Game Afternoons: good old-fashioned fun

On Monday afternoons I babysit a young bilingual friend of ours. It's a great opportunity to get more English reading and writing into all three kids. All of them seem to love board games.

We have a game cupboard. I've talked about our favourites from Orchard Toys here on the blog. Now I am really excited to be playing Monopoly and Scrabble with them. These are well-remembered from my own childhood.

We have Monopoly Junior which is quite tame (and a little boring for me). The kids love it though, especially playing with and counting the money.

This game is similar to the original board game. Each property is a theme-park attraction and instead of hotels you put ticket booths on them to get money off the other players.

You play until one player runs out of money which could take more than an hour - a little long for the younger players so we play until a certain time on the clock instead.

All three kids enjoy Scrabble Junior. In this simplified version the words are pre-printed on the board. To take a turn the player can place any two letters on any word as long as it's the first letter of the word (or any letter after providing they're done in order). A chip is given for completing a word. The winner has the most chips at the end.

We've found this game a little tricky much like real Scrabble when you end up with all vowels or all consonants. Plus the two younger kids need a lot of help finding a spot for their letter. Still it's cooperative.

Boggle is another one they love but mainly shaking the box loudly and having Noodle spell out rude words like B*M.

Each time we play any of these games the kids remember more of the rules and set-up which is a valuable lesson as well.

I think the thing they love most is that I make time to play with them rather than being busy making dinner or doing other housework. It's wonderful for me to see their progress.

The two games mentioned are from Hasbro.
The kids are 4 (almost 5), 6 and 9.

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