From Candy Land to Scene It: Games Bring Families Together

Games are for all ages. For little ones, games teach the early stages of reading and counting. For older kids, games are a great way to foster spelling and math skills. Games are a way to get a busy, stressed out family together for an hour of fun.

Game night is not a regular occurrence in our family. We play games once every couple of weeks. I wish we played games more, but with 10- and 12-year-old daughters (Sporty Daughter and Crafty Daughter) it seems as though we always dropping them off at games or birthday parties. To be honest we play games, so that we can maximize the time that we do spend together.

In the Mom on the Run Family we usually play two games: one for younger kids and one for older kids. Adventure Boy is 5 years old and as much as he wants to be older he gets either easily bored or downright frustrated by playing Monopoly or Cranium Cadoo. If Adventure Boy has his way he wants to play Battleship or checkers with Coach Dad. The girls and I like Scrabble. Sure, we have a couple of "Go, check the dictionary as I don't think that is a word" issues, but for the most part we have fun.

Some family favorites:

Candy Land -- This is the best game for introducing children 2 through 6 to concepts of reading, identifying characters on cards, and counting. After 12 years we are now on our third Candy Land game. The Queen Frostine card was mangled by my oldest daughter as she HAD to have the card or else she would have a huge tantrum.

Chutes and Ladders -- This game is like Candy Land, but more suitable for children who would be fine getting sent back down the ladder on their turn. If your child is sensitive, put off playing until the child is a little older.

Don't Break the Ice -- Kids love, parents hate this game. "Ice cubes" are placed in a tray, then kids use hammers to tap cubes out to leave the skating bear cube standing. Depending on the age of the child this game can be fast!

Scene-it Disney -- For lovers of Disney films of all ages this game combines a DVD of clips with a carddeck of questions. This game has spurred our family to watch some long-forgotten Disney classics, for instance, The Yearling.

I hope these suggestions are helpful to your family the next time you think "what are we going to play tonight?" To find out more about the adventures of the Mom on the Run family, check out: www.writingmylifeoneblogatatime.blogspot.com You never know we might have found a new way to spend family time.

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