Friday, 6 November 2015

five favourite games



I used to enjoy playing games very much. I remember fun game evenings when I was a student, complete with dinners and a tipple, too. These days, I play rather less. We go through phases of playing lots and then not at all. Some children's games are so boring that I am reduced to tears just thinking about them. I particularly dislike the in-your-face educational ones. We have a game called 'Magic Cauldron', which is a sum guessing game with a touch of (terrible) magic. You have to guess and match sums. The 20 odd sums in the game are very quickly memorised, even by the littlest ones and the positive effect on (my) children's number skills are negligent.

There are a few games that do not bore me to a near catatonic state and I thought I'd tell you about them today. 

An all time favourite is Labyrinth by Ravensburger. This game was around when I was little and I remember many a game with my brother. We were quite competitive Labyrinth players. There are a several versions, a junior one and a Disney Pixar one (eek). If you can, get the original version, it is the best one. Don't bother with the junior version, it is so simple, your three year old will be bored after a few play sessions. The aim is to find treasure in an ever changing maze. The maze is moveable and composed of small square cards that have part of a path on (see photo). Of course, your 'adversaries' are also trying to navigate their way through the maze and may well ruin your plans. It requires a good deal of spacial thinking and forward planning but I found that with a little help even my little ones can manage.

Recently, we have discovered Dobble. I am not sure who to attribute this game to. It is a snap game with a twist. There are a number of symbols and pictures on each round card and the aim is to win the card from the stockpile by matching a picture from your own card to the card in the middle faster than anyone else. It is a loud games if played with little ones and even older children shout exitedly. Dobble is very compact and comes in a round metal tin, perfect for wet camping or when you have little space in your holiday luggage.

We also like Uno by Mattel. It is a game that we all can play without getting bored or overwhelmed. The only difficult part is being able to hold all the cards in your hand. Uno a compact card game that travels well, too. You start of with 7 cards and the aim is to get rid of them all first. The cards are colour coded and numbered. The cards need to be discarded by either matching the colour, number or symbol. If this is not possible, the player has to pick up a card from the central pile as a punishment. Additional fun is added by special cards like 'skip', 'wild cards' and 'take 2 (or 4)' cards.

Staying with card games, one that we also like but I haven't played in a while because the older ones are 'too old' (more like too cool) and the little ones are not quite there yet is Rat-a-tat-cat by Gamewright. This game is good for memorising and basic maths AND it is fun. You get 4 cards that you are placing face down in front of you. There are cards with high numbers (rats) and cards with low numbers (cats). The rats look mean and the cats look sweet. The aim is to get rid of the rats and keep the cats. But you are only allowed to peek under the two outside cards... the values of the inner cards can be revealed by swapping with the top (visible) card from a central pile. It is a gamble because you may think you replace the card with a good one but the hidden one might be even better. You need to keep a bit of a tally of your total if you can and when you are sure your score is as low as can be, you call the game and everyone reveals their cards. The one with the lowest score wins.

Lastly, I would love to share the game Fettnapf by Amigo. It is a game I bought in Switzerland hence the German name. The phrase 'ins Fettnรคpfchen treten' is translated as 'put one's foot in it'. It is another math card game. There are 30 island cards, numbered from 1 to 30. Each player gets three of them to begin with. The other set of cards have numbers from 1-9. The players take turns to put the number cards down, adding up sequentially. When 30 is reached, the numbers are subtracted instead, until 10 is reached. The tricky part is that you are not allowed to say the number on your adversary's island cards. If you do, you get a punishment card (the Fettnapf). This means you have to remember what island cards they have and you have to be pretty smart with your numbers, too. As you add and subtract between 30 and 10, each time the boundary is passed, the player who did can have another island card. It is more and more tricky to avoid those darn islands and you accumulate those Fettnapfs very quickly. Once you get four you are out  It is great fun but still a bit tricky for James and Alistair.  

Do you have any favourite games? Do tell please (Christmas is not so far away). Thanks for stopping by. Have a great weekend. x

21 comments:

  1. Haven't played any games in years, but we use to like Trivial Pursuit a lot and when we traveled, UNO.

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  2. Your post has inspired me to purchase a game or two, before my grandchildren come for the holidays. I'll plan one evening around "Game Night".

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  3. Hey Christina,
    Dobble may well be in a certain little boy's stocking at Christmas.
    Leanne xx

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  4. What a fun post, Christina! Our family still plays Labyrinth when we get together. It's a great game! The others sound like fun ones for me to keep in mind for when Lucy and Ella are a bit older. Three games that have gotten a lot of use in our family are Quiddler, Apples to Apples, and Farkel (we have the Moose Farkel dice, but there are many other kinds to choose from as well).

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  5. I had never heard of many of these games before. We love Risk and play Scrabble sometimes or card games. I'll keep a look out for some that you mentioned.

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  6. We are partial to Monopoly games here - perfect for those long winter days / nights. We have several "versions" of Monopoly - like a Snoopy Version and a Horse Version.

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  7. Great sound games. Although I don't know any of these. We are not great game players here, if anything it is likely to be scrabble which isn't really the same is it. We don't do computer games either. I am sure that you have a lot of fun playing with the children though and that they enjoy it. Thank you for joining Five On Friday. I hope that you have a great weekend! xx

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  8. Uno is the best game ever, I actually carry it round in my handbag - no joke! It has enabled us to take our children to restaurants from a very early age. As a teacher, the differentiation in that game is amazing. Meg used to play it when she was 3 just matching the colours then she progressed onto shapes now we are all playing it with numbers. Heidi has worked out that putting your highest cards down first will leave you with a lower score at the end - Meg not yet. As for holding them. Meg is 6 and she uses a big 'bulldog clip' but Heidi can hold her own now. I used to play it with my nan in the eighties but it was called WOT, I think our version is called WOT too. Happy memories. Jo xxxx

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  9. We love Labyrinth too, it's excellent. Really simple to learn, but quite challenging. The children seem to work it out better than the grown-ups sometimes! I saw it recommended on Amazon when the grandparents were looking for a Christmas present to be given to all three, and it's been an absolute triumph. Monopoly is quite popular around here as well. Chess is too, but mostly in the winter when it's too dark to go outside after tea. We have Whot! which might be a bit similar to Uno, it's an old game, I had it when I was little. We have Operation, Don't Say It and Penguin Pile-Up as well. And I have Cluedo tucked away somewhere for when they are older, which I've suddenly realised they are. Sigh. CJ xx

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  10. Oh we just love board games and I was stuck for a new one for Christmas. I've never heard of the Swiss one, I'm off to have a look at the link. We love Monopoly and Uno, they never grow old! Have a lovely weekend x x

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  11. I haven't heard of any if those games,it's good to get recommendations. We always enjoy scattergories. Have fun:-)

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  12. Monopoly and Uno were great hits when the children were younger. One purchase that had us all in a catatonic state was "Settlers of Catan", which I bought in a misguided fit of improving their minds. I know it's now a super trendy game, but I would sooner gouge my eyes out with a teaspoon than go near it again.

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  13. we played bananagrams at guides the other night. that was pretty fun. and the tiles live in a banana. it's the little things that make me smile!

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  14. I love playing games too and come from a family of card players... Unfortunately the current husband is not so keen so game playing is usually confined to Christmas when we have marathon sessions of Pictionary or Balderdash. I'd forgotten how good Labyrinth was - used to play that with my boys when they were at home.

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  15. Uno always comes on holiday with us, we love it! We also love Rory's Story Cubes which are really useful when you're waiting for a meal to be served. We don't play many games otherwise, although it's become a bit of a tradition to play board games on New Year's Eve xx

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  16. Ludo and Uno were always popular, especially played fast and furiously, and you cannot beat Monopoly which four of us played last weekend sprawled on the floor.

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  17. We always play games at Xmas, the whole family play and it can get pretty loud and lively, the all time favourite being 'Who's in the Bag?' It's become a tradition to play it every year.

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  18. I played Monopoly as a child with my sisters but it needs a larger family than we have. Uno is popular here and you can't beat Scrabble as far as I'm concerned. And for little ones Guess Who is good. Daughter says she'd like Pointless quiz game for Christmas so that's what we'll be trying this year. Love Pointless.

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  19. UNO is number one in our house. And we have so many versions of it! The kids have joined in from the second they were able to match number symbols - usually aged 3. And my kindergarten kids at school love it too. They ask for me to bring a few sets of cards every Friday! I'm going to check out Dobble on your suggestion. That might be the perfect thing for under the tree!

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  20. We love Uno here. I remember playing it as a child, and recently Bella got the hang of it. She is a demon player, competitive and merciless. It's hilarious playing against her. Thanks for these recommendations. x

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  21. I have a stack of games for the grandchildren, but as they are so young they really are just matching and sorting and are quite boring when you have to play them over and over again but the children seem to love them.

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Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, I love to hear from you, I really do. I sometimes reply by email but I am not all that reliable... Christina xx