I’ve loved playing games for as long as I can really remember. We’d have family games nights, take a pack of cards on holidays, get a new game every Christmas, and I still ask for a new one each year to this day. I like getting my brain working in a fun way, I like testing out my knowledge, I enjoy some quick thinking. I think there’s plenty that can be learned from them, too.
Sitting down to a game can be educational in so many ways. It teaches sharing, turn-taking, understanding and recalling rules, the skills or knowledge required to win that particular game. And then there’s the most important lesson of all, to learn how to be a good loser. I still remember beating my dad at draughts for the first time, and feeling so happy – must have been about thirty years ago now! My dad believed in not letting me win, but teaching me how to play to win, so I had to play properly against him, making the victory all the more sweet, I think.
I am so ‘me’ when I play games. I like the rules to be followed properly and the games to be played fairly. I like people to play to win and not mess about. I HATE it when I’m teamed up with someone and they give away an answer to the opposition (the Husband has been guilty of this way too may times, and it drives me insane!). If I’m playing, I want to win. But then I don’t mind losing. I’d say I am quite competitive, but I’m not a sore loser. Fair’s fair, after all. And for some reason, despite being able to beat the Husband at so many games, I always lose to him at Scrabble. He’s some kind of Scrabble master, so I accept that when we sit down to that game, I’m more than likely going to lose. I *might avoid playing that one as much as I can.
Boo is now 6. We’ve started to play more advanced games than normal toddler/children’s games. Sunday morning saw us eating our breakfast over a table full of Bananagrams together. She likes most games, but I’d say word games are her favourites right now. This is probably because she delights in reading so much and her skills are developing so quickly in this area. She also loves Articulate for Kids (I reviewed that last month, we love it), and we’re going to give Upwords a go this weekend. I’m thinking Yahtzee will be a fun one, too, along with Pass the Pigs, for practising her maths skills. I see games as being such a useful way to build on all that she’s learning at school and have some fun with it.
I never want to wish a moment of my kids lives away, willing them to grow up faster than they are. Times goes by way too quickly, I know that. But that said, I am looking forward to the time when they are both of an age for us to have family games nights. We’ll just leave Scrabble out of it.
What are your thoughts on games? Do they play much of a part in your family?