” in our school schedule was (and still is) games. Games are a great way to teach children how to interact with each other and it allows some of their non-academic skills to shine. As the supervising parent, the task of finding games that would appeal to both my older children and the younger ones was a challenge at times. Discovering that girls approach games with an entirely different mindset than boys was also pretty enlightening. With only one student still at home, currently, during the day, we don’t play games as often as we used to. High school level classes require a lot of time and juggling a part-time job keeps my daughter’s schedule pretty full. Sometimes, though, we set everything else aside for thirty minutes or so and pick a game that allows my daughter and I to compete head-to-head. Chess is a favourite among the homeschooling community, but I find it takes to long (and I am a horrible strategist). Set, however, has been one of our favourite games for many years. It can be played by two or more people. It requires quick thinking and close attention to details. My youngest daughter was able to give her oldest brother some serious competition by the time she was five (he was eleven at the time) and whenever she and I play the final result is often a draw. The game doesn’t take long, but the fast pace and the need to concentrate frequently results in groans when the other player spots the same set and manages to claim in a split second faster, and laughter when we’ve spent a minute or two staring at the cards and realize that we’ve completely missed a set that should have been obvious. Games are fun and can provide great mental exercise. Do you have any favourites?
12 people like this
11 responses
@Corbin5 (113057)
• United States
23 Jan
When I taught, my special needs students loved playing Uno and Bingo. When I taught struggling readers, I had my 8th-grade students play Hangman, but the title of a book recently read by a student was to be guessed by others That was fun, and the conversation regarding the book developed once the title was revealed.
3 people like this
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
23 Jan
We never played much Bingo, but Uno was a favourite for a while. It's not much fun with only two or three people, though.
1 person likes this
@Marty1 (35421)
• Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
23 Jan
I wish i had you as a teacher as you were a cool teacher and cool friend also! love you and molly!
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (113057)
• United States
23 Jan
@Marty1 Molly and I send our hugs to you and Onyx!!!!!
@Juliaacv (32372)
• Canada
24 Jan
I do like games also. As a family when I was growing up we'd play a card game that required at least 2 decks of cards. You had to save sets. And then there was the big wooden board that my Dad made that we played with marbles, and cards. Here, we played a lot of Trouble, it helped to teach our son to count, and how to lose and win graciously.
2 people like this
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
24 Jan
Trouble was the first game I bought for the kids (we started with Memory, but I was given that one). I still remember the commercials for Trouble back in the 70s. You've got trouble, wait, don't run. This kind of trouble is lots of fun. Pop-o-matic. Pop the dice pop a six and you go twice.
2 people like this
@Juliaacv (32372)
• Canada
24 Jan
@Platespinner Oh yeah, I remember that one also. We had it as kids ourselves. Our youngest brother had trouble with always wanting to keep up with us older 3 so our parents bought that game so that all 4 of us could sit together and play and he wasn't left out.
1 person likes this
@BelleStarr (39591)
• United States
24 Jan
We play dominos quite a lot and card games
2 people like this
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
24 Jan
My kids preferred to stand the dominoes up in patterns and knock them over. We used them for math as well.
1 person likes this
@BelleStarr (39591)
• United States
25 Jan
@Platespinner We play the Mexican version with two trains, it is lots of fun and we use the 12 over 12 dominos.
@andriaperry (56353)
• United States
23 Jan
No, I have not played a game with a child in so many years.
2 people like this
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
23 Jan
At sixteen my daughter isn't much of a child, but I'm glad both she and her sister still enjoy games.
@kobesbuddy (52662)
• East Tawas, Michigan
23 Jan
We use to enjoy table games, as a family. My grandkids did the exact same thing, when they were younger. Now, it's a thing of the past. Instead, they either stare at a computer screen or the screen of a smart phone!
1 person likes this
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
23 Jan
We try to play games as a family at least a couple of times a month. Right now Settlers of Catan is one of our favourites when we have an hour or more to play, but we've even pulled out the Game of Life since the first of the year.
1 person likes this
@kobesbuddy (52662)
• East Tawas, Michigan
23 Jan
@Platespinner Life and Monopoly were our two favorites.
1 person likes this
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
23 Jan
@kobesbuddy I'm not really fond of Life, and I despise Monopoly (probably residual effects from my own childhood--I usually ended up in tears by the end of the game) but I'm up for any game my family is willing to play.
1 person likes this
@UncleJoe (10621)
• Virginia Beach, Virginia
24 Jan
We have several old board games that have been gathering dust since the invention of electronic ones. I don't play video games.
1 person likes this
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
24 Jan
we bought a Wii system for the kids 10+ years ago, largely so I could discipline them by taking gaming privileges away .
1 person likes this
@UncleJoe (10621)
• Virginia Beach, Virginia
24 Jan
@Platespinner Did that work?
1 person likes this
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
24 Jan
@UncleJoe Actually it did. It was when the kids started needing phones and laptops for school, that my iron grip of control began to slip a little.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (130208)
• Bunbury, Australia
24 Jan
There are some great board games around now. I haven't heard of Set but there are dozens more than I know about. Another quick and easy one is Love Letters.
1 person likes this
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
24 Jan
My niece's partner is a game aficionado, he frequently introduces us to intriguing new games.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (130208)
• Bunbury, Australia
24 Jan
@Platespinner Our son is always telling us of good new ones too.
1 person likes this
• Jacksonville, Florida
2 Feb
We have always played scattegories and love that one. Also we enjoy different card games such as Rumi 500 and War. My oldest son loves chess but the rest of us? Not so much... Lol.
1 person likes this
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
3 Feb
I taught my oldest topkay chess whennhe was 8 and told him he could have the chess set as his own when he beat me. Within 2 months if learning to play he owned the chess set. I prefer word games to strategy games. Though, I must admit, I'm pretty good at Battleship.
1 person likes this
• Trinidad And Tobago
24 Jan
When i am with children I can create games and it is fun. Sometimes just nonsensical games, not competitive ones. On my computer spider solitaire is the only thing I can spare some time for. It's not challenging but monotonous and I can think and relax. I like watching lots of CSI though. And documentary.
1 person likes this
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
24 Jan
I figure playing games is a good way to get my kids off of their phones and computers.
@shaggin (37313)
• United States
24 Jan
I have never heard of the game Set. It sounds neat that it can be played by any age. I am really slow at noticing details and I am distracted very easily so I assume my kids would kick my butt in this game. When I was 19 and babysitting a 10 year old we played memory. He got frustrated because he thought I was letting him cheat but I was truly that bad My memory is really bad!
1 person likes this
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
24 Jan
We bought the game from a homeschool supplier and then a couple of years later a game aficionado family member bought another for us not realizing we already had it. My husband is horrible at it.
1 person likes this
@RasmaSandra (19041)
• Daytona Beach, Florida
23 Jan
I still have some board games left but no one to play with. Among my favorites are Trivial Pursuit , Othello and Scarbble.
1 person likes this
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
24 Jan
We play Scrabble and Trivial Pursuit as well but prefer games that don't take as long.
1 person likes this