Day 789. February 28, 2019. Lagos...
As a gamer, you'll have more games in your house than the average human in the known world. As a gamer's kid, he or she will grow with games within sight on a daily basis. Games will be as common to them as food on the table every day or waking up to the sight of toys after each naptime. This is a prevailing thought that I keep in mind whenever I play games with Alice.
I didn't know much when we started playing games. But I knew this. I did not want to overflow her with new games! I did not want to get dozens of games with her in mind. Because I already expected that she would be in contact with more games than usual for a 2-year-old anyway. Thus, new games for her appeared on the shelves infrequently and as if by magic. No need to make a big fuss over the "new toy". It was more like:
"What's this daddy?", she said looking at that new, yet familiar yellow color in Haba's games.
"I don't know!", I replied. Wide eyes as if it was a surprise for me too. "Let's see what's in it!"
Too many dogs and ghosts.
A new game for us both. A new game meant to last for several months, if not years. To be explored frequently. To allow it to create lasting memories while playing with it. To witness it become a favorite or watched get pushed for second choices after repeated plays. Not all games were instant hits with her from the get-go. But that was also good. Life isn't a series of over the top experiences, each topping the previous one. Sometimes we also took bites on rotten apples.
What worked for us: Delay the flow of new games. Give games you have a chance to shine until they outgrow them.
Some of the games that we've played in the last 2 years:
Spooky Stairs: A game that is not at all at its finest with just two players! It's pretty easy to remember where your pawn is. Still, the board doesn't even look like a board. It looks more like a big castle drawing. The magnet's+ghosts sheets combo delights Alice every time single time a kid goes under. It's quick enough to play it several times and I believe she's learned how to count to 4 with this game!
Bata-Waf: Good goofy to-go game. You can play it pretty much anywhere. We never minded the numbers. Alice was too young when we played it. But she outgrew from it fast.
Balancing the monster's games.
Monster-Falle: Took a while until we figured the best way for the game to work for us both. Eventually, it worked as it was written on the rules already! One player controls all the gizmos, while the other checks the timer and flips cards. It was good with the standard rules. But with the room cards added? It became quite an obsession for her! Solo or with her daddy!
Balancespiel: A Lidil game. I never found out how you're supposed to win. Sturdy and colorful pieces, but not much else. Not a contender for the Animal Upon animal line!
Links to the series: How to raise a gamer. Ages 2 to 4.
...how to raise a gamer: once upon a time...
...how to raise a gamer: patience my young padawan...
...how to raise a gamer: breaking rules...
...how to raise a gamer: one two many...
...how to raise a gamer: growing up...
Photo & Image credits: ZombieBoard