Saturday, March 3, 2012

Learning tools: Games!

Stephanie over at Ordinary Life Magic is hosting a Wednesday link-up for those of us doing less-traditional learning at home.  This week's theme was "games".  When I try to sum up what we're doing for a curious friend or family member, it usually comes down to: we all learn best when we're having fun. For us that often means hiking, talking and laughing together, and of course, playing games...
Mormor joining in on Bananagrams
We do a pretty good job of rotating through what we have, but there are inevitably certain ones that continue to be favorites.  I wrote a post almost exactly a year ago about the games we were enjoying then, and it's fun to look and see which ones remain and which ones have gotten more enjoyable with the girls one year older.  For the ones we're loving now, read on!
Bananagrams is especially loved by the big people in the house - Ani once staged an intervention for Dan.  We must have had a conversation about addiction recently, because she sat him down at the table, bag of tiles in hand, and said, Dad. This is an addiction. You can't seem to stop playing Bananagrams. Since that time we've coaxed her into joining us, and though she often needs help, she is pretty well entertained!
 A new game for us is Phase 10 - a card game where the players move through ten phases or tasks of collecting sets or runs of cards. Eliza loves it and can hold her own; Ani enjoys about 5 phases as a part of a team and then is done.
 A game that Ani really enjoys is Princess, a cooperative board game where the players work together to craft the story that moves them through obstacles like a moat and a guard dog to where the enchanted sleeping princess lies.  The stories get pretty outlandish...Others in recent rotation are:
Apples to Apples Jr.
Many of the games we end up having the most fun with are those we create ourselves.  Charades, word games, our version of Battleship, called You Ate My Radish, and Girlfriend (known to the rest of the world as "hangman" - I thought it would be more fun to draw a funky girl than a hanging dead person, but call me crazy).  
 We eat at a table in our kitchen, and on the wall next to it hang two maps: a United States map and a Peters Projection of the World map.  One of Eliza's favorite games is to quiz us on state capitols and the like.  

I couldn't write a post on games without mentioning for the fiftieth time a few books that I have loved for years: the Games series by Peggy Kaye.  Games for Reading, Games for Writing, Games for Logic, Games for Math...I think that's all of them, but many times through the years I have searched through her books for ideas that I thought the girls would enjoy.
Well, there you have my not-very-comprehensive, but worthy list of what games are fitting into our lives right now!  Stephanie not only compiled an excellent list of games, with comments on age-ranges and a brief description (including a huge list of math games that I have written down around here somewhere!! Many of them need only a pen and paper.), but there is bound to be more gold in the posts linked to hers, so check it out!


sarah in the woods said...

great post. i first played bananagrams at my inlaws' house this past Christmas. I ended up sitting in the kitchen playing by myself because I just couldn't quit. Thanks for the book suggestions too.

Tina said...

Great list of games! And thanks for the book recommendations, off to see if our library has them.

kelly said...

We love bananagrams too and smiled when I saw them on your post, although my husband and I have taken a break from playing as it was threatening to take over our evenings (and we are both terrible losers it would seem!)

Stephanie said...

I thought I had commented, already!

I often think about picking up Bananagrams, but then I just think "I could buy a new one, and we could play bananagrams with scrabble pieces." :) So haven't, yet!

As I'm sure you know, I always love the games that you make up. They make me smile. And happy. :)

Thanks so much for adding to the list of resources, SlimD!

slim pickins said...

Thanks, all!! Stephanie - my sister calls Bananagrams "speed scrabble", so i'm positive you could play with your tiles - basically everyone gets a pile (21 tiles) and makes their own words, crossing as you would in scrabble; when you've run out of tiles, you say "peel" (banana - get it?) and everyone has to take a tile. continue until there aren't enough tiles for everyone to peel. voila! (you can also "dump", trading one of your tiles for 3 new ones. aaaaaaand you can move your words round, rearranging as you get new tiles to work in.)