For this week’s In the thick of it Thursday let’s talk about holiday time and games! Before we had kids we LOVED playing board games with friends and family whether it was Scrabble, Munchkin, Apples to Apples or Sequence most every holiday was spent with several hours playing games. Then kids came and the days of just hanging out for hours at a time became non-existent unless they were asleep. So now that my kids are getting a little bit older we have been able to start introducing some games that the adults and the kids enjoy.
Several years ago we were introduced to Mexican Train by a family member that played in Houston. It took root in our family so much that when we have a moment this is the game that we all prefer to play. As my daughter has gotten older we realized that this was a great opportunity to get her involved to start practicing some of her math and subtitizing skills- if you are not familiar with this teaching concept, subtitizing is the ability to ‘see’ a small amount of objects and know how many there are without counting. So while she is still learning the strategy of building a train she already has the understanding of why you would match a domino with six dots to another. Also it’s fun mixing up all the dominos after each round. You can find this game in several versions of cases but we have loved the hard metal case that locks and has a handle to carry around. It’s available at Amazon and Target for $18.99.
The next game we got that is fun for both kids and adults is Bananagrams. There are a few versions of this game but we have the My First version which links some letters together for various styles of play and each of the letters are in color to help identify consonants versus vowels. I love this game even with a three year old you can play-“spell your name” or “identify the letter” while the older kids can play the full version trying to connect full words. The other great thing is the portability of this game. It’s easy to travel with if you are headed away from home for holidays. They also make a Big letter version for many some family members that can’t see as well. Right now Target has the lowest price on this version for only $11.99 or $7.99 for the original version.
The next game are the cooperative games by Peaceable Kingdom. I did a full post about them here but the concept is that everyone playing is working together to “beat” the game. It’s challenging enough for adults because there is some strategy but it’s also wonderful for holiday time to play something where everyone is working together. I love that there are a variety of games and some are better for younger kids then as they get older a few more rules and strategies come into play. The largest variety of Peaceable Kingdom games I found on Amazon and most are around $15.99.
Now the final one is not really a game but more of a puzzle. I talked about it briefly in my wood blocks post but we hadn’t had a chance to really play with it at that time. Over Thanksgiving we pulled it out and my daughter initially thought.. I can’t put this together there are 110 pieces!! Then we found this cute little video that easily shows how it goes together, she would sit and watch the video for a few seconds, do a layer then watch a few more seconds and another layer. It is so fun to put together because at the end you made this amazing structure! I have only seen this set on Amazon for $44.99 but you might be able to find at local toy stores that carry HABA products. This one is another great game/ puzzle for various age ranges because most adults can appreciate the structure while the kids are just playing with blocks. Also you might have a few Hatchimals guarding the baby born inside the coliseum but hey that’s what imaginative play is all about!
Shop all these games by clicking the picture to go directly to that item:
We hope you have a chance to slow down this holiday season and play some games, talk with loved ones and enjoy this wonderful time of being together.