Autumn has been rather miserable weather this year. Plenty of wind, rain, and snow to keep us from our Autumn chores and all the fun things we usually would be doing. We have been stuck indoors quite a bit, much earlier in the year than usual. People always ask me, “What do you do for fun without a TV?” Well, if we have to be inside, we play a lot of games.
The kids are 6 and 7 now, so there are plenty of games that they are able to play that are still fun for the adults. We have taught them many of the basic card games and a few board games. Then we started looking for games to play that could be games for them to learn from. There are plenty of fun games that can help teach kids a wide variety of lessons.
One of the first games we got for the kids was Wildcraft. This is a cooperative game about hiking up a mountain to gather berries to make pie. Along the way you gather herbs to use to heal any injuries or sickness you get along they way. After playing, the kids went outside and were able to find a couple of the herbs and tell me what they were good for. Of course, we explain that they did a good job, but make sure they understand not to forage without an adult.
Then we started playing more of the strategy type games. Gamewright makes a ton of games that are great games for kids and fun for the adults, (and not very expensive). They are full of colorful pictures, creative themes, and they make the kids pay attention. They have to focus so they don’t miss things throughout the game. They are motivated to win or to beat the game, so they are able to practice paying attention. Through playing a game. A few we love are: Supertooth and Rat-a-Tat Cat for simpler games and Dragonwood and Forbidden Island for the more complicated games.
The more games we play with them, the more complicated games they are able to play and the better their focus gets. Agricola is one of the games the Man and I had bought for ourselves, but it had a family version that the kids could play. They don’t quite get the objective of the game, but have a blast playing. I will point out that playing complicated games with young children takes work, but it can be done and is worth while. One of us is always directing the steps to each turn and keeping the kids on target. Eventually, after a few times of this, the kids end up playing without us because they don’t need our help anymore.
I know this sounds like it could get expensive quick, but we actually only bought a few games and the kids get some for gifts. There are also plenty of websites where you can download and print games for little to no cost. There is not quite the selection of kid’s games as there are adult games when you are printing them for free, but we have found a few good ones. Hero Kids, which I don’t have a link for, is an RPG type game for kids that we got for almost nothing. This type of game is totally foreign to me right now, but it looks like something the kids will really get in to.
Printing up games is something we have just started doing. We have a USB powered printer that we can hook up to our tiny solar system and we can print without taxing the system much. Often, we have to download the games while in town and print them here, but it seems to be worth the effort. As a bonus, when you print games in black and white to save on colored ink, the kids can color the game in any way they like, which keeps them entertained for a while before we even start the game.
I just want to add that I am sorry for the lack of pictures, which is part of the reason I haven’t posted a lot lately. I am trying to fix whatever is causing the pictures to not upload properly, but I’m not there yet.
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