I love this post-Christmas week. The preparation is over, the gift-unwrapping mania is gone, and we can relax and enjoy the quiet family times. It means that we are spending some time each day playing board games. Last Christmas I rashly bought Anna Chutes and Ladders only to realize pretty quickly that she is nowhere ready to play that game. We put it away then, and now it’s back on the circuit together with Hi-Ho Cherry-O, homemade Hug-the-Kitty game and MiniLUK. Anna loves playing games, and she follows the rules easily. I also like it that she is a good sport about losing. She cheers for the winner and always says in the end, It was a good game! Let’s play some more!
We didn’t get any new board games for Christmas except this Body Quest game that was part of the Smart Kids Body IQ package that Anna received from my parents for Christmas. She cannot read the text, of course, but the game is pretty simple (and quick) to play. We played it a number of times already. One thing that I really like about some of the “travel the board” games is that they introduce and reinforce math concepts. I was just recently brainstorming the ways to teach Anna to recognize two digit numbers when it finally dawned on me that Chutes and Ladders is the best 100 chart there is. Every time we play a game with numbers I ask her to identify a square she is on. She still needs reminders that we read numbers the same way we read words – from left to right, but she is getting better, and she learns naturally and easily in the context of the game. I am contemplating getting a real Bingo game as the next step in reinforcing two-digit numbers, but I am also appealing again to my blogging friends, especially to the ones with slightly older kids – which board games you play at home and like? I’d like to expand our collection this year, since we all enjoy this special unplugged time together.