edamomie

An Exploration of Parenting by the Vowel

Board with Togetherness May 1, 2012

Filed under: Activities — edamomie @ 10:02 pm
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A: Activities

Game on!

Game on!

My mother was a baker and reader by trade. My father a fisherman and hunter. If I wanted to play a game, I relied on my aunts, my mother’s sisters. They came ’round on special occassions and summer time. Which meant the times where I could legitimately accuse Colonel Mustard of hanging his victim in the study without inside knowledge (due to playing dual hands), were few and far between.

 

I knew some odd and some standard pop culture games from Flinch and Farkle on the odd side, to Sorry!, Easy Money, Life and Monopoly on the pop culture side. Cribbage and chess escaped me until my husband taught my cribbage and my 6-yr-old son, Calvin, chess. Cards beyond Go Fish!, forget it.

 

On a recent trip home to visit my parents, the closet of games beckoned my little ones – now 6 and 8 – and their eager gaming minds. If Mom is going to limit Angry Birds on the iTouch, we’ll have to resort to board games. I could hear the wheels turning. Clue, Trival Pursuit, Connect4 were all contenders. In the end, Monopoly won out.

 

Sir, Your Pacific Avenue Luxury Home is Ready!

Sir, Your Pacific Avenue Luxury Home is Ready!

Ironic that my kids even convinced my parents to play. I had never witnessed Monopoly with so many tokens in play. The hat, shoe, horse, car and dog moved from property to property buying them up or paying to stay. My kids – my son in particular – was hooked. We brought the game home with us. Mom could track down another one at some upcoming garage sale to ensure the game would await them on their next visit.

 

Calvin took to Monopoly like an obession. Waiting and biding his time until the next challenger arrived. Over the course of a week, he played games lasting from 1 hour to 2.5 hours with four different grown-ups – Dad, Mom, Grandma Susie and Aunt Rose. He was devastated to call the game early due to bedtime. He did not yet have his monopoly on the coveted blue properties.

 

He beat me. My strategy has always been to buy everything I land on and mortgage it to the hilt later if necessary. His was to focus on only two or three property groups and develop them to the max with hotels. He’s showing super Kindergartner finance and real estate skills. After three misfortunate lands by me on St. James Place totalling nearly $3,000, he told me he’d give me a break. I didn’t have to pay. I told him I meant to follow the rules. I went bankrupt.

 

Other nights when he met more worthier opponents, he was desperate – on the verge of a breakdown. Making side deals to save his life. When he did lose, there were tears and frustration. Such determination. Such lessons in life – to try so hard and care so much, but still have to lose despite all of your best efforts. Gracious in winning and gracious in losing.

 

It’s tempting to bring him a bowl of ice cream after a loss and sooth it over with a there-there. I just try to agree, Yes, it sucks. If you want to be sad, fine. You can cry with me or on your own. But we’ll play again tomorrow. It led me to compare board games with electronic games. You can probably guess where I lean on this one. Consider the length of time invested – 5-10 minutes per electronic game vs. 2.5 hours for board game. The teaching that can happen, not to mention, viewing how your child thinks. I concluded that for family togetherness, learning to be a gracious winner and loser and helping kids build their critical and strategic thinking ability, board games have a monopoly in this house.

 

What are your favorites – board or electronic?

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I Spy Some People Getting Rich February 5, 2011

Filed under: Activities — edamomie @ 9:09 am
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A: Activities

Upon reading about the latest trend or best new revolutionary idea, how many times have you found yourself wondering why didn’t I think of that? Or maybe you had thought of that, even years ago, but didn’t share your idea or pursue how to make it mainstream? Or perhaps you’ve belittled the average joe-public who happened to be at the right place at the right time with the right product and got rich by doing so?

 

I Spy a $22 Board Game

I Spy a $22 Board Game

While the “I Spy” concept as coined and owned by Scholastic is celebrating 20 years, I can’t help but be a little bitter about their success because anyone – any average modern day parent, that is – can easily create an “I Spy” of their own using all of the little bits and miscellaneous pieces of random stuff in their own home.

 

Case and point. Friday night. Sleepover. Game night.  My 7-yr-old and her friend along with my 5-yr-old son and I come across the I Spy book. Over the years we’ve bought into I Spy everything – puzzles, games and books. I’ve studied the book pages and like how they come up with a theme and throw in random bits of nostalgia (I have wondered if there are official I Spy item collectors out there) and vary the size and color scheme of each photo.

 

Our I Spy Time Capsule

Our I Spy Time Capsule

What we don’t have a shortage of is games and collections of lost die and game pieces. I have not been saving these for nothing. We choose the “Great States” gameboard background and each choose a square (note, there are states on half and the flag on the other because the board’s been ripped in half after frustration trying to find Rhode Island). We all have a quarter-section of the board that is our responsibility. Calvin puts a dinosaur in Utah and Ava’s friend places lego Woody in one of the Great Lakes. Each kid brings out a few containers of miscellaneous stuff from room storage. Stuff that annoyingly continues to pop up over the years in random places suddenly seems like it has a purpose. At least until we get the shot that’s going in our I Spy book.

 

I Spy Inspiration

I Spy Inspiration

Along the lines of a game theme, we include a Lincoln Log, a chess piece, Feed the Mouse die and mouse, a Cootie leg, an earring and ring from Pretty Princess, Barrel O Monkeys, bubble makers, Matt from GuessWho, Dora dominos, Candyland, legos and a few Barbie shoes (not because they’re a game, but because they turn up everywhere). There are also magnets, a cat made of pixos, Lightbrite pegs, tic-tac toe pieces, a dinosaur, keys, locks, coins and a battery my son snuck in (over the state of MN) that I was not aware of during the photo styling. That’s him showing his love of the battery-operated game and toy. Me not so much. It was a deliberate attempt on my part to keep these games and toys and the like out. And of course, the final touch, a magnifying glass (the token trademark for I Spy).

 

So now, maybe now, some of this stuff has run its course with our family. I’ve recorded it in time capsule / I Spy format. Through software on the web, one could magically take this image and transform it into t-shirt, mug, poster or calendar format. I can think of a hundred more themes for the stuff we have. Anyone want to buy an I-Spy original?  I Spy: Junk and Treasures from Our Family’s Closet.

 

 
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